Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
image.jpg On the last inspection one hive out of my four had a frame made up of almost exclusively drone brood. I was wondering what that means other than the queen decided to lay drone brood. It was in the bottom deep on the side of hive.

Edit: let me rephrase: is this normal for this time of year, or or is something going on that I should be aware of?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Does the hive have any capped worker brood?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,433 Posts
Absent worker brood, I'd be concerned about laying workers, but if you have a laying queen, it's possible that you have a flow on and they may be superceding the queen.

I have found a frame or two of drone comb to be a good thing -- it's a place for the bees to raise drones when they want them and NOT all over the rest of the hive (honey supers are a favorite spot, so is the gap between boxes and in the brood nest). Usually used only when they want drones for some reason, and around here that's a big crop in the spring for swarm season and in August for fall supercedures I guess.

Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Plenty of capped brood in both boxes. Pollen coming in, but no significant flow here during our 98-99 degree sauna in place. Hive is 9 weeks old. Slowed the feeding down now since two deeps are filled out with comb. I'm just asking because I am new and this is the first time I have seen this. No queen cells or anything other than normal brood, pollen, and capped honey around brood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,433 Posts
You'd be surprised at what there is for bees to find in hot, dry weather -- we had a fall honey crop in the hottest and driest year here since 1936 a couple years ago.

At any rate, happy bees make drones, they won't if they are short on protein or nectar. If you have a more or less winter ready hive with large amounts of stores, I'd quit feeding and put a super of foundation on and see what they do with it.

Keep an eye out for queen cells, particularly on the bottom of the frames though. It's not impossible to feed a package into swarming, and they will start the drones and queens so that the drones are emerging about the time the queen cells are capped I think.

Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
Scpossum - Mind telling me about what that new hive was consuming a week or day in syrup. Two full deeps of comb in nine weeks is really nice in my opinion. Maybe I don't feed enough, so I am asking.

Good Luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The hive I was asking about was started in late May and is the smaller of the two started then. They were taking a quart a day and up to two quarts a day some weeks. I poured it to them when they were starting. Now they barely take a quart a week and I am fixing to stop the feeding. I started two more hives from NUCs three weeks ago and kept feeding the older hives to generate comb production for the new hives. As they filled out frames in the upper deep I would take the frame and give it to the new hives. Now, in the past 10 days, comb production has dropped off so I am slowing the feeding.

I mix up all my syrup at one time and put it in quart jars in the refridg in the garage. Then I just pull one out when needed. I also used three quart jars per top feeder to increase surface area for them to draw from. We noticed early on that the hives that had more than one quart feeder per hive drew comb quicker. These hives are in my backyard so I can monitor them closely. Another hive close to thr house uses a top feeder that you pour the syrup in. It drew good comb as well, but I did not like the mold that grew inside the box. I opted for all quart jar top feeding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
902 Posts
SCP, thanks for this thread. I found it yesterday while doing drone brood searches after an inspection, but no experts had chimed in yet.

I had a nearly identical inspection yesterday from my problem hive. I only pulled 5 frames from the top deep, and I had worker brood, but I had lots of drone brood too. It seemed like nearly 50% or so. I've read enough to know that healthy hives make drone brood, but the amount was really surprising. I'll keep an eye out for supersedure cells going forward.
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,171 Posts
The bees have feedback mechanisms that control the amount of drone comb, the amount of drone brood and the amount of drones in a hive based on the time of year, the available resources and the queenrightness of the colony. The only time I worry is when it's 100% drone comb, then there is an issue and the only time I've seen large blocks of drone brood and 100% drone is with a drone laying queen. With laying workers it is always very scattered. With a drone laying queen it starts out scattered but they eventually seem to give in and leave the eggs and start raising them...
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top