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  1. #1
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    May 2011
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    Default Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    First year, 8 frame mediums, small cell, queen superceded 2 months ago. Started nuc w purchased queen, both hives were doing well. About a week ago I noticed my larger hive wasn't flying much, the nuc was actively flying. Decided to inspect. No queen in either hive, checked every frame, no open or capped brood. Just empty cells and cells that have something in the bottom. Couldn't see any eggs, but these pics seem to show something white in bottom of perimeter cell. Are they eggs? Most look double or triple or maybe it's brood? All frames have some capped honey around edges, a few pollen cells, then about half with something brown and slightly shiney in about the bottom third, the other half empty. Larger hive has low bee count, nuc has average. Most likely should combine hives. Have a source of fresh queens tomorrow, but need to understand what is going on first. No hive beetles or wax moths, no signs of varroa.
    Attachment 566Attachment 567Attachment 568
    Last edited by thenance007; 08-24-2011 at 02:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Nassau County, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    I don't see any eggs or larvae.

  3. #3
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    May 2011
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    Anybody know what the brown stuff is in the cells--about 1/4 to 1/3 full, not wet. Earlier in the season I saw it in maybe 2-3 cells on some frames. Thought maybe it was propalis. Or do they coat the bottoms of cells like this to make them ready to lay eggs in?

  4. #4
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    Mar 2011
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    sacramento california usa
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    the brown stuff looks like bee bread, it's pollen that has been turned into bee bread that is what nurse bee's eat to produce royal jelly

  5. #5
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    May 2011
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    If it is bee bread, why would half my cells have it in them? They don't lay eggs on it do they? Are they maybe storing it because they have no brood to feed? I thought they mixed it as they needed it?

  6. #6
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    Mar 2011
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    sacramento california usa
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    could be because no brood to feed and they are just storing it , i've noticed this in strong nucs but by the time a queen mates they will start to use it up quickly . do you think that they might of swarmed

  7. #7
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    May 2011
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    The nuc seems to have a decent number of adult bees and have been flying normally. The big hive has maybe 25% of it's previous bees. They had plenty of room--I had added a 3rd box between the 2 brood boxes and 2 supers. They barely drew any of it out even though I was feeding. They are on my back deck where I can see them from my kitchen table, so watch them several times a day. But I do work, so if they left on a Friday, I might have been at work. Thought there were usually signs of activity for a day or two before a swarm. If they did swarm, don't they leave a lot of brood and eggs and queen cells? There were no queen cells in either hive, and very few drones. There is plenty of honey in both hives--a full super and partial super in each hive.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2011
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    sacramento california usa
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    no not really becuase they fill the brood nest with nectar and pollen witch does'nt let the queen lay eggs so she is slim enough to fly if she is in full laying she will be swollen and would not be able to fly with the swarm

  9. #9
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    Mar 2011
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    Fort Worth, TX, USA
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    1,778

    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    Good to know. My first hive got quite HOT for the 10 days prior to swarming. In my vast experience of 5 months, that's all I know.

  10. #10
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    May 2011
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    After finding a few pictures of beebread online, I think Heavenly bees is right that they have stored up beebread. Since I'll basically be starting over with no brood, should I reduce the hive back to one brood box? (it now has 2 medium brood boxes and 2 medium supers) There is some honey on the outer and upper edges of each frame, so should I remove the supers so they don't get robbed? And partially block the entrance with screen since they are so weak?

  11. #11
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    Mar 2011
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    sacramento california usa
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    that would be a good idea, also you could take a frame of brood from the nuc you have and add it to the queen less hive

  12. #12
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    Jun 2011
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    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    Are you sure the queen isn't in there? I would do a thorough check. Swarms will leave queen cells. Queens will shut down during this time of year (dearth). They will pick back up when the time is right. There's nothing wrong with adding a frame of eggs if you can't find the queen.

  13. #13
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    Aug 2008
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    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    Putting nectar and pollen in the center of the basic broodnest is an almost certain sign of hopelessly queenless. Get a queen to install.

    The two or three bars you see are areas where the facets of the bottom cell structure come together. Each of the three flat triangle plates (facets) is a part of three different cell bottoms on the other side of the comb.

    Walt

  14. #14
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    May 2011
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    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    Could Nosema C. be a possibility?

  15. #15
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    May 2011
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    Nashville, TN
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    Both the hive and the nuc are queenless with no eggs or brood. All frames show the same mix of empty cells and beebread cells. I'm buying a nuc with laying queen from beekeeping friend and combining the two hives as the main hive is most likely too weak to survive. With 5 new frames of brood, it should hopefully come back in time for the fall nectar flow. I would just like to understand what happened so I can avoid/prevent it in the future. For both hives to be queenless, broodless and partially filled with beebread seems awfully strange. The original hive superceded their queen about 2 months ago, new brood pattern looked great. The nuc had a good new queen and built up nicely--it still had about 10 frames covered with bees and was flying normally bringing in nectar and pollen--but only a few cells filled with pollen so they must have been turning it in to beebread. Probably 50 lbs of honey on the main hive and 20 on the nuc. I took it all off now to prevent robbing, combined, and started feeding syrup.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    I would leave them some honey. They need it to raise the brood. IMO inferior bees are raised with syrup. Why feed syrup if you have honey? Just my opinion.

  17. #17
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    May 2011
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    Nashville, TN
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    I agree, Jadell. I'm freezing a full super to give back to them later. They have at least 4 full frames of honey in the brood boxes. I want to encourage these adult workers who won't be around very long to forage, and it seems that if they think they are short on honey they are more likely to do that. Remember the entire hive is about half full of beebread, so they need to use/consume that in order to make room for brood too. At the moment I'm only giving syrup as it is less likely to incite robbing and to encourage the two colonies to blend into one.

  18. #18
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    Jun 2011
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    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: Both hives no queen, no brood, what is in these cells pics

    Good luck with 'em!

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