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Author Topic: Question on brood size?  (Read 885 times)
harvey
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Location: Lapeer Michigan


« on: July 14, 2009, 03:46:16 PM »

This is a first year hive for the bees and for me.  It was a swarm I caught.  The first real inspection was done about three weeks into having them in a deep brood box.  3 or frames had capped brood eggs and larva other frames had honey some capped some not.  A second deep brood was added.  now last week when I inspected I saw a lot more bees, the second brood box was mostly drawn out in comb and a lot of it had uncapped honey in it.  I didn't see any brood in the second box and not as much brood in the bottom box. 

Should I be concerned that the brood nest does not seem to be getting larger?
Should the bees put brood in the second deep or will it be all stores?
Because there didn't seem to be as much brood capped or otherwise should I worry about maybe having damaged my queen?
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GJP
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2009, 04:29:11 PM »

Did you find any swarm or supercede cells?  Supercede cells would tell you that your girls are worried about your queen.  Three weeks (21) days is the rearing time for bees and is not a lot of time for the hive to establish itself.  It will take them some time to move up to the second baox for brood if your queen is doing a good job in the first deep.  If the second deep has 6 or 7 frames full of honey (capped or not), it's time to put on a honey super.  Then they will have a place to put some more honey and you'll see some movement of brood up to the second deep.  It will all work out int he end and congratulations on the swarm capture. 

Good luck,
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harvey
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2009, 09:00:53 PM »

I did see a couple of queen cells,  they were on the very bottom of the frame.  there wasn't anything in them though or I should say they were not capped.  I didn't look close to see if there were eggs in there.   
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GJP
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2009, 10:35:34 AM »

Queen cells on the bottoms of the frames are typically swarm cells which means the bees think they are crowded and about half of them and the existing queen are about to swarm.  How much equipment do you have?  Do you have enough to make a split?  Your girls think they need more room and if you have some more boxes you could keep them from flying away and double you colonys.  Your honey production is pretty much shot for your use this year but you'd be in good shape for next year.  It sounds like you got a good swarm of bees who are very productive.  You'll need to get in there a little more often (every two weeks) because they built up so fast. 

You can try adding a honey super and hope they don't swarm but if they have any capped queen cells, your cances of stopping the swarm are pretty low.

Good luck! 
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qa33010
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2009, 12:48:17 AM »

    This time of year my queens pretty much shut down until the fall flow, if there is one.  They keep just enough brood to keep the population going.  I always have queen cups in my hives year round.  Some are mid way up and some may be all along the bottom.  I don't worry about splitting unless I see brood in the queen cells or they are capped.  Then I'll do a split.

     Does the bottom box have empty cells around the brood for more eggs or is she laying a small pattern because there is no more room in the brood box? 
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
RayMarler
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2009, 04:24:00 AM »

How large was this swarm when you got it? How many covered frames of bees was it in size?
It takes some time for the queen to build up strength of numbers fast if she's got small numbers with her to care for brood.
Swarms also have nectar stores in them when they swarm, so build out wax fast as soon as they find a place to call home.
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Sitting in the shade, drinking lemon aid.
Enjoying the breeze while counting the bees.
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