Peanuts, Popcorn, Cracker Jacks? No, Queen Bee Cells
With the opening of baseball season, it's "peanuts, popcorn and Cracker Jacks!"
But to beekeepers, it's peanuts.
Or rather, peanut-like shells.
Immature queen bees grow to maturity in cells that resemble peanut shells.
When UC Davis bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey, manager of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis, led a recent queen-bee rearing class on a tour of commercial queen bee producers, one of the stops was at C. F. Koehnen & Sons, Inc., Glenn, Calif.
The Koehnens, in the bee business since 1907, are the largest producers of honey bees and queen bees in California. They maintain more than 15,000 colonies. The Cobey class marveled at the operation.
A beekeeper held a frame up to the sky as worker bees cleaned out the vacated queen bee cells.
Not your basic goober peas!
ROWS OF QUEEN BEE CELLS are framed against the blue sky. This photo was taken at the apiary of C. F. Koehnen & Sons, Inc., Glenn, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
BUSY WORKER BEES are cleaning out the queen bee cells, once occupied by growing queen bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)