Queen Cells on Flickr. Best of 2012 Photos

Pulled and capped Queen Cells. The queens in these cells will hatch within 24 hours. Individual cells will be placed in its own mating nuc. The queen will hatch and will leave on her mating flight in about a week. She will mate with about 15-20 drones and return to her nuc to begin laying eggs.

Small Hive Beetle 3 on Flickr.

Small Hive Beetle larvae “slimming” a frame of honey. “Larvae tunnel through comb with stored honey or pollen, damaging or destroying cappings and comb. Larvae defecate in honey and the honey becomes discolored from the feces. Activity of the larvae causes fermentation and a frothiness in the honey; the honey develops a characteristic odor of decaying oranges. Damage and fermentation cause honey to run out of combs, creating a mess in hives or extracting rooms. Heavy infestations cause bees to abscond; some beekeepers have reported the rapid collapse of even strong colonies.” They are so destructive and can make one’s stomach turn to see them as a slimming, oozing, mass of slithering worms! Yuck! (And, I have a strong stomach)

Small Hive Beetle 2 on Flickr.

Small Hive Beatle Larvae “The small hive beetle can be a destructive pest of honey bee colonies, causing damage to comb, stored honey and pollen. If a beetle infestation is sufficiently heavy, they may cause bees to abandon their hive. Its absence can also be a marker in the diagnosis of Colony Collapse Disorder for honey-bees. The beetles can also be a pest of stored combs, and honey (in the comb) awaiting extraction. Beetle larvae may tunnel through combs of honey, feeding and defecating, causing discoloration and fermentation of the honey.”

Small Space Living on Flickr.

There is a lot going on in this picture. Starting from the left you can see a worker bee, scratching like a dog with the hinds legs at a Varroa mite on her back. The second bee is a drone emerging from his brood cell. The next bee just finished feeding the drone-you can just see her proboscis still extended. Finally, on the far right is the business end of any female bee. Drones (male honey bees) do not sting for their anatomy in that area is reserved for “love not war”.

I wish the shot was better focused. I was so thrilled to capture so much activity in such a small space and amount of time.

Small Hive Beetle 1 on Flickr.

Small Hive Beatle Larvae “Aethina tumida was previously known only from the sub-Saharan regions of Africa where it has been considered a minor pest of bees. The beatles were first discovered in the United States in 1996 and have now spread to many U.S. states. The beetle is most often found in weak or failing hives and rarely affects strong hives. However, differences in the housecleaning traits of the bees found in South Africa and the U.S. may mean very different responses to the beetles.”