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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Worried my brood isn't warm enough......

    Ok, so I have a laying worker hive (again) this time due to Lord only knows what as I was in hospital have an elbow reconstruction over the period when the queen would have to have disappeared. (I know at about the time I went into hospital they were raising a new queen, but.....)

    So yesterday was my first day back into this hive in over a month and I find no queen and only drone brood as you'd expect of a laying worker hive.

    I took a frame of brood (with capped QC x4) from a recent swarm prevention split and donated it to this hive, but I noticed that this morning that region of the hive is only at 86F vs the more normal 93F. So my worry is that the capped brood is too cold to be ok. Am I right?

    This brings up something I've been wondering about, I can buy capped queen cells from a local breeder which are delivered by mail, so how are they kept at 93F? or is it once capped temp is not so critical anymore?

    Thanks for any and all help.

    Thomas.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,819

    Default Re: Worried my brood isn't warm enough......

    Praxis it may be a function of how you placed your temperature probe. I've been experimenting with this also as part of building an incubator and one thing I found was the bees are very precise about what parts of the hive they warm, brood is around 94 but an inch away temp can be 5 lower.
    Which also tells us we have to position queen cells exactly right, ie, if we just put one brood comb into a broodless hive with a queen cell on the bottom bar, it is highly likely the queen cell will not be properly warmed it should be relocated right onto the face of the brood comb.

    The ultimate test will be to see if the cell hatches but in this situation I would have been inclined to give more than one cell, for several reasons.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Worried my brood isn't warm enough......

    That's my worry, the QC are as the donor hive had them, so this might be an issue. The donor hive still has ~7-10 QC so I could move a couple more and this time graft them to the face of a frame, maybe one on each side or something. Anyway time will tell.

    Still leaves me wondering how well does a mail order capped QC work? ;-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,819

    Default Re: Worried my brood isn't warm enough......

    Quote Originally Posted by praxis178 View Post
    The donor hive still has ~7-10 QC so I could move a couple more and this time graft them to the face of a frame, maybe one on each side or something.
    I would, yes. Just, don't try to join them onto capped brood they will come off. Find a patch of a few cells together that are not capped and using a bit of spare wax at the base of the queen cell attach them to that, they can hang over capped brood no worries long as the base is attached to something other than capped brood.

    How well do mail order queen cells work, well some people seem able to do it but I've given up on it. Even when guys pick them up from me personally there is such a high failure rate I don't like doing it unless they are commercial beekeepers, who normally ensure it will work.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Worried my brood isn't warm enough......

    Thank's Oldtimer, answers one question at least lol.

    Ok I added two more qc (grafted in) near the center of the colony, where I found a couple of fake QC ie as this hive hasn't had a queen in about 3 weeks these must be drone filled. Anyway I replaced one with a proper QC and the other I added near by.

    So fingers crossed I've given these girls the best chance I can of raising a new queen.

    Now if only I could get my arm back sooner I'd be all the happier.....

    Thomas.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Worried my brood isn't warm enough......

    Just an update, virgin queens hatched out just fine, and are now mated and laying. Funny thing is these are second generation wild fertilised and have gone from tan abdomens to near jet black like some of the drones I see around from time to time..... Anyways both are strong layers with very good patterns and the hives appear very calm so far, but it's early days still, most of the workers are still old stock. lol

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