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Author Topic: Regressed queen  (Read 6855 times)
caticind
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« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2010, 10:24:50 AM »

Really interesting thread going here...

so,  I have a hive on natural cell foundation.  The bees are small.  The comb is small.  In other hives I observe large drones in and near the hive, and large drone cells in the brood.  In this hive I have never seen a large bee, nor a large drone brood cell.  Last week a forlorn group of bees were haning just outside the hive lloking very much like they were not happy to be there...which I presumed were drones getting kicked out for the winter, however they look just like all the rest of the worker bees.  Is it possible that the drones have regressed to "worker bee" size?  or is something else up?

I doubt it.  If you look close up, do they look like workers or drones in their features?  Eye size, antenna shape, body shape, etc.

What's "natural cell foundation" anyway?  I'm assuming you mean small cell?
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The bees would be no help; they would tumble over each other like golden babies and thrum wordlessly on the subjects of queens and sex and pollen-gluey feet. -Palimpsest
kathyp
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« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2010, 11:38:24 AM »

natural is what they build for themselves.  what you have is overly expensive and un-natural small cell foundation.  evil

have you checked your stores?  sometimes lethargic bees are starving.  temps have a lot to do with activity also.  are they guard bees because the hive has been hassled by robbers?
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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
BrentX
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« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2010, 09:34:19 PM »

I should have used the term natural comb - these bees are mostly on foundationless comb.  The bees are small.  In other hives the drones are easy to find, being quite a bit larger than the rest of the bees.  Here there are no larger bees, and I have never seen an oversized drone brood like I see in other hives. 

After a few days of cool weather I found about 20 dead bees just outside the entrance this morning, along with some purple eyed larvae that has obviously just been pulled.  The dead bees and larvae are the same size as all the other bees in the hive.   This sounds like drones getting kicked out, but I could be wrong.
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kathyp
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« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2010, 10:58:17 PM »

could have gotten chilled.  even with small bees, the difference between drones and workers should be easy to spot.  if it were only dead bees, i'd guess some robbing.  the larvae tells me something else.  what's your low temp and how are your stores?  if it's just chilled brood that they pulled, that's normal.  some deaths from robbing are normal although you want to work to keep that to a minimum.  starvation is a bad thing.
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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
BrentX
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« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2010, 12:36:36 PM »

The first group of forlorn bees were mostly perched on rocks within 2 feet of the five.  Two on one rock, one on another, in total about 20 bees.  Yesterday the dead bees and purple eyed larva were congregated immediately outside the mouse guard at the reduced hive entrance, again about 20 bees.  The way these bees were situated suggested they were trying to get in, but werent allowed.  It looks like they spent the night at the entrance until the weather got them.

This hive is off by itself, no other hives nearby.

These bees have been fed using an internal frame feeder in a super above the inner cover.  They have been taking sugar buzz steadily, at a quart or more a day.  However in the last week they have slowed way down on the feeding.  They have eight frames plus of stored honey/sugar.  Hunger is not likely.   

Temperatures at night get down into the 40's but no frost yet. Highs this last week were in the 60's



So the robbing or hunger hypothesis seem unlikely.  Neighther would they explain why this hive produces no large drones, which is what I am  still pondering...
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kathyp
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« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2010, 01:42:12 PM »

most of us have learned the hard way that they are not dead until they are warm and dead.  you may see some in the AM that look dead and come back to life when the sun hits them.
  the dead brood most likely got chilled.  any dead bees around are probably dead workers that just wore out.  without seeing what you are seeing, there is no way to know for sure, but 20 or 30 dead bees around the hive is not alarming to me.

oh...about the drones.  i'd guess that where you live drones were kicked out weeks ago.  some hive produce lots of drones.  some few.  some years more than others.   they produce what they anticipate they need.  this year i had more drones than i have ever had, early in the year.  almost none later.  none for weeks now. 
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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
BrentX
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« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2010, 07:18:08 PM »

Thanks for considering the possibilities
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2010, 10:18:22 AM »




These bees have been fed using an internal frame feeder in a super above the inner cover.  They have been taking sugar buzz steadily, at a quart or more a day.  However in the last week they have slowed way down on the feeding.  They have eight frames plus of stored honey/sugar.  Hunger is not likely.   

