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Author Topic: Newbie's Strange Brood  (Read 2042 times)
beek4018
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« on: May 19, 2010, 03:29:49 PM »

So I go out to look through both boxes of my first year hive today (package installed April 5 - second deep added two weeks ago).

I noticed a couple of thins that looked odd to me.

1. In the upper box I have several frames with weird sunken sections on the edges of or in the middle of the brood patter.  Each one is roughly circular and contains maybe 10-15 cells with nothing in it but foundation at the bottom of the "crater" (that's what they look like.

2. Also in the upper box I have several frames with brood areas that look much darker orange/brown than many of the other brood areas.  And, most disturbingly some of these darker areas have large sections of uncapped cells filled with a yellowy orange substance almost the same color as the cells in some cases (is this chill brood or some weird pollen storage?).

3. Neither box has it's outer most frames drawn yet.  But everything else is pretty close. Do I really need a honey super this early with a new hive?

4. I saw several bees with their heads buried in cells.  I watched to see if they came out and they did not. What is that?

5. I found a number ( 10) of what looked like swarm cells in the bottom 2/3 of frames.  They were NOT a single large cell, but looked like small round balls of comb ( 5-8 cells in size).  When I removed them I found large larva inside. Only found one supersedure cell of the same description, but in the upper third of the frame.  

The lower deep look much the same as the upper.  

I found lots of larva and a good bit of capped brood and open nectar/syrup and capped honey.  I only saw a few eggs in a weird place.  Kind of on the edge of an existing brood area ( on relatively new comb).  

I also found the queen in the lower box.  She looked fine and energetic.  I didn't see her lay anything, and she seemed to be frantically looking for something ( moving from cell to cell and area to area).  She didn't have any dedicated attendants with her, but kept moving amongst the bees.

Bees have also been cooped up due to weather for four days.  I had a small feeder on an they look to have plenty of stores.

Any idea what's up with any of these things.

Thanks.

-Glenn



« Last Edit: May 19, 2010, 07:35:00 PM by beek4018 » Logged
wd
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2010, 05:19:55 PM »

My take on it with out looking at

#1 - Collapsed comb or drone comb area

#2  - bee bread

#3 - 7 to 8 frames then add - perhaps when combs are drawn in the new box replace those with empty's in the bottom or leave em alone
 
#4 - bees afraid their food is going to taken

#5 -  they're going to swarm and replace old queen, I call those queen cups - nubby queen cells
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beek4018
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2010, 07:33:48 PM »

WD,

Thanks.

As for #5 - I meant to say they were not single cells, but clusters of cells.

Thanks.

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MustbeeNuts
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2010, 06:40:14 AM »

sounds normal to me, and the bare spots, they don't like something on the foundation, is it wax or plastic, I have seen that on plastic and the other synthetics. I replace them if I can. Swarming in a new box, seems unusual to me, unless the queen is no good, and they want to replace her.  PIctures are worth a thousand words. Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2010, 11:17:36 AM »

Yeah, can we get a pic or two?
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beek4018
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2010, 07:29:50 PM »

Sadly I'm out of town until Wednesday so I'll have to post a pic on Thursday
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beek4018
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2010, 07:54:55 PM »

Well, the hive was a tad hot today so I only got one or two photos that are worth anything. 

I did get about 12 stings in 90 seconds though.

Thought I could sneak in after the rain stopped (two hours earlier), but they were still waiting out the next storm.

In this image I'm curious if anybody knows whether the blob in the lower left is a queen cell or just a ball of excess comb.  Also, what's with the uneven (curved) comb by the edges of the frame.

I'll try to upload more later when I can get in the hive.

Thanks.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

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OzBuzz
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2010, 08:31:19 PM »

I'm a newbie - but my 2c worth:

1) The bees build comb the way they build come - we want it to look perfect but they might have other ideas... i noticed a few weeks ago when i went in to my hive that the comb was totally eaten away in one corner - like right back to the wires - then when i went in a few weeks later they had built it all right back up. The way the bees orient or build their comb seems fluid - they will do what they want, when they want, how they want - we can only guide them. In regard the drop off on the edge of the frame most sheets of foundation don't go right up to the edge so they have to build their own comb to fill in the gaps - sometimes this will look like your photo. They may build it up to sit flush with the rest of the comb or they may not - the joys of bees

2) That 'blob' that you're seeing, to me, looks like the start of a queen cup - don't be alarmed. When i went in my hive a few weeks ago there was 3 cups, then when i last went in there were 7 new ones and the 3 i originally saw had been removed and replaced with normal looking comb. Again - it's the bees doing what bees do... i wouldn't be alarmed. If there is an egg in there or it is capped then you need to do something but it seems they normally like to keep one or two on hand
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beek4018
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2010, 08:45:46 AM »

Here's another photo.

