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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    792

    Default One of my packages is goofed up

    I just did a quick check on my 3 hives. Two are doing great with lots of capped brood. The other, a 3# package, hived on 4/15 is a laying worker hive. The only capped brood in the hive was drone cells. When I first checked the hive a few days after installing it, I found multiple eggs in most cells. I attributed this to an overly eager new queen. I laid eyes on the queen during the first or second check of this hive. Today there were 1 1/2 frames of very, very spotty brood and all of it looked to be drone cells. Deep cells and rounded caps. So, what do I do now?

    I've done some reading in the archives and saw where it was suggested to add one frame of open brood to the hive each week for 3 weeks, but I don't think I need to rob frames of brood from my other 2 new hives to add to this one. With the screwy weather we've had the other 2 hives only had 2 1/2 to 3 frames of capped brood.

    Any suggestions?

    EDIT: Will laying worker eggs hatch into drone larvae?
    Last edited by Brad Bee; 05-07-2013 at 05:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,639

    Default Re: One of my packages is goofed up

    check to see if you can find the queen. if she is still in there you have a poorly mated queen, and the package supplier should give you another one. leave her in there until you get the new one.

    if the queen is gone and you find fresh eggs, you most likely have laying workers.

    then it's a tough call given your situation. i would probably share some brood from the others. maybe one frame from one, then one from the other a week later.

    or, if the queen is still in there you could pinch her and combine those bees with your other hives.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: One of my packages is goofed up

    Thanks for the advice. I will look again tomorrow for her. I may take another hive tomorrow and move one frame at a time until I can positively find or not find her.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,639

    Default Re: One of my packages is goofed up

    good plan, good luck!
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: One of my packages is goofed up

    The planning isn't a problem for me, the putting it into practice is where the problems occur. LOL

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: One of my packages is goofed up

    I'd start with your supplier. My first package came with a non-laying queen. Rossmans shipped a replacement without question. I then nearly lost them to our summer dearth. I think the bee gods took pity on me and helped them through the winter. Since then through first swarms then splits that colony and descendants gave birth to no less than a dozen colonies.

    Then I'd try adding a frame with fresh eggs. Using Michael Bush's bee math check for queen cells later. If workers are laying or her highness has issues, they may raise a new queen on their own. If in the process you find a queen, I suggest sequestering her in a nuc or similar and patiently watch the situation. This may resolve your difficulty with little effort and no cost beyond a slow start and unlikely first year harvest.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: One of my packages is goofed up

    Thanks for the reply. I'm really not worried about making any honey this year, I just want strong hives going into the winter.

    More questions. If I can rule out having a queen, would doing a newspaper combine stop the workers from laying.

    If I can get a frame or two of capped or open brood from a friend, how do I transport them to my hives without them getting too cool and dying?

    Which would be better to add tomorrow in order to suppress the LW pheremones, open brood or sealed brood? If I added a couple frames of sealed brood from another beek tomorrow and it suppressed the LW's then I could add an frame of my open brood in a few days so they could make a queen.

    Also, if I add frames of brood, would adding the nurse bees on those frames be good or bad? Not sure if the original hive would try to kill them or not.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,639

    Default Re: One of my packages is goofed up

    i'm no expert brad, but i'll try.


    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I'm really not worried about making any honey this year, I just want strong hives going into the winter.

    More questions. If I can rule out having a queen, would doing a newspaper combine stop the workers from laying.

    i've never tried it, but i think most would say no.

    If I can get a frame or two of capped or open brood from a friend, how do I transport them to my hives without them getting too cool and dying?

    you would want to have some nurse bees on those frames, it will be warm enough tomorrow and wednesday so that the temp should not be a problem.

    Which would be better to add tomorrow in order to suppress the LW pheremones, open brood or sealed brood? If I added a couple frames of sealed brood from another beek tomorrow and it suppressed the LW's then I could add an frame of my open brood in a few days so they could make a queen.

    you don't really need sealed brood. you need open brood with eggs and young larvae so that you can check for queen cells 4-5 days later.

    Also, if I add frames of brood, would adding the nurse bees on those frames be good or bad? Not sure if the original hive would try to kill them or not.

    good, they won't kill them.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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