Cell Entombment

Here’s something that may catch your eye taken from this article in the Guardian:


“But the bees’ last ditch efforts to save themselves appear to be unsuccessful – the entombing behaviour is found in many hives that subsequently die off, according to Pettis. “The presence of entombing is the biggest single predictor of colony loss. It’s a defence mechanism that has failed.” These colonies were likely to already be in trouble, and their death could be attributed to a mix of factors in addition to pesticides, he added.”

Jeff Pettis and others have tested the contents of some entombed cells and found they contained higher pesticide concentrations than other cells.

Have you ever seen entombed cells? I’ve seen them since I started beekeeping decades ago. But they have always been few in number and usually associated with decades old dark comb. I worked for some outfits that had brood combs over 80 years old! And you could always find some entombed cells without much effort.

Entombed cells. Something to watch for and think about. It’s a ominous indicator for colony survival. It might be an equally ominous indicator for hive product safety. And for environmental quality.