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Normal Honey Bee Development

Capped brood

Picture 6 of 8

Healthy developing worker, queen and drone cells are capped after larvae are approximately 5.5, 6 and 6.5 days old, respectively. The period just after the cell is capped is called the prepupal stage. During this stage, the larvae stretch out lengthwise in the cell and spin a cocoon. Larvae remain pearly-white, plump and glistening during the prepupal stage. A healthy worker brood pattern is easy to recognize; brood cappings are medium brown in color, convex and without punctures. Healthy capped worker brood normally appears as a solid pattern with only a few uncapped cells; these may contain eggs, or uncapped larvae, nectar or pollen.