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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Default Judging Brood Pattern

    Since I'm getting into breeding, I'm trying to figure out how "solid" a solid brood pattern is. Ours simply aren't laying as solidly as i would like. Is there a "grid method" or something that would get my eye trained on what is acceptable and what isn't?

    WayaCoyote
    WayaCoyote

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Default

    A solid pattern (one without missed cells) may be a thing of the past.

    Nowadays, highly desirable bees select and open cells that have mites.

    When you find open cells randomly among sealed brood, how do you know what caused it?

    I think when trying to judge a pattern, it's best to look for EGGS. A frame laid solid w/ eggs will indicate a good queen. If her offspring become mite infected later, and the bees open the infested cells, you then might see a “poor pattern”.

    Just a thought

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,166

    Default

    I have also observed a brood pattern that was spotty on an old junky comb, and then on the next comb over (fresh & new) turn nearly perfect. One more argument for a comb renewal plan.

    I have seen a test for % brood viability that involved a polygon that held a specific number of cells (500?). I think this is often used to test for inbreeding. VSH and other hygienic behavior would seem to skew this test initially. Overall performance and nest architecture are probably better selection tools, however the best performers always seen to eventually produce beautiful patterns after they clean up what ails them.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Default

    You're both right that a spotty brood pattern could be a sign of chewing out. I could do a hygenic test to see if they have strong hygenic behavior, but spotty brood is the only way I know to check inbreeding. I suppose (since inbred eggs are supposedly removed, right?) I could actually check the pre-cap larvae pattern.

    waya
    WayaCoyote

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,585

    Default

    At the EAS meeting in Delaware two weeks ago, one scientist had an interesting theory. He said some cells are left open for temperature control.

  6. #6

    Sad

    Sorry for asking: it's the same thing with brood viability? Can be measure using parallelogram from a card?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    dekalb,alabama,USA
    Posts
    80

    Default brood patterns

    survival type honeybees have always had a few cells open in the brood nest, however they usually contained something such as pollen or nectar, the old type honeybees, (commercially used), would have solid frames of brood because that was what they were selected for, even survival type bees later in the year would have a more solid broodnest with fewer open cells. as used to happen with commercial bees in the past, in the spring if you had a cold snap they could die because they had no honey within reach when the cluster contracted, however with natural or survival bees, (ferals), they could make it through a cold snap better because they had honey within the broodnest in the open cells and some pollen also so you never saw as many of them die nor pull out brood after a cold snap because they could continue feeding the brood and also could maintain cluster heat better because they also had honey within the cluster to feed on. open cells with ferals alone is not neccessarily a sign of a problem unless their is a lot of them or a problem is readily apparent. these problems can be noted by the way the larvae look and the way the open cells look. chewed out cappings and so on, chewed out larvae or other readily noticable things.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Default

    A 'solid' pattern should have 90+% of cells capped and healthy-looking. If it's less than that, you need to ask why. If the pattern is spotty from the moment the cells are capped, this could indicate a bad, preobably inbred, queen. It could also indicate an irregular laying pattern, which I've seen regularly in nucs; the queen lays cells up tha moment the become empty, rather than working in a regular pattern.

    If cells are capped with a nice pattern, and then appear spotty later, that's a sign that the bees are chewing cells out. Careful observation should show you exactly what's happening.
    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    São Paulo State, Brazil
    Posts
    55

    Default

    I have a hive which queen has always laid nicely, but the capped brood was always spotty, today I noticed that the patches of capped drone brood are (and has consistently been) solid, I tend to consider this as a "proof" of inbreeding, am I right?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    937

    Default Eggs

    find a patch of eggs look at it very close to see if she missed laying any cells go back in 2-3 days to the same spot and check on egg hatch. cut you a hole in a piece of card board about 10 cells by 10 to get 100 count and count the cells wit no larva and get your % not counting any miss laid cells from first check 10 cell with no larva will give you 90% viable hatch.

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