The Queen is DEAD! Long LIVE the Queen!

in #homesteading2 years ago

The Queen on the Blue screen did not emerge.


It looks like she died around the time of transit to the video chamber. She may have died in transit from the hive to the video chamber, or maybe in the chamber itself. I had a heater next to the video hive but I did not preheat the hive. I don't know which killed her but that is the time she died and I'm assuming that cold had something to do with it.

She was 15 days old when she died. She would have emerged the next day.

It has been cold the last few days and on the day I moved her it was a little above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and windy. I have read that as long as the "brood" stays above 60 they will hatch. Apparently 60 is on the low end of safe for an exposed queen cell. However it may be "safe" for brood that is packed tightly together in brood comb.

In the last 4 days before emergence the physical changes in the Queen are extreme and easy to identify. This one only had another day to go.

Dead Queen.jpg

I will miss her.

But wait, that's only half of 1/10th of the story.

I lost another 8 Queen cells and 2 laying Queens in the process on top of that!

All Dead.jpg

In the photo above the "Queen on the blue screen" is #2 from the top left. She is the only one that developed past 10 days old. Younger than 10 days old the queen larva looks like larva, or a maggot. The queen in the lower left is 8 to 10 days old and still looks like a maggot. At day 11 she starts to develop legs and other features as you can see in the drawing below.



I am assuming that they all died of chill as all but the "Blue Queen" died just around the age of 8 days. At day 8 when the cells are capped, I remove them from the hive to examine them and cover the capped queen cells with "roller cages". This helps prevent the bees from continuing to build comb around the queen cells and eventually filling up the space between the queen cells with comb. I inspected these cells and added roller cages on two different occasions and both times it was windy and cold. They all died just after capping which is when I added the cages so I'm assuming they are related.

I lost the other two Laying Queens in the process. One I lost early on in this process when I was trying to mark the Queen in the hive next door. I knocked her off the comb when I was trying to catch her and she flew off. The other Queen was from this "egg" hive I was using to make the queens.

To get the bees to start making queen cells you remove the current laying Queen and replace her with some larva of the correct age. The bees then turn this larva into queen cells. After the bees have started on the queen cells you return the laying Queen to the hive. The reasoning here I think is, if the bees don't have a laying Queen it's an emergency and they focus on making just a few queen cells. If they have a laying Queen then they can relax and make as many queen cells as they have available.

So I returned the Queen but it seems that they weren't too happy with here disappearance. It looks like they killed her and replaced her with some emergency queen cells that were not successful. After a full inspection the hive I see failed emergency queen cells, no queen and no eggs or larva.

I now have 4 hives without queens and a heavy heart.

I will try again when the weather heats up a bit.

Make sure to check out the Live Stream on


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Nice post !

Thank you.
I'm trying to get some more interesting live stream videos of the inside of the hive too.

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