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Singing queen silenced

Removing the queen larva

The observation hive is back in action and the queen has been singing — quarking, if you prefer — but then she abruptly stopped.

A frame with a sealed queen cell had been installed in the observation hive and a queen quickly emerged. Running around the hive she was buffeted by the workers and returned the compliment clambering on some of them, feelers flying. (Workers are impatient with virgin queens and urge them to go and get mated!) Mostly the queen tried to stay outside the loose cluster to have some peace and quiet.

She was quarking frequently and then I saw the reason — another sealed queen cell. After about a day, the workers unceremoniously tore down that second queen cell and removed the developing white larva. Not following the text books, they didn’t tear it down at the side, but instead attacked it from the bottom dragging out the larva.

An unceremonious royal funeral

After one more triumphant quark (apologies for the anthropomorphism), the queen became silent and work in the office could continue uninterrupted.

The behaviour of the workers to the  queen has become much more deferential over the past day or two, so I expect that she has mated and may even be laying eggs, but they aren’t yet visible.

Turlough
Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger

 

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