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  1. #1
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    I've been watching my observation hive since they started raising brood again. I watched the queen lay and them cap it in 8 days. I put marks on the glass so I could track the six they capped first. Since then they have chewed out three of the six. Probably because of mites. They were the first chance the mites had for a long time to reproduce so the first ones probably were more likely to get infested than the later ones. They were nice white and healthy looking larvae when they chewed them out. In looking at the chewed out pattern I wouldn't say it's extremely peppered, but it is puncuated by empty cells scattered all over. Since this is a sign of a hygenic hive that is chewing out cells, as well as a sign of a queen laying a bad pattern (in this case I watched her lay them, the workers cap them and the workers chew them out) or a brood disease, I'm thinking we need to be careful about what we infer from a peepered pattern of brood. We have traditionally culled queens when a peppered brood pattern is observed when that may actually be a sign that the bees are chewing out infested or diseased larvae.

    Maybe we've been doing this backwards for a long time.

  2. #2
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    If most of the brood is fairly tight(occasional misses) the misses are probably normal larvae mortality and the bees arent having a problem keeping up with the removal job.If there is a really bad pattern,then there is inbreeding or disease getting out of control.If disease,that is fairly obvious.An old failing queen will tend to scatter her brood too.This is one of those things that one has to decide based on the 'whole picture' i.e. why is the brood showing misses?Out of season brood rearing isnt going to be as good looking as it will be once frsh pollen and nectar become available.But you are right,some misses are a sign that hygienic traits are coming into play.

  3. #3
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    My point was just that. It may be disease, poor breeding or hygenics. If the bees chew out every mite infested brood cell in a mite infested hive, it would leave a fairly peppered pattern that we might misconstrue.

  4. #4

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    This is why you want the hygenic trait to be in some of the bees not all. You can have a hive that has a very high hygenic trait level in the breeding and have 4 out of 5 larve removed. The hive will collapse over time. When I was talking to the breeders they said they are selecting for it but also for other traits trying to find a balance. This is true that a spotty pattern could be hygenic not a poor queen.

  5. #5
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    Greetings . . .

    As I read the above posts, I see the words "scattered brood" and "peppered brood" being used interchangeably.

    Heres how I define each:

    Scattered brood - Some EMPTY cells in mostly CAPPED cells.
    Peppered brood - Some CAPPED (maybe black) cells left in mostly EMPTY cells.

    Arent they the opposite of each other?

    Please help



    ------------------
    Dave W . . .

    A NewBEE with 1 hive.
    First package installed
    April, 2003.

  6. #6
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    I dont know that the terms are that specific.Shotgunned brood is another term.I think its more important to know the reason for the misses.AFB,inbreeding,poorly mated queen,old queen,disease,bad comb,contaminated comb,old queen,or just pollen in the cells at the time of laying?But in general, a scattered brood pattern means a queen problem.

    [This message has been edited by loggermike (edited December 30, 2003).]

  7. #7
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    I think the issue is the amount and the cause. My point is when choosing between two queens one with some missing cells might actually be geneticaly superior to one with a solid pattern of cells. And a solid pattern of cells is one of the criteria we have used in choosing queens for the last century or more.

  8. #8
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    Question

    If you have a full frame of brood that have ALL hatched out except for a few remaining, ramdomly-scattered, dead larvae, you have a "PEPPERBOX" appearance.
    *Source: H&HB,1992,p1093

    A few EMPTY cells ramdomly-scattered throughout a full frame of brood, looks like its has been blasted w/ a shotgun.

    I think MrBEE has made a very wise observation, missing cells in the brood pattern may not be a bad thing.

    Question??? Does it ever occur, that you have a small patch (cluster) of brood, say in a corner, another unconnected patch, say in the middle, and still other unconnected patches elsewhere, creating true "scattered brood"?

  9. #9
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    Yes it does happen. But things such as, "was the queen laying on foundation as it was being drawn?" come into play. Cold snaps, and other things come into play when looking at brood patterns. All things have to be "read" correctly.

    Added - Possible honey bound situations and not enough laying area can cause different patterns

    [This message has been edited by BjornBee (edited December 31, 2003).]

  10. #10
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    Question

    Please forgive me for "skirting" the subject.

    All of you have been very helpful.

    Thanx

    Added - MrBEE: What did they do w/ the chewed-out larvae? Are six cells of brood, all you have?


    [This message has been edited by Dave W (edited December 31, 2003).]

