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Thread: Missing eggs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dumaguete, Philippines
    Posts
    15

    Default Missing eggs

    I read Jay Smith's "Better Queens" (thanks Michael) and got a sheet of foundation built out (btw the 2 times I've done it mine seemed to stretch with the weight of the bees on it) put in with the queen and two full frames and she duly laid enough eggs in it. I then put her hive back together and put the frame with eggs in the top box above an excluder. When I came back days later, all ready to cut the cell strips but all the cells that had eggs in them before were empty! What went wrong? I'm not sure if there was open brood beside them when I stored them above the excluder I will ensure that happens next time, but is there something else I'm missing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pierce/Thurson County, Wa
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Missing eggs

    There are a few things. They may have gotten too cold, died, and got cleaned out. If there were just eggs and no hatched brood, since it was away from the brood nest, they may have thought that they were eggs from some other type of insect, and cleaned them out. Next time, make sure there is some hatched brood before moving them up. I had to learn this the hard way too.
    If you think anything organic is good for you, go drink some organic solvents.
    geek, learning how to be a beek

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,424

    Default Re: Missing eggs

    Hi Roger, if you put the comb where the bees do not think they want brood at this time, and it's just day old eggs, they may very well pull the eggs. If you store the comb among other brood it will be fine.
    BTW this is the method I use also, I do a cell cut every week.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dumaguete, Philippines
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Missing eggs

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    If you store the comb among other brood it will be fine.
    Thanks Seyc and Oldtimer. I'll be careful to make sure the frames have open brood beside them from now on. I put it on top of the excluder so I didn't have eggs of all different ages if the the bees kept drawing comb with the queen coming close behind While I waited for them to hatch.

    I'll also experiment with just putting a narrow strip of foundation under the bar for them to start on as when I used foundation sheets of the size in the photos I've seen they stretched fairly badly and the queen seems to prefer to lay in the cells that the bees make apart from the foundation. I noticed their natural cells are noticeably smaller then the foundation I'm using - no, it's not drone foundation - it's about 5.3mm - 5.4mm from memory.

    I'm only doing the odd batch ATM so hadn't wanted to go to the trouble of making a special breeding hive with the 3 frame division for the breeding queen as Jay Smith did but my plan is to eventually expand enough to need a proper breeding queen hive at some point down the track, so maybe I'll do it sooner than later.

    Oldtimer, how do you go about getting the bees to fully draw out the comb before putting it in with the queen without them also filling parts of it with honey or pollen?

    Roger

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,424

    Default Re: Missing eggs

    When things are up and running properly I put the foundation straight in with the queen, by next day it's drawn & has eggs in it. But during times when they are slower I'll get the foundation pre drawn, if there's honey in it I wash it out with the sprinkler fitting on the garden hose then shake the water out of the cells immediately before putting in with the queen. The bees immediately clean up any water that's left and it seems to stimulate things and the queen normally lays in them quite well.

    With the stretching foundation, use a heavier grade it won't stretch as much.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dumaguete, Philippines
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Missing eggs

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    if there's honey in it I wash it out with the sprinkler fitting on the garden hose
    You're not just good looking! So simple. Thanks.

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