Swarm queen cells: why beekeepers remove and differences from fistulous ones, what to do with them

Swarm queen cells: why beekeepers remove and differences from fistulous ones, what to do with them

The queen cell is a specially built or expanded cells that are designed to grow queens. During the active period of the life of the bees, they do not make them, since they do not need a queen. The construction of such structures is necessary in the pre-sowing state or when it is necessary to replace the current queen bee. At the same time, many beginners are interested in the question of why beekeepers remove swarm queen cells.

What is a mother liquor and what does it look like

Queen cells are the largest cells that bees build. They are used to grow queens. The difference between such structures is that insects build them not during the period of greatest activity, but at certain events.

This may be in preparation for swarming or when a new queen is needed. In the second case, such a need arises when the old queen dies, becomes ill, or loses the ability to lay eggs. The reason for the construction of queen cells affects their variety.

Types of queen cells

Such designs have different types. They are built in different situations and have certain characteristics.


The creation of such cameras is considered a necessary measure. Bees build them when there is a threat of extinction. This happens if the family has lost the queen. In such a situation, a new uterus is needed.

In this case, insects choose ready-made combs in which there is a young larva. After that, the size of the cell increases due to neighboring bowls.Due to this, it turns into a bee queen cell. As the cocoon grows, it is required to build on the walls, which have edges that bend down. At this stage, the larvae begin to feed milk.

Fistulous mother liquor has a milky white hue, as it is constructed from fresh wax. Weak honey bees are engaged in the creation of the structure. As a result, small and unproductive queens appear. This situation is observed when a new queen is planted on layering. Beekeepers usually remove these cocoons.


Such queen cells are made on the edge of the tray. In this case, insects lay honeycombs on the ribs. In the absence of the possibility of erecting such a structure, it is located at the edges. For swarm queen cells, a cup-shaped shape is characteristic. The beginning is called a bowl. At the same time, the structure has a rounded bottom, smooth walls and a glossy texture.

The thickness of the walls is affected by the bee species, bribes, the strength of the family, the climate of the region. For example, in the north, bees make thicker partitions than in the south.

The cocoon is made from recycled beeswax, which is why it has a brown tint. Swarm structures are usually located separately. In more rare cases, this is done in pairs. The size of the mother liquor is very different. They depend on the amount of food. The maximum volume of the swarm cocoon is 750-1350 cubic millimeters, and the length is 22-24 centimeters.

Swarm designs allow beekeepers to produce productive swarms of insects. They collect a lot of honey and wax. In addition, bees have longer proboscises than representatives of families obtained by artificial means. At the same time, swarm species are prohibited from being left to chance.

Besides, they are characterized by a number of disadvantages:

  • problems with controlling the number of queen cells;
  • impossibility to regulate the timing of laying the species;
  • reducing the productivity of a strong colony during swarming;
  • risk of unnecessary swarming in the apiary.


Bees first make a bowl. After that, the parent lays an egg there, and the insects fill it with milk. In the absence of a queen, the insects build a fistulous mother liquor. As the larva grows, so does the cell. It becomes large in size and resembles a cocoon in shape. It is formed by insects that have well-developed wax glands.

It is difficult to confuse the mother liquor in layering. It resembles a case with many facets that hangs on a frame. The structure is shaped like an acorn. The cocoon is dark brown in color.

Stages of development

The larva in the mother liquor is characterized by gradual development. In this case, the following stages are observed:

  1. The queen lays her eggs.
  2. On the third day there is a transformation. Instead of an egg, a larva appears in the cell. At this stage, the bees are richly fed with royal jelly. This must be done without fail. Such food is considered unusually valuable and contains a lot of proteins. It allows you to transform an ordinary fertilized insect larva. Thanks to this, she turns into a full-fledged queen bee.
  3. On the eighth day, the mother liquor is sealed. For this, a special cork is used. The bees make it from wax and pollen.
  4. The sealed mother liquor remains in this form for 7-9 days. At this time, the larva gradually pupates.
  5. On the 15-17th day there is a transformation into an adult. After the end of the process, the upper part of the mother liquor is printed.


Transferring a bee queen cell to a new place is quite difficult. It's best to do this with the cell it's on. At the same time, you should not rush. The older the larva is, the faster new individuals will accept it.

Opened mother liquors or structures that have been recently sealed must not be inverted or exposed to temperatures. A mature mother liquor can easily withstand a gentle impact. It can also lie at room temperature for 2 hours.

To move the mother liquor, you should use a simple method:

  1. Use a sharp knife to separate the chamber together with the honeycombs. At the same time, the mother liquor itself should not be touched, so as not to disturb its structure.
  2. Cut into a circle with a diameter of 1 centimeter.
  3. Select a long stick and split it along its entire length.
  4. Insert honeycombs between the resulting fragments, and fasten the edges with a thread.
  5. Install the structure near the nest.

When transferring, it is worth considering the seasonal factor. In cold weather, the structure should be laid closer to the brood. There, the bees are more active and will heat the chrysalis more efficiently. On warm days, a sealed chamber is recommended to be placed at the bottom of the hive. There, the bees will be able to provide warmth to the larva.

If the honeycomb is damaged, this place must be carefully repaired with wax. It is recommended to wash your hands thoroughly before the procedure. Foreign smell may remain on the walls, which will negatively affect the transplant. All actions must be performed as quickly as possible so as not to damage the larva.

The next day after setting the cocoon, it is important to check it. The following should be taken into account:

  • if the bees fixed the cocoon on the skid, the transfer procedure was successful;
  • the appearance of holes indicates that the bees damaged the wax and got rid of the queen;
  • the appearance of an acorn indicates the exit of the uterus.

After 3 days, the insects will completely destroy the wax. In this case, the fate of the queen is unknown. If the first time it was not possible to transplant the uterus, the procedure should be repeated. If she, too, was unsuccessful, it is recommended to immediately enter the finished queen.

Queen cells are considered important structures that are built by bees to get a new queen. However, sometimes beekeepers have to remove them. This is required to be done when there is an excess of them or a decrease in the productivity of a strong bee colony.

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