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unidentified object in new apiary after installing nuc

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New Bee

Joined: 25 Apr 2016
Posts: 1
Location: USA/Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:08 pm    Post subject: unidentified object in new apiary after installing nuc Reply with quote


I am new to beekeeping, and have come across a strange object on the top of my frames in my hive. It looks like clear plastic, round, and maybe the size of a 50 cent coin. It is sitting on top of the frames, between two frames. The bees are building comb around it and on top, so I can't get a clear look at it, but I did take a photo. I did not disturb the frames to pull them out and look closer, as I wasn't sure what it was, and the bees were very agitated during the inspection process.

More information: This is week one after installing the nuc into my apiary. (checked for evidence of a queen on day 6) It was a 5 frame deep nuc, and my apiary box is a 10 frame deep. I added a baggie feeder to the top of that, and then the inner cover and top. I added 5 foundationless frames to the box to fill it out. We checkerboarded the foundationless frames with the nuc frames, so that the bees had built out/foundation frames to use as guides. We were advised that this was ok. We did keep the nuc frames in order.

After pouring through the internet photos, the best guess I have is that it is a plastic queen cell left in the nuc after placing the queen. I bought two nucs, and the second one didn't have this. When we installed the frames, we didn't notice it, so I first thought it was a new addition, but after some thought, I think maybe it was attached to one of the nuc frames, and we just didn't see it. I know that if you buy packaged bees you get a queen in a queen box, but I thought the queen was free already in a nuc.

Anybody have any idea what it might be? I can send a photo if that helps.


Bob Helwig
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Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bob and welcome.

Can you describe what your nuc consisted of in terms of the contents of the comb when you got it and transferred it to the brood box? ie out of the five frames, how many of them were brood and was it a mixture of open and sealed brood and how many of stores (pollen and nectar/honey)? Was there any frames that were just foundation that the bees had not built into comb?

I'm guessing that what you are describing is an artificial queen rearing cup.
The only other thing it maybe could be is the top of a miticide treatment strip
Did you see the queen and/or uncapped brood/eggs during your day 6 inspection? If so then I would gently cut out and remove this object during your next inspection.

Good luck with them

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Silver Bee

Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 962
Location: UK Cornwall Snozzle

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds more like a package to me & if so that cup will contains the queen from what I've read. You are supposed to release her when installing the bees into their new home.
Loads of videos on youtube.
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