Obviously that's drone comb at the bottom there.  But is that stuff hanging off the frame just excess comb or the start of a queen cell?

Also, what's the shiny stuff in the former (now uncapped) brood cells?




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OzBuzz
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2010, 09:00:16 AM »

Here's another photo.

Obviously that's drone comb at the bottom there.  But is that stuff hanging off the frame just excess comb or the start of a queen cell?

Also, what's the shiny stuff in the former (now uncapped) brood cells?




Uploaded with ImageShack.us


I'm going to go out on a limb here and say maybe your girls are thinking about swarming? definitely looks like drone cells and, although that comb at the bottom looks to be just excess comb, it could well be that they're wanting to build some queen cups. Correct me if i'm wrong but the shiny stuff appears to be nectar... i read somewhere that a hive about to swarm will slow down laying brood and maximise storage of food reserves... I'd almost suggest taking some capped brood out and replacing it with undrawn foundation - put the brood frames above a queen excluder in a second super

That's just my newbie thoughts so dont listen too much to what i say! i could well be way off!
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kathyp
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2010, 11:44:41 AM »

that's just some extra stuff they built between the frames.  other picture looks like maybe they thought about it, but from that angle, it doesn't look like a viable queen cell.  it looks like a glob  smiley
shiny stuff looks like syrup/honey.  when you get in there again, see if you can get a good picture of a full brood frame.  from what i can see you don't look like you are in any trouble.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2010, 01:46:44 PM »

I've had / seen some similar globs but they're pointed down not side ways, meaning the capped end is on the bottom. Usually what I see when it comes to queens cells is more of a peanut shell texture, shaped some what like a peanut, a tornado, cups / bumps in the comb.

Ditto

that's just some extra stuff they built between the frames.  other picture looks like maybe they thought about it, but from that angle, it doesn't look like a viable queen cell.  it looks like a glob  smiley
shiny stuff looks like syrup/honey.  when you get in there again, see if you can get a good picture of a full brood frame.  from what i can see you don't look like you are in any trouble.
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wd
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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2010, 02:27:16 PM »

did you break some queen cells open when you pulled out frames? If the sunken in comb is these images, looks they're just filling in the gaps to me.
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beek4018
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2010, 08:36:47 PM »

Okay.  Per Kathy's suggestion I went out & got a few more photos today.

Some shots are brood frames w/ capped honey, and some are suspected queen cups/cells in the making.  The image descriptions list my questions and concerns.

Thanks in advance for answering my newbie questions.

Photos available here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/50804993@N04/

Overall there were a lot of bees there.  Many of the frames look sparse, but I didn't get many shot of the lower box where the majority of the bees seemed to be.  Is it common for the majority to be in one box or the other? 

I did see eggs and plenty of larva in all stages.

Still not sure what the dark substance is in cells that look to have once been brood cells.

Thanks again.
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riverrat
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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2010, 09:50:39 PM »

all I'm seeing is some frames with a good brood pattern and some in various stages of brood there is some drones but looks normal to me the things you are thinking are queen cells look like queen cups to me. They will build them practice cells in a hive i wouldn't worry until you see royal jelly or larva in them some of the brood cells look like they have been filled with pollen the comb will naturally turn dark has they are used to raise more bees just my 2 cents worth
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kathyp
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2010, 11:09:40 PM »

i think there are a couple of closed queen cells in there, but that's common. doesn't even mean they are good.

beek4018, do you use picasa by any chance?  it's a lot easier to look at the pics.  some of these other programs just take to much time to shift through.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
beek4018
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« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2010, 07:29:21 AM »

Kathy,

Did you mean, "bad" instead of good regarding the closed queen cells?

I'll check out Picasa
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kathyp
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« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2010, 12:26:43 PM »

the slide show on flicker was fine.   Wink

i mean that they might  not be viable queen cells or even have a queen in them. 

over all, i didn't think things looked bad in your hive, especially if you consider that the bottom box probably looks the  same, or may even have more brood.  at this point, i don't see anything to get worried about.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
beek4018
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« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2010, 01:05:42 PM »

Thanks, Kathy. Smiley
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