How long can capped brood survive without nurse bees?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,218

    Default How long can capped brood survive without nurse bees?

    I cut 2 deep frames full of capped brood from a birdhouse and put them in a deep, and then I put the deep on a children's play set until nightfall. During the few hours I was waiting for the foragers and scouts to return, ants got into the hive box and started wreaking havoc. There were lots of dead bees on the ground in front of the hive, and not a lot of bee traffic.

    I didn't open it up, but I cleaned up the exterior as best I could, and took the hive home. There weren't many ants running around the outside any more, and put it on my hive stand for the night, hoping the colony would survive.

    Within a day or two it was apparent that not enough adult bees had made it, and the hive was just empty of bees, so I put the two brood frames into another, thriving colony.

    Daytime temps had been in the mid-70s and lower 80s, and nighttime temps in the mid-60s.

    Could capped brood have survived that? Do they need anything other than thermal regulation after they're capped?
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,218

    Default Re: How long can capped brood survive without nurse bees?

    And then today I used a brood frame to try to anchor a swarm I was collecting.

    I put the brood frame in a nuc and shook in the swarm, then left it there until nightfall. But when I went back, the bees had left :-(

    This also means my brood frame was un-tended for hours, and will be un-tended over night, since I didn't want to open up the original donor hive in the pitch black night an attempt to put it back in.

    Can capped brood survive without nurse bees if it doesn't get too cold? How cold is too cold?

    Daytime temps have been in the mid-70s and lower 80s, and nighttime temps in the mid-60s.
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    washington, vermont, USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: How long can capped brood survive without nurse bees?

    Brood needs to be kept at 90ish if I'm not mistaken I would consider that frame of brood a goner. But I'm not positive so maybe we can get someone with experience to comment as well good luck bud

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    "Great Green Way", Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    394

    Default Re: How long can capped brood survive without nurse bees?

    At those temps brood frames should be right overnight - there may be some loss in fresh eggs or very young larvae sitting in little food.
    When doing transfers for queen rearing there is why it is imperative the transfer happens within hours for best results.
    It's maybe humidity moreso than temp that is relative, as uncapped larvae have no protection from moist air.

    But really I throw in my two bits worth here as once again I read - as I have done many times in this forum and others - the omission of placing queen reducers/excluders on entrances when shaking swarms into boxes.
    It's a step I have always used in swarm capture when keeping the active queen, an automatic "must have" when selecting the box.
    I am puzzled as to why this does not appear to be the practice amongst you guys - USA apiarists.
    ?
    ?

    Cheers.

    Bill

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