The bee mothers are special cells that are rebuilt or completed and used to grow the uterus. There are two types of cells with certain differences. Most of them are associated with the features of the formation of mother liquors. The larva in them develops in stages. Excess mother liquors are used in different ways.
What is a mother liquor?
The mother liquors are the largest cells that the bees rebuild. It is in them that the uterus is grown.
The difference between mother cells from other cells is that insects do not elevate them to the active phase of life, but under certain events. This may be preparing the family for swarming or the need to get a new uterus. In the latter case, the death of the old uterus, her illness or her inability to lay eggs may serve as a reason for changing the queen. Their type depends on the reason for the construction of queen cells.
In bee and drone cells, the bees also store food supplies. The mother liquors are never used for this.
Types of mother liquors, their differences
There are two varieties of queen cells: swarm and fistulous. The first version of the bees is built when they are preparing for swarming, the second - with the loss of the uterus or its lack of liquidity. In the case of fistulous queen cells, its construction is an emergency measure. With the death of the queen or her inability to lay eggs, a threat to the extinction of the bee family is created.
The differences between the two species of mother liquors are also in a number of other factors:
- the shape of the mother liquors;
- location in the nest;
- members of the bee colony that are involved in construction;
- egg laying: swarm mother liquors are filled with eggs after detuning, and fistulous cells are built on cells with already fertilized eggs;
- the value and productivity of hatching queens - with swine queen cells these qualities are higher.
You can also learn about what mother liquors are from the following video:
Construction of queen cells by bees
Features of the construction of mother liquors depend on their types. The material used is the same - wax.
Fistulous queen cells
For the formation of fistulous queen cells, bees use ready-made cells, only completing them. For expansion, neighboring cells are used. Bees-builders are engaged in the necessary work. Wax glands are developed in them. The use of fresh wax determines the light color of the fistulous mother liquor - it is close to snow-white.
Fistulous mother liquors of a bee are not rebuilt immediately. First, a structure sufficient for one larva is formed. As it develops and grows, the size of the mother liquor also increases. In shape, it is an elongated protrusion on the cell.
Swarm mother liquors are completely rebuilt. To do this, insects choose ribs of honeycombs or the edges of its holes. Bees are engaged in construction, which are more than 25 days. At this age, the wax glands function even worse, so insects take wax from used honeycombs. This feature determines the rich brown color of the swarm mother liquors.
The basis for the swarm mother liquor is a special bowl having a round bottom. In exceptional cases, bees use a wax protrusion of the cell for its attachment. In this case, the swarm mother is rebuilt on the plane of the honeycomb.
The outer part of the swarm mother liquor is hilly hexagons - this structure resembles a honeycomb. The inner walls are smooth, glossy.
The sizes of the mother liquor depend on several factors and can be 750-1400 cubic meters. mm The size of the swarm mother liquors is larger. In shape, they are compared with elongated acorns, single hanging from a honeycomb. Less common are paired queen cells, and some southern breeds even build them in groups.
Stages of development of the larva in the mother liquor
The larva in the mother liquor develops in stages:
- An egg is laid.
- On the third day, a transformation occurs - the egg becomes a larva. At this stage, it is abundantly fed with royal jelly. Such food is very valuable and is high-protein. It is he who makes it possible to transform an ordinary fertilized insect larva so that it becomes a full-fledged queen bee.
- On the eighth day (maybe a day later), the mother liquor is sealed. A special cork is used for this. For its manufacture, bees use wax and bee bread.
- The sealed mother liquor remains in this form for a week (possibly up to 9 days). During this period, gradual pupation of the larva occurs.
- Transformation into an adult occurs on the 15-17th day. At the end of the process, the upper part of the mother liquor is printed.
Mother liquor cutting
In the apiary, constant monitoring is important. Timely identification of the construction of the queen cell allows the beekeeper to prevent swarming or give the orphaned bee family a new queen. In both cases, the formed mother liquor must be cut out.
Cutting out the mother liquor should be carried out at a certain stage in the development of the larva. The appropriate time for this manipulation depends on how you plan to use the mother liquor. If it is necessary to transplant it into a new bee family, then it is necessary to wait for the sufficient maturity of the uterus. With the right choice of time, the probability of survival increases.
The necessary phase for the transfer of the mother liquor is determined when the mother liquor is highlighted - its walls are transparent, so the contents can be seen. With a clear tracking of a thick, oblong dark body, you can start cutting. If it also moves, then you can’t hesitate - the insect is about to come out.
