Shaking brood frames
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Brevard County, Florida, USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Shaking brood frames

    Simple question. Can you damage capped (or open) brood by shaking bees off of brood frames?
    Last year I learned the hard away about treating Queen cells with care, but I have never read about a need to be gentle with worker brood. Is worker brood just tougher, or is this a concern?
    As long as I'm asking, what about drone cells? Fragile too?
    Last edited by Son of Pete; 06-24-2018 at 10:01 PM.
    Zone 9B - Central Florida Space Coast,
    Second Year - Treat with OAV - Plus or Minus 16 Hives

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
    Posts
    752

    Default Re: Shaking brood frames

    I personally think their all about equally tough, Queen cell is easiest to damage. Just because it's sticking out there. I shake mine out, and seen many shake theirs out allot. Doesn't seem to hurt eggs, or larve. No that I notice, just don't bang frames.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lower Lake, California, USA
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: Shaking brood frames

    I've shook my frames to remove bees for transfer of frames to a new hive with little or no problems. If I have a brush I use it as my first choice, but most times I'm trying to fix something & shaking is the option.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,287

    Default Re: Shaking brood frames

    Being vertical, Queen Cells are far more at risk of damage from shaking than horizontal cells because the contents of vertical cells are effectively 'defying gravity'.

    A rather interesting paper "How Honeybees Defy Gravity with Royal Jelly to Raise Queens" was published recently (April 2018) which describes the discovery of a web of protein-based micro-fibrils which is formed within Royal Jelly and which holds the developing larva against the Royal Jelly situated above it. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29551410

    So - if a comb containing queen cells is abruptly shaken, then the developing larvae can become disconnected from that supply of Royal Jelly, with disastrous results.

    Horizontal cells don't employ the same 'Gravity Defying' mechanism, and so there doesn't appear to be a risk of reasonable shaking (that is, shaking with modest force) damaging their occupants.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    362

    Default Re: Shaking brood frames

    I have dislodged eggs and larva during shaking so yes it is possible. However they do stay within the cells. I checked on a frame later after shaking and dislodging and I did not notice any unusual brood capping pattern

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
    Posts
    1,702

    Default Re: Shaking brood frames

    When you are grafting larva don't shake other wise it's ok

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Dallas NC
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Shaking brood frames

    Why not just leave the nurse bees on the frame? I have heard some very experienced people say it's fine to introduce nurse bees on brood frames into a new hive. I give mine a very light shake to coax the foragers to fly off. I don't worry about the ones that hang on.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,287

    Default Re: Shaking brood frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenacious Dave View Post
    Why not just leave the nurse bees on the frame?
    What happens if you want just the bees and NOT the frame - such as when stocking mini-nucs ?
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,039

    Default Re: Shaking brood frames

    Chances are you damage a few of them. But there are thousands of cells on a frame.
    Zone 5B

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Dallas NC
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Shaking brood frames

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    What happens if you want just the bees and NOT the frame - such as when stocking mini-nucs ?
    LJ
    They don't seem to mind nurse bees being added at all. They may reject some older foragers as they could possibly leave, go back to the original hive, and give away the location for robbing.
    I watched David with Barnyard bees boost numbers in a very unusual way. He took a hive, closed it up, and temporarily moved it. Then he put a nuc in its place to boost numbers. The foragers came back and went right into the wrong hive because it was in the place they remembered leaving. They were accepted in because they were bringing in nectar and pollen. Since they weren't robbers, the guard bees let them right in. He said he has done this several times without issues. Once enough foragers enter the nuc, he moves it back to its original location, then puts the original hive back and opens it up. Instant number boost.

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