  11. #11
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    <If you have a full frame of brood that have ALL hatched out except for a few remaining, ramdomly-scattered, dead larvae, you have a "PEPPERBOX" appearance.
    *Source: H&HB,1992,p1093

    Ok This is just a mix up in words.I have never used 'pepperbox' to decribe diseased brood.
    >A few EMPTY cells ramdomly-scattered throughout a full frame of brood, looks like its has been blasted w/ a shotgun.
    Now ,I wouldnt call THAT shotgunned.I would think that was just a few misses.If it was say 50% scattered and empty,THAT is what I would think was shotgunned.

    >I think MrBEE has made a very wise observation, missing cells in the brood pattern may not be a bad thing.

    You can find chewed out brood in any apiary since the arrival of varroa.You will find lots of evidence of brood removal in mite killed hives.It just wasnt enough to control the problem.

    >Question??? Does it ever occur, that you have a small patch (cluster) of brood, say in a corner, another unconnected patch, say in the middle, and still other unconnected patches elsewhere, creating true "scattered brood"?

    I would call that scattered PATCHES of brood!Its a wonder beekeepers can even communicate at all,since different terms mean different things to us.I was once carrying on a conversation with another beekeeper in front of a non- beekeeper.He said later that he didnt have the slightest clue what we were saying,it sounded like a foreign language to him.





  12. #12
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    >MrBEE: What did they do w/ the chewed-out larvae?
    I didn't watch completely this time, but in the past I've seen them haul them out and I've seen them canabilized.

    >Are six cells of brood, all you have?
    No, they were the first six eggs the queen layed and the first six that were capped (a day early) and I marked them on the glass and am tracking them to see when they emerge. Early capping is associated with less varroa infestation in the brood. Early emergence is associated with less reproduction from the infesting varroa.


    >I think MrBEE has made a very wise observation, missing cells in the brood pattern may not be a bad thing.
    My point is that it may be a good thing or a bad thing, but it's wrong for us to assume without knowing the cause.

    >Question??? Does it ever occur, that you have a small patch (cluster) of brood, say in a corner, another unconnected patch, say in the middle, and still other unconnected patches elsewhere, creating true "scattered brood"?
    Yes. I figure it's a silly queen who doesn't maintain a compact brood nest. But sometimes, I suppose it's that the brood gets chilled and the larvae in one section were at just the right age to be more affected and that left some brood on each side that were not, or a pollen dearth etc.


    >I would call that scattered PATCHES of brood!
    I think that's what I would call that too.



  13. #13
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    Smile

    Please dont forget that I am a non-beekeeper, and the vocabulary here IS a foreign language to me, And everyones help is very much appreciated.


    MrBEE,
    >Early capping . . Early emergence . . w/ varroa.
    Please explain (probably again, sorry)

  14. #14
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    >Please dont forget that I am a non-beekeeper, and the vocabulary here IS a foreign language to me, And everyones help is very much appreciated.

    I agree with loggermike. Sometimes we beekeepers are not consistent in how we use some termonology so it's not hard to misunderstand each other.

    >Early capping . . Early emergence . . w/ varroa. Please explain (probably again, sorry)

    Capping time is the time from when the egg is layed until the cell is capped. There have been several studies I've seen that show if this happens early (Early capping) that less varroa invade the cell. Usually most of the varroa get into the cell on the 9th day. If the cell is capped on the 8th day less varro get in.

    Post capping time is the time from when the egg is capped until the bee emerges. Early emergence is when this happens in less than the "usual" time. In other words, the documented times for these things are that the worker cell will get capped on day 9 and emerge on day 21 (from when it was layed) This is a capping time of 9 days and a post capping time of 12 days. The signficance of a short post capping time is that a varroa lays another egg every 30 hours. The shorter the post capping time the less eggs the varroa lays. Also that egg has to make it to maturity and mate before emerging. Any that don't can't survive.

    In my observation hive with 4.95mm cell size, I check every day to see if the queen is laying, so everytime she has started laying again I have kept notes on it. This time she started layed these eggs 8 days before the cells were capped. That is a day early. I am now counting down to emergence, which from my previous observations was a post capping time of 11 days instead of 12.

    The significance of this to varroa control is one of the subjects of this study:
    http://www.csl.gov.uk/science/organ/...Approaches.pdf

    Which, among other things, talks about the effects on the mite population of a shorter capping and post capping time.

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