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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

One of the swarms I collected this year has a drone layer of a queen.
It is odd as the swarm had pollen going in within a week of arrival which suggests to me an old queen that has run out of fertilised eggs rather than a virgin queen that failed to mate but hey what do I know.
pics here:

I am trying decided whether to combine with a queenright hive directly OR make queenless and dump the bees in front of another hive so all the drone brood doesn't end up in a colony who doesn't want it.

Any ideas? (helpful) suggestions?



www.augustcottageapiary.wordpress.com
 

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Hard to tell for sure, but that does not look like drone brood to me. The first picture I mean. The other pics has some drone for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well theres a queen cell right in front so they want to replace her.
I say squash her, and transfer some open brood from another hive so they have to raise a new queen
Queen cup. Yeah the bees want a queen. The thing is it will take them another month before the queen will "up and running". I think that will put the colony at a massive disadvantage since they have had no new bees since swarming. Mid-september is quite late for the new queen to start raising brood that will take them into winter with enough storing with or without feeding.
 

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It is 100% drone brood I am afraid.


I really don't think you're right.

When bees are building new comb like that, I've noticed the worker cells will have slightly "domed" looking caps near the new comb because it is not built out to full depth. And it looks this way when there is are empty cells mixed in as well.

These pictures kind of illustrate this... particularly the second one. Either way, your bees obviously want a new queen, but that's not abnormal for a swarm. And when they do they start making a lot of drones.
Bee Honeybee Beehive Insect Membrane-winged insect

Bee Honeycomb Honeybee Beehive Insect

Honeybee Bee Insect Beehive Honeycomb

All I'm really saying is that the first picture on your blog entry does not look like "100% drone brood" to me. In fact the only ones that look like they might be are the ones out on the right edge (maybe 2-3 cells).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
heh... thank you for your frankness.

I should maybe point out then that these are not drone cells. They are worker cells which the queen has then laid drones in. The swarm is a few weeks old and has built out 5 combs, 3 of which are brood, and I assume you they are drone brood. In order to accommodate the drone larvae in the worker sized cells the bees have actually built the comb deeper in places making it appear less "drone-like".

Either way there are 5 queen cups all empty and the bees are making the noise of a queenless colony. So.. new queen needed.

1 - Let them die. Don't want to do this.
2 - Brood transfer is out - too late to build up such a small colony for winter.
3 - Queen purchase is out - I want locally genetics to stabilise and don't want to put genetically pure bees into the mix.
4 - Combine with queenright colony.
5 - Shake out comb so bees find a new hive and dispose of the comb (or freeze and then give to a colony)
 

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heh... thank you for your frankness.

I should maybe point out then that these are not drone cells. They are worker cells which the queen has then laid drones in. The swarm is a few weeks old and has built out 5 combs, 3 of which are brood, and I assume you they are drone brood. In order to accommodate the drone larvae in the worker sized cells the bees have actually built the comb deeper in places making it appear less "drone-like".

Either way there are 5 queen cups all empty and the bees are making the noise of a queenless colony. So.. new queen needed.

1 - Let them die. Don't want to do this.
2 - Brood transfer is out - too late to build up such a small colony for winter.
3 - Queen purchase is out - I want locally genetics to stabilise and don't want to put genetically pure bees into the mix.
4 - Combine with queenright colony.
5 - Shake out comb so bees find a new hive and dispose of the comb (or freeze and then give to a colony)
There's no point in letting them die, that's for sure. What's your plan?
I've got some bees I'm going to combine with a hive that could use some more bees and then split their combs between a couple others that are big enough to need comb but we're in a bit of a slow spot as far as nectar goes. And it will give them a few more combs to put honey in if our fall flow gets going here shortly.

We had a queen go drone layer awhile back. Those worker sized drones were still buzzing around awhile back. I kind of wonder if that gives them an advantage in the mating arena?
 
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