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Thread: brood in super

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Dickson, TN, USA
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    9

    Default brood in super

    I have a question for the brain trust. I left a super on over the winter to give the colony some extra honey. I was a couple of weeks late opening the hive after winter due to cold wx and snow. When I opened the hive Friday, I had brood, primarily drone, in the center three frames of the super. I removed the empty frames but left the three with brood there. I want to remove the super and flop my deeps, but am hesitant to do so because of the brood. Should I wait until the brood hatches, or go ahead and flop. I went to give them a second round of terramycin today, and they had started comb from the inner cover where the empty frames had been. No brood in the comb yet, so I removed it. What should I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
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    677

    Default Re: brood in super

    I'd place a queen excluder on to keep the queen from coming back up. Once brood has hatched, you can do as you wish. I do it every spring. Just have to make sure the queen is down in bottoms.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Dickson, TN, USA
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    9

    Default Re: brood in super

    Thanks, I'll give that a try.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Dickson, TN, USA
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    Default Re: brood in super

    Well, I placed the excluders on the hives, and in two of them evidently managed to keep the queen in the deeps, and I managed to switch them all-the deeps I mean. In the third, one of two things happened, either I missed the queen being in the super after I placed the excluder in place, or I missed a queen cell and it hatched, because I found a queen running round in the super with a bunch of capped worker brood on the frames. In my panic I caught the queen and released her into the main hive through the main entrance. She scurried in without a fight from the guards at the entrance, so maybe she WAS the original queen. At any rate I made a decision to start a split using the workers and brood from the super. I got a deep and screened base from my shop and placed the four frames in it, along with five other frames of drawn comb and capped honey left from this past season. Then I placed a reducer on the entrance with the smallest opening exposed. the questions that I have are as follows:

    1. If I placed a new queen in the hive with the original queen, will they duke it out and winner take all, will the workers eliminate the competition, or will they swarm?

    2. Will the split abscond back to the original hive, or will they stay with the brood in the new hive? They're only separated by four feet. Should I block the entrance totally for a few days? The hive has a screened bottom board and it's expected that the temps will be between the 40's and 60's over the next few days.

    3. In the two supers that I successfully (I hope) excluded the queen, how long until the drone/worker cells hatch? They're capped and have been for a few days.

    Thanks for any help. Been doing this for five years now, but the questions and surprises never end.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,034

    Default Re: brood in super

    1. If I placed a new queen in the hive with the original queen, will they duke it out and winner take all, will the workers eliminate the competition, or will they swarm?
    Workers will eliminate the new queen.

    2. Will the split abscond back to the original hive, or will they stay with the brood in the new hive? They're only separated by four feet. Should I block the entrance totally for a few days?
    If the split is mostly nurse bees, they will stay with the brood. No need to block the entrance. I was unclear reading your description of the split -are you letting them raise their own queen? Did the brood you used to make the split include eggs?

    3. In the two supers that I successfully (I hope) excluded the queen, how long until the drone/worker cells hatch?
    My question for you is: do you have an upper entrance? You said most of the brood in the super was drone brood - they won't be able to get through your excluder. As for how long, drone brood is capped around the 10th day, emerges around Day 24 (bookmark this: http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,114

    Default Re: brood in super

    "drone brood - they won't be able to get through your excluder." That is probably one reason why the traditional inner/outer cover setup has a little escape hatch.

    You know you can always leave the excluder out until a few weeks before you harvest honey, and then let the brood above it emerge, and be backfilled. What you can NOT do is take any chance that there will be medication or feed in the honey supers that you extract.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Dickson, TN, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: brood in super

    Thanks. Yes the split seemed to be mostly nurse bees with some drones hanging about. There were eggs and capped worker cells in the one in which I discovered the queen. I removed her and relocated her to the main hive entrance just in case she was the original queen that I had missed earlier. I guess that will solve itself. I do plan on letting them raise their own queen, as that has been successful for me in the past when performing a split.

    In the other supers, there were only drone cells remaining. I'm waiting for them to hatch so that I may remove the super and feed some 1:1 sugar water with Fumigilin. Thanks for the link on "how long it takes" to hatch.

    I suppose that I could just destroy the drone cells and remove the frames and supers, as the drones probably won't be needed in the two remaining hives. They both seem to have strong producing queens judging by the amount of capped brood I observed in the deeps when I swapped them. Because of that I don't see supercession being a player, so other than swarming there really is no need for the drones, but one can never tell.
    Last edited by mike762; 04-12-2013 at 09:38 AM. Reason: clarity

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