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This is my first time keeping bees and I cannot locate the queen. What exactly does brood look like? I'd like to know if I should purchase another queen.
 

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capped brood is normally light brown to dark brown depending upon what it's age is. Honey on the other hand is normally capped with white wax. You should see white larvas and small eggs if you look closely into the cells. If you find the eggs your queen is in there. Don't worry too much..
 

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Some words of wisdom that may benefit every new beekeeper.

from "The How-To-Do-It book of Beekeeping" by Richard Taylor:

" 25. How to preserve the integrity of the brood nest

The brood nest of a normal beehive has a definite and uniform pattern. The queen begins her egg laying more or less at the center of a comb, more or less at the center of the hive, and works out from there.Thus (as it progresses) one finds a pattern of sealed brood, surrounded by larvae, surrounded by smaller larvae and eggs. Eventually, as the larvae develop, the entire comb, or most of it, comes to consist of sealed brood.Then as brood at the center emerges, the queen again deposits the eggs there. Above and around this brood nest, one finds, first, pollen, then honey. The outermost combs in a hive contain only honey, sometimes pollen and rarely brood. The pollen is what is needed first, to feed the larvae, and then as winter approaches and brood rearing ceases (declines), the honey will be used; so both are appropriately placed."

(If you want to inspect and assess any colony, this is what you should see.)


"This general pattern should be preserved, unless there is good reason for doing otherwise. Thus you should never spread brood out, alternating combs or empty combs (frames) of foundation, thinking that this will cause the bees and queen to redouble their efforts to fill the empty combs. It only demoralizes them, and puts them behind."
 

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As a newbie myself i have yet to see my queen,i can never seem to find her,but as long as you have larva and eggs shes in there and myself i don't really go out of my way searching for her anymore. My two cents!
 

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I thought about it and went for a walk.
I never mean to be rude, but really why do people get into something they know little about. Beekeeping is not just Honey and stings.
It is knowing what your doing and learning as you go in some cases it just not what your should do with bees. At least learn something about them before you dive into it.
Again I do not mean to be rude, but I could not let it ride.
 

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tonysea is correct, if you are doing a regular inspection you do not have to see the queen. Do a search to see what capped brood, larva, eggs, and honey looks like. Eggs look like tiny grains of rice in the middle of a cell, easy to see once you know what to look for. It is fun to spot the queen, but I don't spend any extra time looking for her. Now if you are doing splits I like to locate the queen, but even then I know beekeepers that don't worry about it. Good luck with your bees and welcome to beesource.
 

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bobby...Time to spend some serious time in books and google.

Google "honey bee frame images"....start learning what you're looking at beFORE you assault the bees.

You Tube.... "Inspecting a bee hive", etc...etc...etc....

There are literally days worth of helpful bee videos...same with google...pic after pic.

Good luck! Time to start learning! Fast!
 

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Just enjoy their work ethic and let them do their thing...WHILE you research hive resources. Any bing search will yield countless images -- of queenright capped brood, of spotty brood, of the differences in physical characteristics of males and females (drones v workers), of eggs in cells.

Try not to hit the panic button or overmanage them.
 

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Eggs in comb
Eggs in comb2.gif

eggs in comb.jpg

Now that you have your bees, probably time to learn about them. I think it's perfectly fine to have bee's without being an expert.
 

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Capped Brood in Center, Capped Honey on Top Corners
Capped Brood.jpg
 

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bobbyisstrange, as a first year beek, I am having an awful time telling the difference between capped brood and capped honey when looking at the comb during an inspection. When you do an inspection, have someone else take pictures of your frames for you. I know when I am looking at the pictures it is obvious what I have. I think after some time I won't need this crutch. But, It sure helps right now.
 

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I thought about it and went for a walk.
I never mean to be rude, but really why do people get into something they know little about. Beekeeping is not just Honey and stings.
It is knowing what your doing and learning as you go in some cases it just not what your should do with bees. At least learn something about them before you dive into it.
Again I do not mean to be rude, but I could not let it ride.
Shrug... Perhaps you should have. :no: There's really only one way to do this, and that's to do it. You can't learn about swimming by reading a book. And, even though you try to do the right thing in all cases, it's really the bees that are doing everything.

There's a strong and natural human tendency to want to see everything. "I want to see the Queen to know that she's in there," etc. We're excited, we're "stoked," and we want to manage them. Which is understandable, but not necessarily good. Fact is, a hive will naturally establish its own natural rhythms and structure. If you briefly look into the hive and simply see a large mass of bees inside who appear to be doing the bee-thing, that's most likely to be exactly what they are doing. (Which means that Her Majesty is holding Court even if you do not see her doing so.) And, you might well have been able to deduce all of this, simply by looking at the hives several times a day so as to establish a sense of what's "normal" for it. When a beehive becomes stressed or diseased, its external behavior immediately and visibly changes. "You can learn a lot by watching."
 

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I think Tomkat's point was more on the lines of how do you get bees without having any idea what any stage of brood would look like. Like other people have posted, it takes less than 30 seconds to google all the pictures you'll ever need to get a basic idea of what to look for rather than coming into a forum and posting a very mundane question with resources so easily available.
 

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As someone who is also entirely new to beekeeping, understanding exactly what's in the cells has been quite a challenge (and to some extent, remains so). Part of the complexity of it is that the cells change character over time. A new patch of covered brood looks different than old covered brood - is that new patch of covered brood actually honey? If it IS honey, does this mean they're backfilling the brood nest and are about to swarm? I read about that! Oh no! What if they're about to swarm!?

OK, that was a hyperbolic example. But these are the things we ruminate over when we're new, and The Google doesn't necessarily provide a clear answer. Those of us who don't have hands-on mentors are particularly challenged.

Nothing in a hive is static. And being new, it's hard to get a "fix" on something that so rapidly changes.
 

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I think this is what Ross is talking about. Two frames, both brown colored. Very confusing to a new beekeeper. One looks like brood is supposed to look like and the other I am guessing is honey based on the flatness and the waxy look -please correct me if I am wrong. I have differing opinions as to if the pic on the left is brood or capped honey. It is easy for the trained eye and a little bit more difficult for the untrained eye. It takes a bit of time to get all of this knowledge working for us new guys. These two pics are a good example of a new beekeeper not having the knowledge to discern routine things a seasoned beekeeper would know.

I do happen to have a local mentor and two other new guys to talk with about things everyday. It helps. I looked at all the google pics out there, but it is hard to tell sometimes just what you are looking at until someone explains it. As far as the queen goes, I opened my hives yesterday and decided I was going to find her. Did not use smoke and started with the brood frame. Finally found her on the next frame. Mr. Bush said sometimes they run and sure enough, she was the fastest on the frame. If I took my eye off of her she was already on the other end and other side in a second. The point is... I made up my mind to find her and went in with attitude that it was going to happen.


It's kind of like turkey hunting. You can read all about it and be a doctorate in literature on the subject. But if you haven't gone in and learned hands on, my bet is on the 5 year old you are taking with you that morning. :)
 

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