On closer inspection it turned out to be a honeybee pupa.
|The Mysterious Ejected Pupa|
I was a bit perplexed.
The only way the pupa could have got there is by being physically dragged out of its cell by the workers and ejected off the edge of the landing board.
I'm not sure why though.
I had a quick trawl through the internet forums and the strongest suggestion seems to be that the colony is exhibiting 'hygienic qualities' which, apparently, is a good quality for them to exhibit.
It means that they are monitoring the brood for signs of things being not quite right, chewing open any dodgy cells and discarding the imperfect incumbents.
So the discarded pupa may imply that they've detected mites or it may imply that there's wax worm present in the hive.
However, on my regular checks there's been no sign of varroa whatsoever and there doesn't seem to be evidence of waxmoth either.
In fact, the colony seems exceedingly healthy and robust.
In addition, the pupa was quite big which implies that it was possibly a drone pupa. The ejection could be part of a general drone ejection due to a summer dearth of nectar flow. It's possible, but I must admit, I've not noticed much of a dearth recently, quite the opposite, in fact.
It's been 3 days since my last inspection so I suppose it could have been a pupa that I perhaps had inadvertently damaged. This is also a possibility but not, by any means, a certainty.
Consequently, I'm still not particularly sure what's going on.
It may be nothing serious but it'd be nice to know all the same.
It looks like it's time for some detective work down at the Apiary.