So many questions from the newbeek

18 May

More for my own reference than anything else, here’s a brain dump of questions I have 3 weeks into beekeeping:

  • For the summer, should we remove the bottom board leaving only a screened bottom?
  • Do drones buzz louder than worker bees?
  • Is it possible that workers built a supercedure cell but didn’t move an egg into it?
  • Do bees like cacti? They’re not on most lists of bee-friendly garden plants, but in the Southwest we’ve plenty.

If any of you bee sages out there have answers, I’m all ears.


2 Responses to “So many questions from the newbeek”

  1. borderglider May 22, 2008 at 10:36 am #

    1. YES – an Open Mesh Floor is best in summer because varroa which lose their grip on the bees will fall through the mesh and die. If you leave the board in place – they crawl back and bite another bee.

    2. Drones DO buzz louder than workers because they are almost three times as large. Their eyes are about TEN times as large – so they can find the queen on a mating flight.

    3. Bees often build ‘practice’ swarm cells. They don’t move eggs into swarm cells – they select a normal cell with an egg already laid in it – and they then modify the cell to become a queen cell. Swarm cells are often built in large numbers – up to a dozen – and are usually built around the bottom and edges of a brood frame. A supercedure cells is quite different. They usually only build one or two and these are very large and placed in the centre of a frame.

    If you are a beginner I suggest you buy a copy of E.B. Wedmore’s book ‘ A Manual of Beekeeping’ – you can get it on Amazon or Abebooks for a few pounds. Also, buy ANY other good books you can get.

  2. Chantal May 22, 2008 at 2:54 pm #

    Hey many thanks for your response!

    Regarding the swarm cell, I think it might actually have been a supercedure cell. Here’s a photo of it if you’re curious:

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