Temperatures at night get down into the 40's but no frost yet. Highs this last week were in the 60's





Take what I say with a grain of salt cuz this is my first year with bees, but Ive never heard of using a frame feeder above an inner cover. I thought that they usually were placed directly beside the cluster. Don't know if that has anything to do with their demise or not but if its already getting that cold, they may not want to travel through the inner cover to get to it.
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Michael Bach
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« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2010, 09:46:24 PM »

I am trying SC this season to see my own results.  At my local association meeting this fall.....we had a presentation about SC and varroa.

Not encouraging.


http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/documents/m08138.pdf
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BjornBee
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« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2010, 07:36:47 AM »

I am trying SC this season to see my own results.  At my local association meeting this fall.....we had a presentation about SC and varroa.

Not encouraging.


http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/documents/m08138.pdf


Don't forget the studies from New Zealand and Australia that also showed the same results.... Wink

Of course there have been some beekeepers long before the studies came out, that had the same results...but they were deemed troublemakers, self promoters, ignorant, and just plain too stupid to know what they were looking at....  grin
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Acebird
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« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2010, 01:08:59 PM »

Somewhere in this discussion it was said that the cells vary all over between a range.  I am wondering if the bees start with smaller cells if left on their own because they are less labor intensive.  The need for bigger cells (bigger bees) may come later once the hive has gained strength so they accommodate.  This would naturally create a mix of different size cells.

So has anybody tried a mix of foundation material to see if the bees like it or not?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #31 on: December 27, 2010, 09:19:52 PM »

>So has anybody tried a mix of foundation material to see if the bees like it or not?

What purpose would it serve?  You can just let them build their own variety of cell sizes without any foundation.
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Acebird
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« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2010, 09:21:55 AM »

Well I guess you could ask the question, "What purpose does it serve to use any foundation"?  You tell me.  They make a lot of foundation material for beeks to purchase so there must be some advantage to it.

I am suggesting mixing the sizes because that apparently is what the bees do when left on there own.  Humans are all different sizes.  A colony is like a city.  Some people dig ditches, clean sewers, move furniture, answer the phone or just type.  Physical size may have something to do with occupations.
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deknow
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« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2010, 01:52:53 PM »

They make a lot of foundation material for beeks to purchase so there must be some advantage to it.

there are certainly perceived advantages, and there are "pros" to using foundation...but what are the "cons"?  do folks that have only used foundation have an understanding of the pros and cons?  in most cases, i don't think so....and very few beekeepers in the U.S. have ever kept bees without foundation (most don't think it's possible).

"they" also sell a lot of lottery tickets...and people actually buy them!  to "what purpose"?  well, the govt certainly does it to raise revenue...but what does the consumer get out of it?  is it helpful to the purchaser?  do people who purchase lottery tickets generally benefit overall?  surely "they" can't be selling us something that isn't helpful, can they?

deknow

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AR Beekeeper
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« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2010, 02:35:06 PM »

Acebird;  Go to the reprint articles archives and look at the "Online beekeeping library".  Select H in the alphabet and pick Hutchinson, W.Z. and read his 1891 article on foundation.
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Acebird
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« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2010, 04:03:23 PM »

I tried but the search doesn't seem to work for me.
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Acebird
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« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2010, 04:15:24 PM »

I got it AR.  So his deal is the cells are uniform and claims that as a good thing.  He also claims a time factor.  Some seem to argue with that though.
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Acebird
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« Reply #37 on: December 28, 2010, 04:18:07 PM »

Quote
and very few beekeepers in the U.S. have ever kept bees without foundation


We have more than one in our small local club that do so you might be behind on your facts here.
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deknow
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« Reply #38 on: December 28, 2010, 04:27:27 PM »

...it's become much more popular in the last 3-4 years...but, no, in this case, i'm not "behind in my facts".  very few beekeepers in the u.s. have ever kept bees without foundation.  i'd venture a guess around (or less than) 1%.

deknow
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Acebird
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« Reply #39 on: December 28, 2010, 06:38:55 PM »

I find it hard to believe that Upstate NY is ahead of the times.  I know people have been doing it for six years or better.  I am not going to guess on the numbers.  It would just be a guess.
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