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When Queens Are Reared

Categories: BREEDING.
Bee Keeping: Mysteries Of Bee-keeping Explained

Also, when the combs become crowded with bees, and honey plenty, the

preparations for young queens commence: as the first step towards

swarming, from one to twenty royal cells are begun; when about half

completed, the queen (if all continues favorable) will deposit eggs in

them, these will be glued fast by one end like those for the workers;

there is no doubt but they are precisely the same kind of eggs that

produce ot
er bees. When hatched, the little worm will be supplied with

a superabundance of food; at least, it appears so from the fact, that a

few times I have found a quantity remaining in the cell after the queen

had left. The consistence of this food is about like cream, the color

some lighter, or just tinged with yellow. If it was thin like water, or

even honey, I cannot imagine how it could be made to stay in the upper

end of an inverted cell of that size in such quantities as are put in,

as the bees often fill it near half full. Sometimes a cell of this kind

will contain this food, and no worm to feed upon it. I _guessed_ the

bees had compounded more than their present necessities required, and

that they stored it there to have it ready, also, that being there all

might know it was for royalty.

The taste is said to be "more pungent" than food given to the worker,

and the difference in food changes the bee from a worker to a queen. I

have nothing to say against this hypothesis; it may be so, or the young

bee being obliged to stand on its head may effect it, or both causes

combined may effect the change. I never tasted this food, or found any

test to apply.

The preceding plate represents a piece of comb containing all the

different cells--those at the left hand the size for drones. In the

centre are few that appear sealed over, others nearly covered, others

the larva in different stages of growth, as well as the eggs. _Fig. 1_

represents a queen's cell just commenced. They are usually started thus

far the first season, very frequently when the hive is only half or

two-thirds full. _Fig. 2_ is a cell sufficiently advanced to receive

the egg. _Fig. 3_ one finished, the stage when the first swarm leaves.

_Fig. 4_ when a queen has been perfected and left. _Fig. 5_ is a cell

where its occupant has been destroyed by a rival, and removed by the

workers. It will be perceived that each finished queen's cell contains

as much wax as fifty made for the workers.