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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Darrington, WA, USA
    Posts
    544

    Default Adult population is low...and Very small bees

    Any idea what might be going on? I dont see signs of any disease really except that the adult population is low compared to the rest of my hives and a lot of the hatching bees are small. Some are half the size of normal.

    There is quite a bit of brood in all stages though.

    This is the only hive with the issue.

    Joe
    "Slow Down and Taste the Vanilla" - My Grandma

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default

    my guess would be they have a new (supersedure) queen. if the pattern is good and the stores are ok- not to worry. the small size is something i get from feral drone sperm. it may go away as the queen will mate with several drones. good luck,mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,282

    Default

    What kind of foundation if any and comb are you using? Natural foundationless comb tends to have smaller cells causing smaller bees, which have faster metabolism and shorter brood cycle time thereby being a natural deterent to varroa mite infestion. This might be a good thing.

    Also, what genetic breed or strain of bees are they? some are smaller than others. I have 8 hives here and some hives have noticably smaller beesize than others, even on plastic foundation of the larger cell size.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMcc View Post
    the adult population is low compared to the rest of my hives and a lot of the hatching bees are small. Some are half the size of normal.
    There is quite a bit of brood in all stages though.
    Varroa mite problems? I often see bees hatching with small abdomens when there is a varroa/virus problem.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Darrington, WA, USA
    Posts
    544

    Default

    Im not sure what is really going on. The queen is from a swarm that was placed on new plastic foundation in early Summer. She is marked and the original queen. The brood pattern doesnt look all that well but it's as if something interupted her laying and is back at it full force. In other words there is a lot of young nurse bees and brood cells full of eggs and young larvae. The brood nest looks spotty ( as far as capped brood) but all the cells have something in them.

    I'm not sure they will make it through winter and I am a bit afraid to combine them with another hive though in fear that they may spread a "virus". I will keep an eye on them and watch the developing larvae. If it makes a comeback and still a little weak I will combine in the fall.

    JoeMcc
    "Slow Down and Taste the Vanilla" - My Grandma

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,671

    Default

    I tend to judge a brood nest based on everything from eggs to emerging bees. Queens don't have to lay perfect patterns to be prodigious layers, although it does make things easier to assess. Check for obvious mite related problems (drop counts, K-wings, deformed wings, "funny" acting bees, etc.), feed them to stimulate production and keep your eyes on them. Last winter, I lost my "hardiest" hive and one of my weakest pulled through without a problem. Shows you that you're not always right when you're judging health and strength.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

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