When the mother liquor is highlighted, it may appear empty. This can indicate both the initial stage of development and the death of the larva. The situation will finally clear up in a few days.
You need to cut the mother liquor correctly. The following conditions must be met:
- Use only a sharp knife. The wax walls of the mother liquor are quite thin, so they can be damaged by a blunt instrument.
- Before work, be sure to wash your hands with a neutral agent without fragrances. Even the smell of sweat that persists on the transplanted mother liquor can cause it to be rejected by the bee colony.
- To reduce the risk of damage to the mother liquor, it should be cut in a circle, maintaining a radius of 10 mm. If the neighboring cells are filled with bee brood, then it is better to cut out part of it, but save the uterus.
- Before cutting out the queen cells, they must be thoroughly examined. Such cells can be paired, connecting with each other. They need to be transplanted in this form. Cutting one mother queen is possible only if more than three of them are grouped in one place. It should be disposed of from the central segment.
- If the wall of the mother liquor is damaged, wax should be used. It should be slightly warmed up and applied with a knife to the affected area. The layer should be thin. Bees may not accept such a queen, but there is still a chance of success.
- The cut mother liquor must be seen through without changing its initial position. From overturning and strong inclines should be abstained.
- An important condition when cutting the mother liquor is to control the temperature regime. If for some reason the process dragged on, then the already cut mother queen should be put back into the native hive. Bees will warm the chrysalis.
Cutting out the mother liquor should be done as quickly as possible. Tightening the procedure increases the risk of damage to the larva. Prepare and sharpen the tool in advance, you should also prepare wax in advance in case of damage to the wall of the mother liquor. Everything that may be needed during cutting should be at hand.
In the next video, an experienced beekeeper will tell you what to do if the bees have laid a queen, how to stop swarming and arrange the nest:
Using extra cells
Excess mother liquors are used in different ways. They can be cut out for rejection, but it is advisable to find another application for them:
- Stock of quality bees. This measure is especially important in large apiaries, where there are many bee colonies. For every 10 of them should have 5 spare queens. With death, illness, loss, lack of productivity of the old queen, she can be quickly replaced. As a result, the bee family quickly recovers with minimal loss of productivity.
- Replanting to a new layering. Such a measure allows you to create a full-fledged bee family.
- Sale. This option is suitable for breeding popular breeds. The offspring of prolific parents cost a lot, and the extra income has not hurt anyone.
Bookmark mother liquor in a new bee family
If you plan to lay the excised mother liquor in the bee family, then you should prepare for possible difficulties. It is better to use not a cut cell, but the entire cell on which it is located. For transplantation, you should choose the most mature larva, since it has more chances for a good reception by other people's bees.
When shifting and fixing the mother liquor in a new place, one must not forget about caution and accuracy. It is not allowed to find the cell in the sun, its shaking, cooling.
Features of the bookmark of the mother liquor in the new bee colony depend on its strength, season, weather conditions:
- on cold days, laying of the queen cell should be done as close as possible to the brood, which is already in the bee family - this area is characterized by increased activity of the bees, which is accompanied by a higher temperature;
- in fairly warm weather and a large force of the bee colony, the mother liquor can be placed in a drift or at the bottom of the hive.
The mother liquor laid in the new bee colony should be placed strictly in the same position in which it was in the old nest.
You can transplant the mother liquor in different ways:
- Cut it partially with honeycombs. Part of the honeycomb is placed in a wooden stick split along, its edges fixed with a thread. Install this structure near the socket.
- Carefully insert the mother liquor between two honeycombs and fix.
- When laying in the hive with the frames of Dadan, plant the mother liquor on the wall of the honeycomb. To do this, push a recess of the appropriate size with your finger, insert a cell with the uterus and fix it with wax (preheat it).
- Use a special cap. For its manufacture, a light metal sieve is used. The cap must be recessed with the edges in the comb. The uterus under such a shelter will get stronger, while its feeding will not be disturbed.
After laying the mother liquor, it is necessary to control the results . If on the second day the mother liquor is fixed on a drift and is not damaged - this is a success. If there is a hole at the end of the uterine, then the uterus has come out. The presence of a hole in the wall indicates that the wax was gnawed and the uterus was killed. In this case, you can repeat the bookmark, but when destroying another uterus, it is better to resort to the introduction of the finished individual.
It is important for the beekeeper to timely identify the formation of the mother liquor and determine its variety. There are several options for using queen cells - you need to choose the right one, focusing on the needs of the apiary and your own preferences.