I was checking a suddenly weak hive yesterday and found the queen in the honey super with an egg attached that she was dragging around. Very spotty brood through out the hive, almost like she was able to lay in a few spots and missed dozens of polished cells. We watched as she backed into a cell and a few moments later exited with probably the same egg attached to her. I had never seen this before.
Prior to this, if I saw the spotty brood, I would just assume it was a failing queen, even though this hive was requeened this last spring and was doing fine great mid August according to my notes, where she was found and put in the bottom super. Now that I've seen her dragging this egg around and thinking she has deposited it, could she be sick or is this is one of the signs of failing?
This hive still has a lot of bees, about half the amount as my other hives and a bunch of capped brood, even though it very spotty. It was easy to notice the last few days as there were not as many bees flying compared to other hives (a good reason to have at least 2 hives to check them against each other) and we still have a lot of bloom. I will probably divide the bees up and add them to other hives (I don't have another weak hive) since I'm wanting to reduce the number of hives I'm taking care of anyways.
By the way, you guys are great, kudos to you all.
This is the time of year for spotty brood. The queen is cutting back, the bees are backfilling the brood nest for stores and to shut the queen down. It's hard to come to definite conclusions about a queen this time of year. At least here. I can't say about CA.
Are you sure she isn't just mated and that's not an egg? A newly mated queen will still have the phallus from the drone attached. Maybe they just superceded your spotty queen and this one is about to start laying.
Wow, I bet that's it. That would explain the sudden drop of bee's in flight and lots of bees in the supers. I had a swarm and missed it. Not surprising, I've been gone almost 3 weeks in a row. I wished I would have snapped a picture. She is laying eggs, in the three frames she started in the honey super has all sorts of brood in different stages, it was the bottom brood supers that were so spotty. And plenty of time to get rid of the evidence. I'm going to leave her and that hive alone now, since she's at the bottom and see what happens.
Thanks so much,
ps, I've been reading about 8 frame hives and like the idea of it weighing less. I have developing lifting issues and now have to find someone to help me with any of the deeps and full medium supers. I was seriously thinking about going to all mediums, but this is even better. My husband is already groning at the prospect of cutting down all of our supers. I'll repost this in the other post I started.
Thanks again and again,
That's one of the reasons I try to get newbies to figure out the lifting issue BEFORE they buy and build a lot of equipment. It's frustrating to be cutting down what you worked so hard to build. [img]smile.gif[/img]