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Author Topic: Not sure what to make of this...  (Read 584 times)
bassman1977
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Location: Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania


« on: June 23, 2012, 06:58:03 PM »

Three weeks ago, I did an inspection on a split that I made earlier this year.  A queen was made, then I believe they superseded it.  The queen was laying just fine until the inspection three weeks ago when I noticed there was a lot of cells filled with multiple eggs, all laid rather sloppy, some on the cell walls, etc.  So thinking I had a laying worker, I put in a frame of eggs and brood from a strong hive and went back the next week prepared to do the same.  So I go back, check the hive, and all of the cells in the middle 5 or 6 frames of the box (the hive is just a single medium at this point) were filled with eggs.  Nicely laid, bees were bringing in more honey and I figured I have a new queen, the week prior was just her starting to lay and I just caught her when she was trying to figure it out.  I left well enough alone and went about my business.  Fast forward to today.  I go in, again, no eggs in sight.  Nothing.  Now I know darn well that the worker brood won't emerge in 6 days.  So back I went and tossed in another frame of eggs and brood.  Before I did, I shook the bees off the frame from the potentially queenless hive and I noticed a queen cell that I did not catch when I was inspecting.  Just a little thing.  Took a peek inside and I saw what looked like a cell 1/2 full of royal jelly.  So hopefully if there is a queen in the cooker, I didn't dislodge it when I shook the frame.  I'll go back next week to toss in another frame of eggs and brood.  But considering the events of the past week, what do you think is going on here?  I find it odd that last week there were so many nicely laid eggs and nice pattern and today, nada.  In the time I identified a potential problem, I never did sight a queen, obviously, otherwise we wouldn't be having this "conversation".  I don't think I have questions either since I have a plan in place, other than a desire for a possible explanation as to what is going on.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 08:22:10 AM »

Depending on the size of the hive and the timing, it's possible that you just have synchronized laying.  The queen lays as many eggs as she can as fast as she can.  The bees will feed and cap as many of those as there are nurse bees to care for them.  Any excess eggs are eaten.  More eggs can't be cared for until the new crop of nurse bees emerges from the capped brood.  In small hives with lots of drawn comb, this leads to spurts of brood rearing.  There will be lots of eggs laid and larvae capped and then there will be nothing for 3 weeks and then another round of eggs laid and reared.  Eventually the emerging brood become unsynchronized and this effect goes away.

I often see this in queen castles and small nucs when they start out.  You think you have a laying queen and then, suddenly, no new brood for awhile.
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"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
bassman1977
"King Bee"
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Gender: Male
Posts: 1787

Location: Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania


« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2012, 09:19:31 AM »

Learned something with that post, Frameshift, however there isn't even brood other than the brood created by the eggs that I placed in from another hive.  And that rogue queen cell.   huh huh
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