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Author Topic: Workers removing brood from hive  (Read 1554 times)
Lt Dan
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« on: July 11, 2012, 03:18:27 PM »

I have a new hive that I started in April. My first BTW. Everything seemed to be going along fine until about two weeks ago when I saw the bees dragging out brood and flying it off. I watched for about a half hour and it was pretty continuous. It lasted two days and then everything seemed normal again. Lots of pollen coming in, etc.

Yesterday morning they started doing the same thing again. Some of the brood looks to be nearly grown. It all looks white or creamy colored. Nothing nasty looking or bad smelling.

I am thinking that maybe there is not enough nectar this time of year and they are aborting the brood before they mature to conserve food?

If that is true I should probably start feeding again?

I am going to inspect the hive tomorrow or Friday. What should I be looking for to determine what the dickens is going on?
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annette
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 09:43:30 PM »

When the bees are carrying out brood then something is wrong with the brood. (perhaps this brood has a large number of mites and they are doing some hygienic cleaning or some other problem with the brood) I usually don't worry about them carrying out brood as long as they still look healthy and have good numbers. The fact that they are bringing in pollen is a good sign. You will want to open up the hive and look and see if they have any honey before starting to feed them.  Keep an eye on them to make sure they are developing OK in spite of this recent occurrence.

Whenever I do an inspection it is almost always the same: Do they have a good population of healthy looking bees??   Do they have enough honey/open nectar ? Is there evidence that they still have a queen (look for eggs, open or sealed brood in a good pattern) Of course at different times of the year, things will look different.

Annette
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2012, 11:59:10 PM »

The first question is, where are you located? Are you so far north that you still have cold nights and not enough bees to cover them?
Jim
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indypartridge
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2012, 06:24:21 AM »

There are any number of reasons why they might be removing brood. Could be hygienic behavior, could be conserving resouces as you noted, could be other things.

I agree with Annette: you need to get in the hive and see what's going on.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2012, 06:57:22 AM »

May be no nectar/pollen coming in  huh


      BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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JackM
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 08:08:33 AM »

When you get in the hive look for signs of Nosema
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Lt Dan
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 10:58:22 AM »

I just did a hive inspection and it is not looking good.

Lots of bees going in and out but no pollen today. Two days ago there was lots of pollen coming in but we had a downpour of 3" of rain that day and it might be hard to find today.

One or two beetles but no other pests I could see.

Lots of comb but very little honey. None capped. And no brood. Well, maybe a couple of dozen random capped brood. Everything has been emptied out. I saw a little bit of new comb but just a tiny bit compared to the used comb.

No queen cells. No supercedure cells. Just lots of bees working on the comb. I did not see the queen but then I have never seen her so that means nothing.

No sign of Nosema. I am in SW Georgia so cold is not a factor now.

Yikes! What do I do now?
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sterling
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2012, 12:47:25 PM »

They will do that when their reserves get low.
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Lt Dan
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2012, 02:42:04 PM »

About a half hour ago I fed the hive. Now there are a LOT of bees around the entrance. Looks like more are coming in than going out and I cannot see either hauling anything.

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Jim 134
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2012, 05:26:30 PM »

Do the combs look like this?

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,38305.msg321187.html#msg321187



BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
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"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
sawdstmakr
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2012, 05:37:14 PM »

About a half hour ago I fed the hive. Now there are a LOT of bees around the entrance. Looks like more are coming in than going out and I cannot see either hauling anything.


Did you close down the entrance to the size of 1 or 2 bees?
If not close it down now.
Jim
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Lt Dan
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2012, 11:25:27 PM »

Doing it now. Do you think I am being robbed?
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2012, 11:44:15 PM »

Doing it now. Do you think I am being robbed?

If there isn't a flow on and you feed a hive there is a good chance they will be robbed. I do not feed my bees if there is a flow on or they have honey. If you want to know if you are in a dearth, take a feeder and place it at least 100 yards away from your hives. It won't take long before a lot of bees are all over it.
On the other hand I tore a hive, in an old truck tool box, apart right in my apiary with honey all over the place and none of the bees bothered it because there was a flow on.
You place the feeder a long way from your hives it because if they are too close, the bees do not tell the other bees where the food is, they just tell them it is close by, go find it. This is how it starts.
Jim
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2012, 11:54:06 PM »

Lt Dan,
You are still Hopelessly lost. A lot of beekeeping information depends on your location. You can go into PROFILE, MODIFY PROFILE and then FORUM PROFILE INFORMATION to update it.
Jim
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Lt Dan
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2012, 03:01:05 PM »

Jim 134,

No, the frames do not look that bad. Just empty. Pollen started coming in again this morning and they have gone through nearly two quarts of 1/1 mix of sugar and water already today.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2012, 03:40:29 PM »

Jim 134,

No, the frames do not look that bad. Just empty. Pollen started coming in again this morning and they have gone through nearly two quarts of 1/1 mix of sugar and water already today.

 IMHO a dearth may be on and the bees are starveding


         BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley



      
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
Lt Dan
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« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2012, 04:58:49 PM »

I think you are right. I started feeding yesterday afternoon. At first there was unbelievable activity at the entrance. Probably a hundred or more bees flying around. But it went back to normal and they have gone through 2 quarts of a 1/1 mix in 24 hours. I guess I will need to feed them until spring unless there is a good fall flow.

Thanks all for the help.
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Vance G
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« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2012, 11:41:42 PM »

feed internally!  No boardman feeder or such.  I use a zip lock baggie on the top bars with a couple slits in the top side only.  You cover it with a shallow super and no one drowns or dies fighting to keep hive from being robbes.
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