My beekeeping mentor called me after my frantic e-mail asking what I should do about the missing queen and the developing queen cells in my hive #1. It wasn't what I thought. He said I should wait - if they are making queen cells, then yes, my queen is dead or gone. Soon, though, one of the queen cells will hatch and that queen will go around and kill all the other developing queens. Then she will take her "maiden flight."
|Before an old queen dies, or departs to start another hive, she lays an egg in a large queen cell. The nurse bees feed the larva a diet of only royal jelley, or bee's milk, made from a gland on their heads. In only 16 days a new queen emerges. She seeks out and destroys any rival queens, because there can be only one queen per colony.|
10 days old, a new queen takes a high maiden flight, pursued by drones from nearby hives. In about 13 minutes, she mates with 7 or more of them, storing their sperm for the rest of her life of 2 years.
She produces chemical scents which regulate hive activity.