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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Warren, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default No brood in hive

    This hive consists of a single deep with 3 shallow supers. I went through most of it today and found zero brood except for a few capped drone cells. The drone cells are in a good pattern and are full sized cells, not the worker sized drone cells that laying workers lay. Also, the bees are tearing down the drone cells and dragging the pupa outside the hive. There are also dead drones laying about outside the hive. There is plenty of honey and pollen in the three shallows and the deep is mostly empty except for nectar being back-filled in some frames. The bees are quiet and non-aggressive. There are lots of bees in the hive. I looked for the queen but didn't see her but that really isn't unusual for me. I know that there is a slow down on laying this time of year but I was surprised to find no brood at all. Do you think I am queenless?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Forsyth county, GA
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: No brood in hive

    Probably not I'm in north GA, they have shutdown pretty hard....are your supers filled? are you any good a seeing the queen if she's not marked dig in see if you can find her.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Warren, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: No brood in hive

    One super filled and the other two partially filled but little in those two is capped. The drone brood is scattered throughout these three supers. Suppose you are right--I will just have to look harder. I am always afraid of accidentally mashing her this late in the year. I may just wait a week and see if there are eggs. Thanks,
    Joe

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    788

    Default Re: No brood in hive

    Like Luke mentioned, our bees typically slow down brood production around this time of year. This year has been an exception. If they are quiet and calm, then the queen is probably in the hive.

    Shane

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    910

    Default Re: No brood in hive

    I would watch this hive, If the queen has simply taken a break in laying. and the workers are removing drone brood. think of the implications! We all know the hive severely reduces drone for wintering. But doing so with such fervor while the queen takes a break. could be one of the best hygienic mite control behaviors going. If a strain can be developed that annually dose so It would be huge

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: No brood in hive

    I think your approach was better than most of your advice. If they opted to supersede and the residual drone brood is all the brood that is left, they could be three weeks into the supersedure process. That means you should see eggs in a week or two.

    At this time in TN, colonies are normally into the fall buildup, but early in the game. So, it's not likely that its a case of queen shut-down. If superseding, they have plenty of time to get it done.

    Walt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,232

    Default Re: No brood in hive

    Sounds like what my hives looked like this summer when both superceded at the same time. Suddenly next to no brood, quiet, no queen to be found.

    A few weeks later I saw dozens of drones on the ground in front of the hives (separate times) with some obviously having mated, so I assumed my queens made it back home and the drones followed. Most of them died out in front of the hives.

    Not long after I had plenty of brood.

    Goldenrod is just coming into major bloom here, saw some bright orange/yellow pollen going in today, and the hive is gaining weight, so there is hope for some fall honey and I won't have to feed.

    Keep an eye on that hive and make sure you have a laying queen soon -- always possible someone will use your nice new virgin queen for lunch on a mating flight, leaving you queenless.

    Peter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    910

    Default Re: No brood in hive

    Quote Originally Posted by wcubed View Post
    I think your approach was better than most of your advice. If they opted to supersede and the residual drone brood is all the brood that is left, they could be three weeks into the supersedure process. That means you should see eggs in a week or two.

    At this time in TN, colonies are normally into the fall buildup, but early in the game. So, it's not likely that its a case of queen shut-down. If superseding, they have plenty of time to get it done.

    Walt
    Please explain how these bees are going to supersede with No brood, The Original poster did not say he found queen cells. In fact he said there was no brood at all except capped drone cells.
    At this point there are only two possible options. Watch the hive and hope there is a queen that will again begin laying. or re-queen. either by adding a bred queen or giving them a frame of brood with eggs on it and allow them to requeen themselves.
    And just what was his approach? to ask if others thought he was queenless.

    If this were my hive I would either Go through the hive frame by frame, back and forth id need be and verify there is or is not a queen, or wait a few days and watch to see if a queen begins laying. if this is a queen break with hygienic behavior it is something that I personally would want to document. I most certainly would want to use this queen as a foundation for stock to research if this is a genetic behavior that can be bred into future generations. Often major developments in any area come from accidental discovery moreover intentional planning. To not look for possibilities that may aid beekeeping as a whole would be a mistake. To take lightly one that may be staring you in the face would be sad.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,232

    Default Re: No brood in hive

    The point is that they probably already DID supercede, just no visible brood yet. Queen cells long gone since it only takes 2 weeks for them to make a queen. Besides, supercedure cells are often quite small, and emergency cells up near the top bar are almost invisible, I got into trouble trying to re-queen a hive, only later found that nice, fat queen cell nearly horizontal up by the top bar, wide open.

    If there is still drone brood, the queen quit laying less than three weeks ago, so if they did supercede, she's a vrigin or very newly mated and there will be no brood for another week or so, maybe two.

    Peter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: No brood in hive

    Tenbears,
    It's interesting to me that you get upset with me for my post. You are one of the few I consider a good source in most cases. Had made a note to tell you so via PM. I'm sure you don't care what I think, but had done that for another responder just a couple of days ago.

    In the OP's second post (less than an hour after the first) said he "might wait a week...Eggs". I thought that a wise choice and encouraged him to maybe add a week. psfred described the rationale.

    In spite of being a fan of yours, I still don't agree with your "only two possible options." Beekeeping is a collection of opinions. It's OK if they diverge.

    Walt

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Warren, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: No brood in hive

    Thanks to all of you who have responded. You are among those whose comments have taught me a lot during the last three summers. I also appreciate the healthy test of opinions that it has raised. I resisted the urge to "add a frame of eggs" because I thought this was an excellent opportunity to allow a mite drop during the broodless period--if I did still have a queen. All of you have given me information that will help me with a more thorough analysis. I will wait a couple of weeks and see what I have. If nothing, will add some eggs and hope I am not to late to get a mated queen.
    Joe

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