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  1. #1
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    Default Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    I just added my hive top feeder, this would be in addition to the Bordman feeder on the front of the hive, which despite a large number of bees circling and perching on the outer part this morning isn't going down fast.

    I checked my mite board for the first time since last Tuesday or Wednesday (I powdered the bees with powdered sugar last Monday I think) and there were quite a lot of mites in the center of the board, near the only frames with wax comb in the deep. a little black moth larva poop to one side, so I removed the super and checked the frames on that side specifically. Saw a chunk of old wax comb laying on the sbb, no larva, one moth flew out.

    Dead moth in my screened ventilation topper, got in and couldn't find her way out, or hatched up there. a little webbing under the telescoping lid, so possible she hatched there. I was gone to work most of last week and all weekend.

    Some bees in the super, there is some comb up there, appears to be empty. No honey, no brood. (removed the queen excluder the last time I messed with the hive.)

    Did not disturb the 3 or 4 frames that are covered with wax comb, that I had to separate when I moved the hive to the new deep. There were plenty of bees on them. I will have to lift those and look when I do powdered sugar again, tomorrow or Wednesday, but today, I just want the bees to find the new feeder.

    And I added the hive top feeder built with the home depot 2 liter bucket and tight lid, punched holes with a thumbtack, used HBH in the 1:1 syrup. Set the bucket on the queen excluder, on top of the super, and inside the old deep that I patched the holes in. Then put my screened ventilation section on, and the telescoping lid.

    Since I have to open this hive in a day or 2 for powdered sugar, besides an actual queen, how will I know if I still have a queen?

    Gypsi
    (a link to pics of open brood and closed brood would probably really help.)

    Also, is it a bad thing to tear apart the wax that connects frames in the interest of dusting with powdered sugar?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    Look for eggs.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    Is there a pic section on this site. I know what a chicken egg looks like....

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    Just imagine a grain of rice but much, much smaller. It will be in the bottom center of the cell. You may need a flashlight or use the sun to shine into the cell to see them.

    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/wp-cont...berg-photo.jpg
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 08-23-2011 at 03:58 AM. Reason: nice pic but larger than rules allow please read posting rules

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    Thank you Tattooed Beek. Now I know what open brood looks like. Bad news, I've never seen any in my hive. The bees keep the existing comb pretty well covered with their bodies, and the cells that broke open just had honey in them. Will re-check when I open the hive in the morning. Thank you Thank you, Thank you.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    Gypsi,
    You will either need to learn to look past the workers covering the comb surface (not always easy to do). Or learn how to gently move them aside so you can get a better view of the cells contents (there are many ways to accomplish this - a poke of the finger, a gentle puff of breath, puff of smoke, swish of ostrich feather, bee brush, etc.).
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #7
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    Tulsa OK. USA
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    Gypsi, Just a word. The cells are not straight out on the frames, they are built at about a 15 deg. angle so don't look straight at the side of the frame/comb but at a downward angle. Jim
    Stop and smell the flowers, 50,000 ladies can't be wrong
    Bsweetapiary@aol.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    Great pic! Thanks!
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 08-23-2011 at 03:56 AM. Reason: read quoting rules

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    No problem...I found it on the net...just wanted to say so no one thinks its mine...don't want to take credit for someone elses stuff...lol

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    Thank you. Tomorrow morning! I don't have to leave for work until noon.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    2 eggs, some flat capped brood. I did some damage. They had 4 frames all attached together at the center, as they had before I moved them to the deep. I never saw the queen, or any drones, just a lot of bees. No domed drone comb though, and it was a bit overwhelming. One day I'll learn to spot her. I inspected, then used a food paintbrush to dust powdered sugar on the sides of the frames. Decided to fix the center traffic jam a little, I interspersed edge frames with no comb in between those with comb. The big piece of honey comb (more likely sugar water comb) I knocked down, I set aside and moved up into the empty super when I was all done. And I did some fishing on the bottom board to pull out the little hunk of wax damaged comb, got it to the front. When I got the hive all closed up, and was walking away, I remembered it and went back. And on the landing board there was a bee larva, must have come out of some of the comb I damaged. I don't think that one will make it, but I am glad I saw it. If I have uncapped larva, oh, about the size of the larger larva in the pic, then I have a queen? Retrieved the damaged comb and abandoned the area. There's a lot of ticked off bees out there trying to put their house back in order. The new hive top feeder is feeding, and is not leaking (yay).

    I dusted bees on the outside of the hive with powdered sugar too, give them something to think about besides trying to get me. I did use a smoker this morning, thought the front bordman feeder might be covered with robber bees, so I smoked them. Didn't see any leave the area.

    Adventures in beekeeping....

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    Not only do you have a queen, she is laying and working well. If you didn't, you would no longer have any bees!

    Capped brood means she was laying 10 days ago, give or take a day. The amount of capped brood that appears from day to day is a clue as to how many eggs she is laying.

    I have a terrible time seeing eggs, so just look for "shiny" cells that have royal jelly in them. The bees start feeding the larva as soon as the eggs hatch, and the royal jelly is easier for me to see than eggs.

    Peter

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    If royal jelly looks like honey in open cells, I have one heck of a lot of larva! Woohoo!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    Royal jelly is whitish in color. And generally in the center of the cell, after the egg has hatched, you can see a tiny worm-like larvae. Sometimes when you can't see the eggs, because of light, age of your eyes, or whatever, you can see larvae that is several days old. That also tells you that you have a laying queen.

    Also, honey cells will be around the outside of the frame, brood generally in the center and toward the bottom. Imagine if you will a huge D laying on it's straight edge, in a frame. The arc of the D is pointed to the top of the frame, and the D is your brood nest. Outside the D to the edges of the frame is where honey and pollen is stored. The brood is kept in the middle, and toward the bottom of the frame generally speaking.

    When a queen really gets going and the colony is going gang-busters, in the center frames of a colony the brood will be side to side and top to bottom in the frame, and honey will be stored in other frames.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    The 2 eggs I saw were the bottom right 2 cells of the frame I was looking at. Above and to the left of them no larva were visible but the cells were open and had glisteny gel in them. I figured stored sugar water. Who knows, but those 2 eggs were each 1 per cell. And I saw a genuine bee larvae that had fallen during my separating of the frames to look. So I have SOME eggs, and some larva

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    If you saw eggs your good...that means the queen was there within a few days. I just marked mine today...I can usually find her if I really look but it takes a lot longer than I like to have the frame out of the hive exposed to whatever. Marking her makes it much easier to located. However, finding eggs and young larva is easy so I usually just go by that. I just like to she her Majesty now and then just to make sure.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    What about my damaging the brood chamber pulling frames out, and mixing empty frames in? Will the bees find the larva and eggs? (maybe a dumb question) They had 4 frames all tied together at the center, when I moved them from the drafty deep to the new one, I caused some honey leakage, but they reattached them all back together solid. The rest of the frames in the deep were pretty much empty. So I left an empty at each outside edge, but mixed a couple of empties in between, to get them to build to them. Was that a good thing or a bad thing to do?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    The best thing to do when wanting to encourage comb building, is to put an empty frame next to the brood frames. Not between brood frames.
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Finding brood? or other queen check methods (long)

    well, now I know. Hopefully they will manage to get their nursery back in order, but I couldn't see much with them all glued together. and I won't do that again. There were only 4 frames in the whole deep with anything on them and they were all stuck together with comb.

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