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Cell Cappings

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New Bee

Joined: 28 Mar 2016
Posts: 7
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 8:40 am    Post subject: Cell Cappings Reply with quote


Yesterday I observed a number of bees removing debri from the hive and it took me a while to realise what they were removing were cell cappings. I was wondering how common this is and maybe the reason for it. I look closely all the time at the debri the bees drop from the hive entrance and have never witnessed this before.

Anyone any ideas?

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Site Admin

Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1857
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is great that you are so observant of entrance activity..... for me this is such an important aspect of beekeeping that many people with "out apiaries" miss.
Removing debris from the hive floor is all part of housekeeping duties along with removing the dead and cleaning the cells and will be performed as and when the colony has enough workers to spare for the task. In winter there are little or no cappings because there is little or no brood. If your colony was started last year, removing cappings may not have been a priority because comb building and laying down stores are the essential work for survival and they would not have raised any. At this time of year there are more cappings than any other because the hives are pretty much reaching full brood rearing capacity, so the chances of you witnessing cappings being removed are higher because there are thousands of them every day and of course drone production is in full swing and the cappings from drone cells are larger and more noticeable.


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Quality Top Bar Hives by Andrew Vidler

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

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