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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Lenexa, Kansas
    Posts
    445

    Post

    I started feeding at the end of February with an outside feeder. But, spring in Kansas can be cold and the bees only took the syrup sporatically.

    And, the weather the last 2 weeks has been windy and raining, so the bees stayed in.

    Well, I got into a strong hive today to get some eggs for a hive that has gone queenless, and I was surprised to see 3 frames (front and back) with sealed brood, and a fourth frame was 3/4 sealed brood and ONLY 1/4 open brood! The queen was on the open brood, so I don't think there is a frame of eggs that I have missed. Also, they have eaten 2 pounds of their sugar over the last couple of weeks.

    I was THINKING that when they ran low on syrup and honey, that they started in on the sugar and the queen slowed down the laying? Do bees do that? :confused: It is a strong young queen: I got her last Fall when THAT hive went queenless! And, she has built up her hive very quickly this spring, which is why I wanted her eggs.

    How often do the hives loose their queens, anyways? :confused:

    Also, I saw a few capped drone cells. Does that mean SWARM SEASON is about to start up here in Kansas? If the bees started swarm cells now, those drones MIGHT be old enough when the queens are ready!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,084

    Post

    >I was THINKING that when they ran low on syrup and honey, that they started in on the sugar and the queen slowed down the laying? Do bees do that?

    More likely they got as much brood as the number of bees could take care of so she cut back laying until that batch of brood emerges.

    >How often do the hives loose their queens, anyways?

    Depends on the chemicals in the hive etc. I have queens three years old and doing well. Some people find they supercede once a year when they use varroacides of various kinds.

    >Also, I saw a few capped drone cells. Does that mean SWARM SEASON is about to start up here in Kansas?

    Bees want drones all the time. I saw a few Sunday when I checked the hives.

    > If the bees started swarm cells now, those drones MIGHT be old enough when the queens are ready!

    I think it's early for swarms in Kansas.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    > I was THINKING that when they ran low on syrup
    > and honey, that they started in on the sugar
    > and the queen slowed down the laying? Do bees do
    > that?

    I see the scenario a little differently than
    you, and a little differently than Mike.

    Bees are affected by weather more than
    most people think. Weather has more impact
    than the beekeeper's actions in many cases,
    but especially in spring.

    The high/low temps for Kansas City indicate
    that you had some unusually warm days at the
    start of March, and a few toward the middle.

    If you were to track when the sealed brood starts
    to emerge, I'd guess that you would find that the
    sealed brood was laid during these "warm spells",
    and the lack of more open brood or eggs is due
    to lower temps since then.

    If your temps tracked KC's temps, we should be
    able to predict when the bank of sealed brood
    will hatch. You had warm days on:

    Mar 3 - 7 (66F, 69F, 58F, 73F, 58F)
    ...but any eggs laid during that period
    would have hatched out before today.
    (Mar 7 + 21 days = Mar 28)

    Mar 10 - 62F
    Mar 11 - 61F
    Mar 12 - 68F

    Since then, it has been in the 40s and low 50s.

    So, if I am correct, the sealed brood should
    emerge within the next few days (Mar 10 + 21 = 31,
    Mar 12 + 21 = Apr 2)

    Please take a look, and see if we got it right.
    (If KC's temps are not close to your temps, check
    your actual high temps, and run the same analysis
    to project a hatch-out date.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Lenexa, Kansas
    Posts
    445

    Post

    Jim, that is an interesting idea. And, yes, I AM in the KC area, only an hours drive west of them.

    So, I WILL check out the brood in a few days. It will be interesting to see if they are out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,084

    Post

    I've watched a lot of observation hives (I've had as many as three going at once) and the bees often do bursts of brood in the middle of winter where they raise a batch and then wait a while and raise another batch. It's more obvious in the observation hive, but after seeing it there, I can see evidence of a similar pattern in the hives outside. I have not really seen any connection to the temperatures in the observation hives, but then they are less affected by them too. But they often raise brood in very cold weather and don't in quite warm weather during the winter. Since I've found brood in hives anytime from December (first brood after the winter break) to November (last brood before a winter break) I'd have to say that the bees might raise brood most anytime and, during the winter, stop most anytime for a break.

    I would say that the smaller the cluster the more temperatures seem to affect brood rearing and it probably affects it much more in an outdoor hive than my observation hives.

    My point is that, while temperatures may affect brood rearing in outdoor hives and may be related to the timing of those periodic breaks in brood rearing, in an observation hive that does not seem to be responding to those temperature changes they still start and stop brood rearing periodically.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    > ...where they raise a batch and then wait a
    > while and raise another batch.

    Yeah, I had a few queens like that too, once.
    Requeening fixed it. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Just kidding.

    > while temperatures may affect brood rearing in
    > outdoor hives and may be related to the timing
    > of those periodic breaks in brood rearing, in
    > an observation hive that does not seem to be
    > responding to those temperature changes

    So your ob hives are not open to the outside
    air via a connecting tube? Have you ever
    measured the actual temperatures in your ob hives?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,084

    Post

    Yes they are open to the outside and the outside temps don't seem to be the driving force in starting and stopping brood rearing. All I'm saying is they are less affected by the outside temps than the outdoor hives, so maybe the outdoor hives are more affected by temps than the observation hives, but the observation hives don't seem to start and stop based on temps. They just raise a batch and wait a while and then another and wait a while. I'm assuming they are trying to keep some young bees to get through the winter without using all their resources up.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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