Cedar and Bija checked on the new split was that made 2 weeks ago. There were queen cells in the brood box, so they looked for the newly hatched queen.
So this is the little hive that was split two weeks ago. Last week we did an inspection and what we found was a queen cell. So if we're lucky, we'll see a virgin queen in here today. Sometimes she can be right up on the lid and you don't want to orphan her from the hive. We're having a look for a bee that's got a bit of a different stride, is a little bit longer and often less stripy. And as she gets older, she'll have a really shiny back plate. We know that she's going to be a virgin queen here because this hive two weeks ago had no queen at all. And this hive made a queen that we saw inside a queen cell last week.
I'm seeing a lot of pollen in there and a little bit of honey. Now, what's gonna be interesting in this hive is we're unlikely to see much brood because we took a split two weeks ago. So all of the capped brood should have emerged. And sometime soon we will have a mated queen starting to lay eggs. So we're gonna keep a lookout for that. And we're also gonna keep a lookout for the virgin queen. She's harder to spot when she's a virgin, because she's a bit smaller.
Here we have the queen cell down at the bottom of the frame. Interestingly enough, there were two differently sized queens queen cells here. There was a big one and a little one. The little one you can see has a torn edge to it rather than a nice smooth edge. So that one, if you dial back to last week, you can see these two, that one emerged first. Then what happened, is she would have wandered around the hive, made a piping noise, a tooting noise, the queen inside this one would have tooted back because she was close to coming out. This queen, that had first emerged, came and stung this big queen cell. So what you have is a perforation in the big queen cell, where this queen has been stung and is now dead inside its cell. And that's how the first queen that got out gets the upper hand and makes sure she's got the reign of the hive. So we can actually open up this queen cell. Now, if you lift this up, it's a bit sad, but this queen cell didn't make it. And what we should have in there is a queen cell that has a queen that's been stung and is now dead in her cell.
There was a rip in the side of the cell and this queen cup that was closed was now open. So we must have a virgin queen somewhere here in the hive.
When you said the queen had stung the other queen - she stung her to death?
Yes. So queens can sting without dying. The workers have barbs the queens don't. So one of the reasons is so that the queen can sting other virgin queens in the hive when they're fighting for who's going to be the egg-layer of the hive. So they typically will go and sting other the queen cells. And that way, you'll end up with one laying queen in the hive. It would be smarter if they had multiple laying queens and could just be civil about it. But anyway, they tend to go for one and they sort it out.
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