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  1. #1
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    Default Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    .

    I did a cut-out on April 30th. Today is June 12, so that's coming-up on a month-and-a-half ago.

    It was a small batch to begin with. I had to throw-out their original comb because it was infested with wax moth larvae.

    I have pretty-much been staying out of their way except for the occasional look through the viewing window in my top bar hive. Today I lost patience and had to know if they even have a queen or if this is just some dumb laying worker (Gawwwwwd I hate it when workers become layers......geeeeez.....don't you all hate that?)

    So anyhow, this is my first attempt at a hive, so I'm not fully hip to ALL the signs to look for.

    I couldn't spot a queen.

    The following two combs are all there are.

    I couldn't see the eggs good enough to to tell if they are single eggs or the shotgun laying-worker eggs.

    Some of these capped brood sure look like worker brood, but I could be wrong.

    There's also some black larvae in some of those cells. What does that mean besides they are just flat-out dead? Any particular reason?

    Notice the hatching (worker/drone?) in the photo just below. It's circled in red.











    I know you couldn't tell from the above photos, but I also made some tinfoil hats for my bees.

    Will that impede their development?



  2. #2

    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    The second picture has what looks like capped worker brood, but it's hard to tell from a front on photo. The drone brood is very distinctive in that it has a higher dome on it than the worker brood. If all you have is drone brood you wouldn't know any difference, but if you see the two beside each other, the drone brood sticks out like a sore thumb. On the third picture, the two capped cells, half way down and all the way on the left of the comb appear to be drone cells, but again, it's hard to tell from this perspective. But maybe it will help you tell the difference. Some cells appear flatter like worker brood, but sadly if you are having issues with brood dying in the cells, drone brood could collapse and look like worker brood until the bees uncap it and clean it out.

    I don't know what's going on with the black (dead) brood. But I see you pointed out a hatching bee. That is a positive sign, but if it's a drone it could be a bad sign. Recall, laying workers can only create drones. But after a month and a half, you should by now see an issue where you have too many drones. The comb has that yellowed color indicating to me that it has already hatched at least one round of brood.

    You really need to look for a queen. She may be hard to spot, but it doesn't look like you have a whole lot of bees to go through... (too early?)

    Considering you have so few bees, don't be too let down that it is taking a while to build up a nest. Can you find anyone that can give you some empty donor comb? The slow buildup is due to the queen not having enough space to lay. Extra comb could really make a big difference, if in fact you do have a laying queen.

    Look hard for that queen, and see if you can get us some good pictures at more of an angled view. Perhaps hold the bar straight out from your face and then turn your wrist so the far end swing over about 30 degrees to get us a good angle to see what the capped brood looks like. I'd really like to know what you find. If you do make it a success, it would certainly be one for the record books!
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  3. #3

    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    Oh yeah, the tinfoil hats will not hurt development. As a matter of fact it will encourage your bees to fly in inclement weather
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    .

    As a matter of fact, I DO have some old comb from a different cut-out I helped someone do before this last one.

    I'll go ahead and strap it on a bar, but do I need to worry about it having any sort of contamination?

    I guess at this point they need all the help they can get, so it's probably worth the gamble if there even IS a risk.

    Tom, thanks for all the comments/help. I'll try to get more photos soon.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    To prevent contamination, freeze the combs for 24 hours first. That should kill any parasites/eggs that may be in the comb. Just make sure you don't handle it until properly thawed at normal conditions. I learned today that frozen brand new comb is extremely brittle, it nearly powdered when I pressed on it!

    I don't know of freezing will do anything for diseases, viruses, or fungi. I'm not any more familiar with those than what I have read (note signature). But I wouldn't worry about those as much as parasites.

    Indeed, give them lots of space. I'd start with one or two bars for now, and check back in a few days to see if it had been laid in. If it fills up quick then you possibly have a strong queen that has just been stifled by too few workers.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    Do they have something to eat? They need food to make bees and comb out of and my guess is that it should be close by so that they don't have to use a lot of energy to go fetch it.
    Bill

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    That's a drone hatching, see a lot of drone comb in pic 3, pic 2 is hard to tell, maybe brood, but can't believe you can't find a queen in there.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brueggen View Post
    You really need to look for a queen. She may be hard to spot, but it doesn't look like you have a whole lot of bees to go through
    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    but can't believe you can't find a queen in there.
    Most probably he can't find the queen because she doesn't exist. He can't create her by looking more.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    I may be wrong as I am a new beek, but I think you have a laying worker. I noticed in the first pic, right below and to the right of the hatching bee that is circled, that there are two eggs in the cell. I believe you are queenless, with a laying worker.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    Quote Originally Posted by marenostrum View Post
    Most probably he can't find the queen because she doesn't exist. He can't create her by looking more.
    I don't know how hard he's been looking? But I would agree with you that most likely there is no queen based on the photos.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    Am I the only person who sees the perforated cappings? Along with that dead black brood I would suspect something a bit more serious like EFB. You may feel differently but if that were my hive I would think it was very sick.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    That looks like a very small amount of comb (and bees). So the queen would not be able to lay in a good pattern because of lack of available space.

