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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Wayne, NJ USA
    Posts
    381

    Post

    I have had a rather strong colony go 95% drone brood on me.(interesting- seems as if a small % might be worker brood). This is a double deep colony w/2 honey supers (1 filled, the other partial). Everything seemed fine. In fact, I thought that I would take a couple of frames out to make up a split. When I got down to the brood chamber t had very little brood (both open and sealed), 95% of which was drone? I tried to look for the queen (talk about a needle in a hay stack). I did not find her. These 20 frames are just covered real thick with bees (80%workers/20%drone). So, here are my question(s).

    1. Can a good queen all of the sudden become a drone layer?

    2. If this has become a laying worker colony what should I do? (If it were smaller I would shake it out and re-queen,no problem. This is a big dog colony, shake all those bees out just the same?)

    3. Should I just take the honey, split the two deeps and put the deeps on 2 other colonies in a different yard? (recombine and requeen later in the fall?)

    Help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Post

    1. Yes

    2. With 80% drones what are you losing by dumbing the whole mess on the ground.

    3. Sounds like an acceptable plan...

    But first check this hive for mites. The sudden failure of a booming hive has the smell of 'mite problem' written all over it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,540

    Post

    I had one like that once, I shook them out on the ground (100 yards from the hive) and requeened them next day I noticed a small clump of bees where I shook them, I put a nuc with a frame of comb there and they marched in and upon inspection I found a queen but they never did much of a build up=just another experance from another BK Good Luck!
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Post

    I have about the same answers.

    >1. Can a good queen all of the sudden become a drone layer?

    Yes. The queen runs out of sperm and that's it.

    >2. If this has become a laying worker colony what should I do? (If it were smaller I would shake it out and re-queen,no problem. This is a big dog colony, shake all those bees out just the same?)

    Yes, but they are mostly drones. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    >3. Should I just take the honey, split the two deeps and put the deeps on 2 other colonies in a different yard? (recombine and requeen later in the fall?)

    I'd probably call it a loss. But then sometimes you find the bees have raised a supercedure queen and she's running around in there and it recovers on it's own. But it's probably a waste to leave it with all those drones it and may be queenless or a drone layer still.

    A shakeout is probably the safest solution since you don't want the drone layer or a laying worker to survive the combine.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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