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Author Topic: Drone Brood in my Honey Super?  (Read 1719 times)
GJP
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« on: August 10, 2009, 09:50:11 PM »

I checked on both of my hives tonight to see how the honey supers were doing.  In my hive that requeened themselves shortly after I set them up from a Nuc this spring, the second super had very little drawn comb as has been the case so far.  The first super which had approximately 7 drawn frames two or three weeks ago when I added the second now has 3-4 frames of Drone Brood.  There are still 3-4 frames of capped honey and 1 or 2 with some honey and some drone brood (9-frame set-up).  I then checked the second hive body and found plenty of brood and larve.  It's been a cloudy day so I couldn't tell if I had eggs.  There were a few cups but no capped queen cells or any close!  I didn't get to the first hive body because they were getting pretty agitated and I still wanted to check my strong hive.

I was in the hive two weeks ago and found a few cups then and a couple of frames with heavy drone brood in the second hive body.  Good brood pattern in the rest of the frames today and two weeks ago.  There seemed to be plenty of bees in the hive but they have been light compared to the other hive since the re-queen.  Late Friday afternoon we had high temps and planty of sun and both hives were flying heavy.  We've had a very cloudy weekend so I'm hoping we'll have good sun in the next day or two to see if the problem hive has good numbers or not.  I suppose they could have swarmed but they had plenty of room.

Anybody have nay ideas on the drone brood in the super?  There isn't any worker brood up there at all!

Thanks,

Greg

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shemer
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2009, 09:55:38 PM »

I have had the same problem. Here: http://www.mybeehive.ru/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/DSC00519.JPG

They say to prevent this one have to have the queen excluder...
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GJP
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2009, 09:58:22 PM »

I've only been at this for two years and was relying on the honey barrier theory!  It worked last year and is working in my other hive so far this year two.  Two weeks ago the super looked completely normal.  One of the other things I thought of was the possibility of a laying worker in addition to the queen.

Greg

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homer
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2009, 11:19:20 PM »

What size of foundation are you using in the supers?  If all of the other frames in the hive are drawn out and the frames that you put in the super had to be drawn, the bees may have used those as a good opportunity to build new drone comb.  I use a lot of foundationless frames for honey supers and the bees build a large majority of it out as drone comb. 

As far as using a honey barrier... it usually works for me, but sometimes the queen manages to find some empty comb up there.  It's really not that big of a deal.  Let the brood hatch out and it is likely that the bees will fill it back up with honey before the queen can find it again.

Also, if you don't want it up there it won't hurt anything to just cut it out and let the bees start building comb again.  Lots of options... just pick what works best for you!
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Chick
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2009, 11:29:17 AM »

You probably have a laying worker, that only can lay drones, as she is unfertilized.
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GJP
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2009, 02:52:09 PM »

I use 1" starter strips with 4.9 cell size or foundationless.  I've been trying both out and prefer the starter strips so far.  I use them in the hive bodies and the supers and have had pretty good luck with the girls drawing them out.  I typically let the girls build what they want because if I tear it out they rebuild it any way. 

I guess my biggest concern is that they probably won't have time to fill that super by the end of August and they could end up light for the winter.  I'm following the University of Minnesota directions for over-wintering this year which call for two hive bodies and a super full of store.  I guess I'll be feeding after all!

As for the laying worker idea, will an established queen allow a laying worker to exist?  My queen seems to be doing just fine except for either laying drone brood into the super or allowing a laying worker.  Just looking for other possibilities I guess.

Thanks,

Greg

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jdpro5010
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2009, 04:29:32 PM »

A queen excluder would probably have prevented this!  I don't want brood in my honey supers, so I use them.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2009, 05:50:53 PM »

The way to prevent drone brood in your supers is to allow it in your brood nest.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2009, 09:22:46 PM »

That is what I am noticing too.  The hives with small cell in the brood nest invariably build drone brood in our supers.  Next spring, I am going to put a few frames of foundationless into the brood nest and so they can draw drone brood low and leave the supers for honey.
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Brian
GJP
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2009, 09:53:02 PM »

Michael,

I have been letting the girls build what they want where they want and had drone brood in the upper hive body two weeks ago when I did a check with a friend.  There were a couple of frames with about 1/3 to 1/2 drone brood and they were drawing and filling the super from what I remember. 

I'll let them go and see what it looks like in a week or two when I pull supers.

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