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Thread: Brood Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Radford,Va
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    Default Brood Questions

    First of all I am a fairly new beekeeper. A few days ago I did my first spring inspection. Here's what I found. My two boxes were packed with bees, they had plenty of honey stores, they brought and were bringing in lots of pollen. They were fairly callm. What worries me is that I could only see capped drone cells. I did see larva but they were around the drone cells so I couldnt tell if they were workers. I also found several swarm cells in the upper box. I could smell a fairly strong lemon scent. I cant say I've noticed that before. I looked for the queen but did not find her. Before I finished I added a super and removed the entrance reducer to give more room. Any idea whats going on with the brood.

    Marshall

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: Brood Questions

    Not sure about the lemon scent. The queen could have reduced or stopped egg laying to trim down for the upcoming swarm. You can try full out swarm prevention at this point and see if you can keep them from swarming.

    Are you sure they are swarm cells and not supercedure cells?
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Radford,Va
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    Default Re: Brood Questions

    I assumed they were swarm cells because they were the bottom of the frame. Probably the last couple inches of the frame but not hanging of the very bottom. I held off removing them because I wasn't 100% sure which it was.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2005
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    Fort Wayne, IN
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    Default Re: Brood Questions

    If it were me I would do a split ASAP before half of them hit the trees.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Brood Questions

    I suspect a better move would have been to do a split, taking your queen and some brood to a new hive and leaving the swarm cells in place to re-queen the old hive. Better than having your queen and bees leave anyway without queen cells in the old hive!

    Peter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Palm Bay, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Brood Questions

    Never remove swarm cells! If you do and the bees swarm you are left with a hive with no eggs and young larva to start new queen cells. The queen stops laying several days before a swarm.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Brood Questions

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfallacies.htm#queencells

    I hardly ever destroy queen cells... I would say never, but if they have genetics I really don't want I might. Otherwise I'd do splits and take advantage of them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Weatherford,Texas,USA
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    456

    Default Re: Brood Questions

    I found several cells a few days ago in my strongest hive. The weather changed on us and I was not able to move the queen for another day. Today I went out and found the queen, I moved her and 4 frames of bees / brood to a new box and I'm hopeful I do not lose em all. This hive is my best chance at getting a good local honey crop.
    This is what I left in the orginial hive
    http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u...s/IMG_0129.jpg
    "It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!" Zapata

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Radford,Va
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    Default Re: Brood Questions

    brood 2.jpgI checked the hive today. Still doesnt look right. Looks like mostly if not all Drone cells. The swarm cells were gone. Not sure if a new queen hatched or not but there are still a box full of bees. Bees were up in the super I added but have not begun to build comb there. I don't know if I should order a new queen or wait another couple weeks to see if a new one has hatched. Kinda lost on what to do.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Brood Questions

    Here is the panacea for all queen problems:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beespanacea.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Radford,Va
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    Default Re: Brood Questions

    Thank you Michael. What did the picture look like to you. I am very inexperienced but it looked like a little worker brood mixed in but I could be wrong.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Creek County, OK
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    Default Re: Brood Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by psfred View Post
    I suspect a better move would have been to do a split, taking your queen and some brood to a new hive and leaving the swarm cells in place to re-queen the old hive. Better than having your queen and bees leave anyway without queen cells in the old hive!

    Peter
    Just so I understand, bees planning on swarming won't leave the original hive if you remove some of the bees and the old queen?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Montgomery County, NY
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    Default Re: Brood Questions

    That picture to me looks like a queen that ran out of sperm. In other words she looks like a dink. Its spotty and drones mixed inthe middle of workers and worker cells. If you dont have wall to wall brood and eggs through out your colony you have a dink queen. Find her kill her and put a new one in its place.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Evansville, IN
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    Default Re: Brood Questions

    Actually, what you are doing is making the swarm happen under controlled conditions so you get to keep the bees. May not prevent afterswarms, but by taking the queen and some bees you simulate a real swarm.

    If you cannot head them off in the first place, it's better to get two hives full of bees than half a hive and half your bees off into the wilderness somewhere.

    Peter

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Brood Questions

    I have very slow internet and often don't take the time to do the pictures... But looking at it, it is a mixture of drone and worker, and that is usually the sign of a failing queen.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
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    660

    Default Re: Brood Questions

    Definitely a mixture of worker and drone brood.

    They may have already replaced the queen and the new 'virgin' hasn't started laying yet. It looks like they are backfilling the brood nest with nectar as well so they could still swarm. We recently had a hive swarm after it superceded the queen, then a week or so after she started laying they made more queen cells and swarmed. The brood nest was totally backfilled with nectar.

    So I would just open the brood nest to make sure they is enough room, either by putting in a few frames of drawn empty comb or foundationless frames. Alternate an empty frame with a couple of brood frames. For example:
    HBBEBBEBBH

    Matthew Davey

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