    I would say the cavity they are in is way too big, so temperature control would be an issue. Also the cappings may have been damaged by wax moth larvae.

    Definitely doesn't look healthy, could have a disease as well.

    Might not be worth the effort in trying to save it.

    Matthew Davey

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    .

    I agree with everyone.

    They're done.

    It's just a matter of time now.

    I really appreciate everyone's input on this matter.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    .I know you couldn't tell from the above photos, but I also made some tinfoil hats for my bees.

    Will that impede their development?


    You know the funniest part of this, you used the pic that's in my hand salve logo for that one...so I think I'm gonna have to call your bluff

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    Well, I may be a couple hours late to the party, but that's a CLASSIC LW brood pattern (notice there are no 4 capped cells touching each other ANYWHERE). I had a cut-out go LW on me earlier this year, the combs looked almost identical to that (minus the dead, black brood...these bees were super-hygienic, so no dead brood stayed in the comb long enough for me to see it. The damaged cappings, could be from pests, or from "new beek syndrome" (I caused a few of those myself lol), and the "yellow" color I'm seeing in the wax there looks like it's from propolis, not chrysalis...those appear tan to med brown after 1 batch of brood, and increasingly darker shades of brown/black from every batch after that...I don't see many cells at all in that hive which I'd say have had brood emerge from them.
    As far as giving them new comb(s), assuming for the moment, that they DID have a queen...I'd recommend against that, unless it was already full of emerging brood, as 6 weeks later, the bees will have already built all the comb they can successfully defend (and likely more, as bees are dying off w/o being replaced every day)...too few bees w/too much comb is the #1 reason I ended up having problems with my first SEVERAL cut-outs. Now, I collect as many bees as I can, splice 2, to MAYBE 3 combs of brood, then trash the rest of the combs...and I haven't had any problems with WM, or SHB in my new hives (from cut-outs, at least) since.
    Pat, depending on how much flow you guys still have left in this season over there, it might be time to start thinking about buying a well-stocked nuc, or potentially waiting until next spring to start keeping bees...unless you have a beekeeper friend nearby who'll be able to help you nurse a package through the winter, or who's wiling to donate a frame or two of bees+brood to get you going. If I were about 1,200mi closer, I'd love to help...but I don't think you really want to drive all the way over here, just to avoid paying $150 on a decent nuc, lol

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    Quote Originally Posted by robherc View Post
    You know the funniest part of this, you used the pic that's in my hand salve logo for that one...so I think I'm gonna have to call your bluff
    You know you stole that photo off the net !!!!!

    But that is funny. Do you have a link to the product?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    Quote Originally Posted by robherc View Post
    If I were about 1,200mi closer, I'd love to help...but I don't think you really want to drive all the way over here, just to avoid paying $150 on a decent nuc, lol
    I may be in Texas next week doing a project. I don't think that would be a practical method of attaining bees, however. I'll just have to look for a local beek who might be able to spare varroa mites and bees - hopefully - along with them.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    You know you stole that photo off the net !!!!!

    But that is funny. Do you have a link to the product?
    Hmmm...looks like I mis-spoke...I think I used another pic off the same site (hehe)...anywise, here's a pic of the salve, packaged up & ready to go:

    BTW, I'll try to post a couple pics from my LW hive in this thread for comparison later...right now my wife's about to drag me out the door by the neck if I don't come willingly lol

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    Thanks for the pics, etc. Can't wait to see the laying-worker pics.

    So what's up with that salve? What are all the properties and what are the benefits?

    By the way, if anyone would like to buy a package of laying workers for $400.00, I have them available. I might take $375.00 - not sure yet.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Close-ups of comb - newly built from recent cut-out (Will they survive?)

    .

    I just don't understand why no one would want to spend top-dollar on a crew with a laying worker and black brood.

    WHATSUP !!?!?!

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