Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic
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  1. #1
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    Default Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    I have a question about brood pattern: What are the determining factors to differentiate a 'Spotty Brood Pattern' from normal, Hygienic behavior? I don't seem to ever have a solid frame of capped brood in any of my 4 colonies when I inspect; there's always open cells among the capped brood. I have seen photos of other hives' brood frames and they're a much more solid sheet of cappings than my bees have...At what point do I determine if I should I be concerned?

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    Quote Originally Posted by BumblingBeek View Post
    I have a question about brood pattern: What are the determining factors to differentiate a 'Spotty Brood Pattern' from normal, Hygienic behavior? I don't seem to ever have a solid frame of capped brood in any of my 4 colonies when I inspect; there's always open cells among the capped brood. I have seen photos of other hives' brood frames and they're a much more solid sheet of cappings than my bees have...At what point do I determine if I should I be concerned?
    You should post a typical picture of your brood along with your questions.

    Brood is virtually never 100% solid.
    It is a degree and character of the misses that need examined.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    Quote Originally Posted by BumblingBeek View Post
    I don't seem to ever have a solid frame of capped brood in any of my 4 colonies when I inspect; there's always open cells among the capped brood.
    This is normal, there are always empty cells.

    Quote Originally Posted by BumblingBeek View Post
    I have seen photos of other hives' brood frames and they're a much more solid sheet of cappings than my bees
    Could be a function of human nature, people have a tendency to post photos of their best, not their typical.

    Which is why Facebook causes social anxiety, with everybody thinking that their own family is not as always happy, always smiling, as all the other families they see on Facebook.

    But joking aside, do go ahead and post a pic of a typical brood frame, we can tell you if there is an issue or not.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  5. #4
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    Default

    Oh gosh, ok, I am a HORRIBLE photographer, but here are some pics from my inspections yesterday. This 1st set of pics is from Saskatraz Queen #2 who has only been released from her cage for a few weeks. The black frame was a donor of capped brood from my Caucasians, you can see a few capped cells way outside of her new brood pattern. I think those were from the donated brood which has since hatched mostly. When I realized Saskatraz hive #1 had 1 Queen too many (they successfully raised their own Queen, but I thought she wasn’t returning from her mating flight so I hived this Queen in with them, and 10 days later finally checked to see if she had been accepted-she was still in cage, but my open mated Queen had returned and was laying well so I put this Queen in her cage in a nuc with 2 donor frames of capped brood & nurse bees to see if she could survive-they accepted her and she’s FINALLY laying!) The other side of the black frame just had Resources. There was another donor frame in this nuc, which I pulled from Saskatraz #1’s hive, with a similar pattern but capped brood on both sides, but I didn’t take pics for some reason of that one. The foundation free wood frame had mostly eggs in the usable cells, you can see they’re starting to cap a few, but this frame I placed between the two capped cell donor frames last weekend and this is only 1 week of progress:

  6. #5
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    Here’s Saskatraz #1 hive: this Queen has about 3-7 days head start on Saskatraz #2. I didn’t take pics of all the frames...but the black foundation frame was the outermost one and last week it just had a few cells of nectar. The drawn out comb area is about double what it was last week. Other side is completely empty. The foundation free wood frame is their 2 weeks’ worth of progress and it had a lot of eggs in the open cells. I didn’t take any pictures of their most laid frames in this inspection for some reason...

  7. #6
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    Ocala, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    AE4E369B-177A-411E-B2C4-214BD990EC4E.jpg
    Usually get two or three per hive like this.

  8. #7
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    Caucasians: these first 2 pics is a foundation less frame I gave them 2 weeks ago, 2nd 2 pics are a foundation less frame they’ve worked on for 4 weeks.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    Although i have seen better brood patterns, i would not class those pics as below the norm, considering the apparent bee numbers and what you are asking them to do.

    I suspect that when the hives are better established you may also see a better pattern.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    Wendy, it looks like your little colony is growing nicely. The comb on the foundationless frames you showed looks great. You won't get those solid frames of capped brood until you have a lot more bees, but you will get there.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #10
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    More of the Caucasians. These first two pics were a donor frame give to me by my mentor, because this was a very weak nuc I never should have bought. The capped brood he had in his frame have all hatched out, and my Queen just only seems to want to lay in the newly drawn cells of the foundation free frames for some reason, so this frame is mostly filled with nectar now. Pics 3 & 4 is a foundationless frame these Caucasians have been working on for only a week, but it has eggs in it. I have more fully drawn frames in this hive, but didn’t photograph them yesterday.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    Thanks for all of your input. I didn't take any pictures at all of my survivor colony, and that Queen has the most solid brood pattern of them all! I will just continue to hope for numbers to build, I get real insecure when I see a picture of a frame chock full of capped brood, LOL.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    Quote Originally Posted by Barhopper View Post
    AE4E369B-177A-411E-B2C4-214BD990EC4E.jpg
    Usually get two or three per hive like this.
    How old are your hives? Is this in their first year?

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    I would agree with JW plus I dont see much honey on those frames and I would feed them good.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper1d View Post
    I would agree with JW plus I dont see much honey on those frames and I would feed them good.
    Thank you! I'm about 80 lbs of pure cane sugar into my first beekeeping year, thank goodness for Costco, LOL...They keep taking it, so I keep feeding them!

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    Keep on feeding. You need them to draw comb and that is a huge drain on resources. The Wal-Mart here sells 10# bags for $3.20. I am buying it 100# at a time (weekly) for my hives and I don't have feeders on them all yet. Our dearth started a little early this year, though I should be able to stop feeding late August through Oct. Then it will be bringing any light hives up to winter weight, for me, about 60# capped stores.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    As the others say, keep feeding!

    Likewise, I would say not to worry about those patterns. The two frames I gave you the other day were "above average" for my hives, so don't worry if most of yours are not like that.

    I usually buy my sugar from Walmart.com, the 4lb bags are about reasonable and delivered free in adequate quantity.

    Greg

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    Quote Originally Posted by bushpilot View Post
    As the others say, keep feeding!

    Likewise, I would say not to worry about those patterns. The two frames I gave you the other day were "above average" for my hives, so don't worry if most of yours are not like that.

    I usually buy my sugar from Walmart.com, the 4lb bags are about reasonable and delivered free in adequate quantity.

    Greg
    Sounds good, Greg!

    I found pictures and a thorough explanation I was hoping for at about 56:00 in this video: https://youtu.be/JOa_SOWVdmk

    I personally feel we should petition Mike Palmer to write beekeeping books!

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    Quote Originally Posted by BumblingBeek View Post
    How old are your hives? Is this in their first year?
    No not first year hives but they are this springs queens

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    Quote Originally Posted by BumblingBeek View Post
    I personally feel we should petition Mike Palmer to write beekeeping books!
    Yeah, I need another thing to spend beekeeping funds on

    Send him a PM, he hangs around here sometimes.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Brood Pattern: Spotty vs. Hygienic

    Quote Originally Posted by BumblingBeek View Post
    I personally feel we should petition Mike Palmer to write beekeeping books!
    Quote Originally Posted by bushpilot View Post
    Yeah, I need another thing to spend beekeeping funds on
    I wholeheartedly second the motion! However, I submit that buying Michael Palmer beekeeping books would be a great way to spend LESS money on keeping bees.

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