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Dead Pupae on the Landing Board

1220 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  AR1
I had posted an observation on the Today in The Apiary yesterday on my mornings observation which included seeing a few dead pupae on the landing board yesterday morning. This morning, I happened to see a few more, maybe 3 or bits and pieces of 2 and am wondering why this would be happening. This is my stronger hive that currently has 4 medium supers, filled and capped (I'm waiting on some harvesting supplies from Mann Lake which is taking forever-tracking shows next Tuesday assuming it's a complete shipment) and has had great growth, shows no external signs of stress and looked good on an internal inspection a week ago. It would have been harvested already had it not been the equipment delay.

I am wondering if there is a problem I'm missing or, as I suspect, there is some internal culling of drone cells or other normal activity, cutting down population for end of season/winter that as a new beek, I'm missing. The queen is a year old and has been a great layer, always brood on various stages in fact, I've been surprised that this hive never swarmed. We've had solid flows here and the girls have been working it pretty strongly all summer and the fall flow looks promising. As Jonsl pointed out to me in a different post, the knapweed flow is underway here (he's nearby), with goldenrod getting closer and I'm seeing a few bees bring back large packets of a burnt orange pollen on their legs. With 4 full supers and a well stock double 10 frame deep brood, they're not without resources. Is this the rantings of a newbee and his obvious lack of knowledge or an underlying problem?
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Four main reasons for larvae thrown out are (as you already suggested) drone larvae being culled, starvation, chilled brood, or varroa mite damage.

Chilled brood or starvation not likely in your situation.
I am hoping it's drone larvae being culled for the obvious reason and I'm hoping that the time of year would indicate that. I can say that I'm seeing fewer and fewer drones coming or going so maybe... Once we get all the supers off for the pending harvest, the plan is to do an alcohol wash on both hives-finally got that tool last week (after the last inspections). Based upon that, I'll either let it ride, restack some of the built out and extracted supers and see what the fall flows bring in OR do a OAV treatment over the next month 3 @ 7 days if the counts are high. If the counts are less, I'll wait until the fall flow is done and then treat with OAV. Can you do a 3 @ 7 days in say mid-October and then another say 1 shot deal in December when the brood is done?
Look at the larva. Drones eyes are much bigger and their butts much broader. Look for capped drone cells on the comb and pull some out to look for mites if you see any. Drone larva pulling is usually within days of drone eviction at the entrance. Drones return late afternoon when you should see it at the entrance.
Can you do a 3 @ 7 days in say mid-October and then another say 1 shot deal in December when the brood is done?
For me anyway, I found 7 days apart was not enough. Killed some mites, but gave a lot of them plenty of time to get back into another brood cell before the next treatment. I have also seen people here on Beesource saying that 7 days apart did not work for them.

A lot of people work on 4 days apart, but for me, to get a decent result I had to do 7 treatments, 3 days apart. My bees never go broodless though, if they are broodless, ought to be much easier.
It seems very early for drones to be kicked out, unless there is a dearth, which you say there is not. I would suspect mites. If you are treating, now would be a good time to start! Sooner the better. I'd take the full supers off and give them a shot of whatever you use.

I'd also eliminate ALL drone brood. You don't need reproduction at this time of year, and all they are doing is consuming resources and breeding mites. This will make your OAV a lot more effective since there won't be new crops of mites every day between treatments.
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