Holes in cell cappings

Compare holes in cell cappings

Figure 10: A cell capping with a hole chewed
in it

Even though initially there may be no visible change in the colour of the capping of an infected cell, worker bees can still identify a problem within, and will chew holes in the capping before removing the contents of the cell (Fig. 10). 

The holes can usually be distinguished from holes in the unfinished capping of healthy cells (Fig.11). The holes in infected cell cappings have a more irregular appearance.

Figure 11: A cell capping in the process of
being sealed

Figure 12: A hole in a capping caused by an
emerging bee


Holes will also be created in healthy cells when the young adult worker bees chew apart the cappings to release themselves from cells. These holes will also appear irregular in appearance (Fig. 12), but can be easily distinguished from infected cells since a live adult bee will be found underneath the capping.

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