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Puzzle of the day..What does this frame tell me?

2224 Views 13 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  psfred
Make your best guess. I'll tell you the answer shortly.

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Could be a lot of things, but you have a nice nectar flow under way. New wax by the end bars and white wax cappings.
That's part of it. Look closer
Took me a moment to see it but there is a Moth on your frame where the brood pattern ends and honey begins, and on the outside frame left side bottom there is what seems to be a wasp sitting on the frame.
Capped brood in center, new comb on lower right, drone comb on lower left, capped honey on both top corners, empty comb on lower middle.
Pretty close..I'll tell you what I see.
The comb on the left side of the frame is dark yellow, drawn earlier than the right side which is quite light in color. WIth these partially foundationless frames, they sometimes tend to draw out the front of the frame, near the top entrance first, then center foundation, then the back of the frame farthest from the entrance. You can see the difference in feed availability & quality between the two sides.
One of the reasons I take pictures in the hives. I didn't notice this when I inspected the frame. I Just saw the difference when I looked at the photo on my computer.

Notice there is a cell size difference too. A difference in feed AND attitude.

Left side was drawn with an overwintered queen heading the colony. I took her and five frames out for a sale nuc and gave the remaining frames a virgin.

Right side was drawn with a virgin/newly mated queen. Face of the frame and capped brood are from the new queen.
Cells look empty, but are full of eggs and larva. Spotty look is due to nectar backfilled in a few cells.

If you copy the image to your computer, you can enlarge it and inspect the frame.

Knowing the history behind it helps me tell the story:) Being observant helps me be a better beekeeper.
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Guessing your hives face S or SSE? My hives face south, 70% of the spring comb begins on the warm/sunny side of the hive. I use top feeders too, they slurp the front reservoir 5 to 1.
Here's one of my frames today also I seen a lot of yellow and white comb. Thought it have to be different things they where building out of.

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Your capped brood is so nice an light colored. I checked my hives yesterday and they all had a rather dark capped brood. What causes the difference win color of brood? I do use foundations.
Your capped brood is so nice an light colored. I checked my hives yesterday and they all had a rather dark capped brood. What causes the difference win color of brood? I do use foundations.
I'm not Lauri but the difference in the color of the capped brood is due to the age of the capped brood. The picture she posted is newly capped brood. The brood behind your dark cappings are about to emerge.
I am glad someone can read what it tells them. I could see the fresh comb, and the spotty brood. Beyond that, maybe time will help.


What causes the difference in the color of the new wax? I had some make white wax, some made yellow wax, and then just recently had some new comb that is tannish with small specks in it. Are they recycling old wax?
Heres another frame from the same colony with a nice all you can eat buffet. Cells also have lots of eggs and larva. Foragers just filled many cells before the queen started laying. It will look spotty too when it is capped. No fault of the queen. Colony just needs to get re-organized after the change.

What I like to see as soon as I open a mating nuc. They are taking up the protein patty. Even with lots of natural pollen available, these mating nucs don't have the forager force to bring in enough feed on their own when they are newly constructed. I feed them as well for strong growth. If the virgin didn't have a mated return and there was no brood, they wouldn't touch the protein patty.

Here the size of the colony the frames came from. :

This is how I set them up early spring/late summer. Right before the main flow I can set them up with just 3 frames.LOVE these 8 frame deeps for for a feeder and room to grow:

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Given the space a lack of drone cells, hives will always make drone comb first. My experiment with foundationless frames worked out just fine -- full frames of drones with very little drone comb anywhere in the brood nest. A row or two in the honey supers they raised brood in due to my leaving partially full supers on the hive, but that's OK, full of honey now except where a few drones are still in place.

The wax will vary in color even new -- they will chew out old wax and use it along with fresh wax early in the spring, and when dandelions and some of the mustards are providing pollen, the new wax is bright yellow from the flavenoids in the pollen. Old wax is brown, not bright yellow.

I may suggest the partial plastic foundation to a friend of mine. He's gotten very frustrated trying to go fully foundationless in Langs, but I think he got a swarm of bees that aren't going to every make flat comb for him!

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