Bee-keeping, Queen Comb!!
Hey everyone, any bee keepers out there? If so you will know exactly where the queen comb is here? We recently did our first harvest of honey and was rather surprised to see this queen bee cell on the super frame next to their stored honey supply!
This pic we have lots of uncapped honey and that white wax strip capped mature raw honey.
The brood comb is the beeswax structure of cells where the queen bee lays eggs. It is the part of the beehive where a new brood is raised by the colony. During the summer a good queen may lay 1500-2000 eggs per day, which results in 1500-2000 bees hatching after the three-week development period.
The brood comb is usually found in the lower part of the beehive, while the honeycomb may surround the brood area and is found exclusively in the honey supers. When a queen does not have enough brood comb to lay eggs, usually due to congestion from pollen or honey, the bee colony may be more prone to swarm. check out more here as per wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brood_comb
Generally queen combs happen in summer when the swarm wants to split off. The new queen once hatched stays in the hive and the older more experienced queen takes 60% of the swarm off to a new abode!
During the warm parts of the years, female "worker" bees leave the hive every day to collect nectar and pollen. While male bees serve no architectural or pollinating purpose, their primary function (if they are healthy enough) is to mate with a queen bee. If they are successful, they fall to the ground and die after copulation. Any fertilized egg has the potential to become a queen. Diet in the larval stage determines whether the bee will develop into a queen or a worker. Queens are fed only royal jelly, a protein-rich secretion from glands on the heads of young workers. Worker larva are fed bee bread which is a mixture of nectar and pollen. All bee larvae are fed some royal jelly for the first few days after hatching but only queen larvae are fed the jelly exclusively. As a result of the difference in diet, the queen will develop into a sexually mature female, unlike the worker bees.
Queens are raised in specially constructed queen cells. The fully constructed queen cells have a peanut-like shape and texture. Queen cells start out as queen cups. Queen cups are larger than the cells of normal brood comb and are oriented vertically instead of horizontally. Worker bees will only further build up the queen cup once the queen has laid an egg in a queen cup. In general, the old queen starts laying eggs into queen cups when conditions are right for swarming or supersedure. Swarm cells hang from the bottom of a frame while supersedure queens or emergency queens are generally raised in cells built out from the face of a frame.
As the young queen larva pupates with her head down, the workers cap the queen cell with beeswax. When ready to emerge, the virgin queen will chew a circular cut around the cap of her cell. Often the cap swings open when most of the cut is made, so as to appear like a hinged lid. More here as per wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_bee
Zoomed in on a nice fully capped super frame which I uncap with an uncapping fork and spin off the honey!
I opened up the queen cell and inside the queen larvae. In hindsight we had to probably leave this in the hive until she hatched and split off.
Nature the incredible!
I trust you have an amazing Wednesday!
Love and light, be blessed.