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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
moldy brood

I'm desperately trying to keep alive my first and only colony that was queenless long enough to develop laying workers. They've accepted a new queen at the cost of the majority of house bees which I shook out away from the hive. The drone brood that the workers were raising died and are contaminating the comb - foundationless modified Warre frames. The whole colony might be 100 bees - now housed in an observation hive in my dining room; they lack the numbers to clean up and raise brood and forage and draw new comb. I suspect I'll lose the whole colony in the end, anyway, but I'd like to give it my best go.

Will it hurt them to leave the dead brood? Will it help them if I remove it for them?
 

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A normal hive would clean that up no worries. But a 100 bee hive, maybe, maybe not.

Do you know another beekeeper? Likely the only way you will get this hive to survive is add some bees to it. If someone could give or sell you a shake of bees from 2 brood frames and you add to your hive, should be enough to get them through along with a little TLC from you.

Don't waste your time giving them brood, they will not be able to keep it warm and it will perish.

If you do get some bees, leave them queenless for at least 2 hours, but better overnight, so they will know they are queenless. Then dump them into the hive, they can be misted with a little water if need be. the hive should then be left totally undisturbed for a couple of days.

The hive may also need feeding with sugar water.
 

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Oh another thought, bees are designed to live in a cluster. In the obsevation hive with glass each side of one comb it will be impossible for that small number of bees to maintain the needed temperature to raise brood. Unless you can give them artificial heat. Brood raising temperaure is around 92 degrees.
 

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...... They've accepted a new queen ........
..........The whole colony might be 100 bees .........

Will it hurt them to leave the dead brood? Will it help them if I remove it for them?
Honestly, this is a doomed project.
Buying a queen was wasted money.
Sorry, just saying what I am seeing.

If I see such colony, I just walk away and let the nature take its course.
Monkeying about with dead brood is a non-essential activity at this point (since "the Titanic is sinking" regardless).

PS: well, if anything, I would try one thing - I would put this micro-colony into small styrofoam box with 2-3 micro-combs and food sources provided (akin a mating nuc);
so this would work as a queen-holding nuc to at least keep the queen alive and functional (maybe) - until something happens (like you catch a swarm);
at least the bees might be able to create a micro-cluster and maybe the queen will lay;
regardless of the outcome, this would make a useful experiment
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, the second queen only cost me gas money and gave my family and I a chance to visit Gettysburg battlefield. So I figured it was worth a try. We're enjoying watching them indoors. I would love to catch a swarm. I'm possibly buying another package this week for the outside hive. Thanks for the insights, folks. Even hard news is good news (faithful are the wounds of a friend).
 

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Well, the second queen only cost me gas money and gave my family and I a chance to visit Gettysburg battlefield. So I figured it was worth a try. We're enjoying watching them indoors. I would love to catch a swarm. I'm possibly buying another package this week for the outside hive. Thanks for the insights, folks. Even hard news is good news (faithful are the wounds of a friend).
Free queen is a good deal.

Consider that foam nuc idea (a little shipping box or slap it together).
At least they can cluster properly and regulate the temp possibly (in the foam).
Don't even need frames - cut few combs and insert them as-is.
 
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