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Discussion Starter #1
I've caught a couple of swarms from the same bee tree this spring. The tree has been occupied by bees for a few years at least.

I've noticed that they are uncapping brood (can see the eyes so it's not "almost capped" grubs). It's not huge amounts but maybe 3-5 per side of the comb when we look. It makes the brood pattern look somewhat spotty, but the queen comes back and fills them right back up with eggs.

I know this can be hygenic behavior, but is there any way to know why they are uncapping them? If I use a tweezers or something to pop some of these uncapped pupae out, would that tell me anything? They look healthy from the little bit that I can see, bright white and their eyes look good. Would I see varroa or anything if I looked?

I haven't seen a single uncapped cell in any of the mated queens that we purchased or that came with our packages this year. So it's a pretty stark difference at this point in time.
 

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I saw this happen today. Anyone have a response to offer?

They were carrying it out and it was white and anywhere from a 1/4" to 1/2". They would take it as far as I could see until I lost them in the trees. I found a white abdomen on the front board of the hive and a few smaller pupae? Not sure the proper term at this stage of development. Might have to open it up tomorrow and take a look.
 

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Sounds like hygenic behavior to me, especially if they are random around the frame and not localized. Have you seen any mites on the ones they are taking out?

Peter
 

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I agree; it could be that the bees have detected an issue with the brood and removed them. Perhaps they brood had died.
 

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Hygenic Behavior. Might be why the tree has been occupied for the last few years untreated! You may be able to pick out the brood and see immature varroa (dark spots on the otherwise white brood).
 

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Hygenic Behavior. Might be why the tree has been occupied for the last few years untreated! You may be able to pick out the brood and see immature varroa (dark spots on the otherwise white brood).
I haven't looked at the frames yet. I saw this late yesterday evening. I did see a light brown spot on one of the white brood and thought it might be that but lack experience in knowing what i was looking at. I will look at the frames today and see if I can find an answer as to what they are doing. Thanks for the response.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hygenic Behavior. Might be why the tree has been occupied for the last few years untreated! You may be able to pick out the brood and see immature varroa (dark spots on the otherwise white brood).
I haven't see any of the actual "bodies" laying around the hive, but I also haven't really looked. I will bring a tweezers with me this weekend and try to remove some of the unncapped ones and see if there appears to be anything going on with them.

Sounds like hygenic behavior to me, especially if they are random around the frame and not localized. Have you seen any mites on the ones they are taking out?

Peter
It is certainly random, the number seems to be... reasonable. It's not like there are half combs being uncapped. These two swarms have been in top bar nucs, I just transferred one of them into a 10 frame deep. The other went into a full size top bar hive.
 

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I might have contributed to the bees uncapping some brood. This was a NUC I placed in a 10 frame deep. Some of the comb was kind of irregular. I could have brushed it too close to another frame and mashed one side. They could be just repairing and fixing what happened when I moved the frames. Anyway, I am going to look tonight and see if I can spot the area in question.
 
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