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Author Topic: Brood kill  (Read 302 times)
GSF
Queen Bee
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Location: Central AL (nw corner of Elmore County)


« on: July 02, 2013, 07:26:31 AM »

New package bees 3 1/2 weeks old.

So far I'm leaning toward me as the culprit. The last two times I have opened the hive the following couple of days brood is brought outside the hive and discarded.

Maybe I didn't notice it last time but this morning a lot of the brood seems to be chewed up. I have a landing that is apx 8"x11". There was all stages of brood. This morning I noticed about 3 "newborn" bees as well.

Total count the first time was probably 15 to 20. This time I'm thinking at least 30-40 and probably will increase since this is this it the second day since I opened it.

I figured it was rookie stupidity. I am careful and slow with my inspections. I'm thinking that maybe some crushed capped honey covered them, I crushed them, or maybe the smoke was too hot for larva. The part that concerned me was the chewed up larva. Is this normal? Today is day 21 since the queen was released into the colony. I was expecting 1000s of baby showers not carcass's. This morning the hive had a funny sound. One of the bees was making a distinct sound. I would guess it was the queen piping. There's no queen cells and only one queen that I've seen.  SHBs are present but the most I ever saw was 3 or 4 to 5 or 6.

All thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.
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"Life is hard, It's even harder when you're stupid."

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blanc
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Location: Reserve,Louisiana


« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2013, 07:51:26 AM »

Don't open too often and ther is always hive beetles to some extent or another. I try to get in the hives once every week and a half or two weeks tops and I don't dig too deep unless needed. Setting up a new hive I feed and leave alone as far as opening for couple weeks until they are well settled.
Blanc
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The fear of the Lord is clean,enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 08:08:43 AM »

GFS,
My first thought is are the drones. Look at the eyes. Do the eyes loo large and meet at the middle. If most of them are drones, your female is defective. This happened to me with my first hive. My first queen had defective wing syndrome. My hive was a nuc and that queen was never able to make her maiden mating flight and was a drone layer. We replaced the queen at about the 4 week but it was too late and the hive was then taken over by small hive beetles and totally slimed. The seller replaced it worth a hive that was 2 deep boxes that had swarmed. If you cannot tell if they are drones or females, send pictures to the moderators and they will post them for you.

Are you making sure you are putting the frames back into the hive the same way you are finding them?
Are you wearing thick heavy gloves and crushing the capped cells with the gloves? If so try using the blue rubber gloves.
Hope this helps.
Jim
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sc-bee
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 11:16:09 AM »

Eliminate simple first. You are probably crushing bees during inspection. You yourself said the next couple of days after inspection. Leave them alone and see if you see the same hauling out of brood. Eliminate the you first grin As a newbee I know it is hard.

Does everything else look like it is growing fine? Are you getting burr comb in bee space being filled with drones and tearing it apart during entry. Chewed up brood... well they have to pull the dead brood out of the cell if it were caused during inspection. If I saw it continuing to happen other than after inspections then I would begin to suspect something else.
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GSF
Queen Bee
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Location: Central AL (nw corner of Elmore County)


« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2013, 07:25:44 PM »

sc-bee; I didn't take pictures of the dead larva/pupa's, but you're right. It has only happened twice and each time it was "after" an inspection. If I had to guess I would say crushing or hot smoke. I thought it was cool but it may have heated up after burning down some in the smoker. Before I went in to work this morning I was looking through a couple of my bee books. I read where they said it was common for bees to eat brood that had died. Something about regaining the protein. The brood chambers/honey chambers looked good. Good laying pattern, no evidence of wax moths, larva all pretty and white, bees about their business tending to the farm. I added the second brood super because they were just about out of space. I put it on the bottom. I got the impression from reading that a lot of folks seem to think it was better there. I can't say.

sawdstmkr; Looking at the capped cells I'd say I have very few drones. The cells are pretty much even with the rest of the comb. There was about 3 bees with the brood that was dead. They looked like they may have just been born. They were pretty small. Correct me if I'm wrong - drones will be bigger and have bigger cells. I believe my queen was mated when I got her. I can't say that I'm putting the frames back in the way I took them out and I am wearing the thick bee suit gloves. Won't they sting through the rubber ones? A little history on me; when I'm stung - I drop stuff. I drop mail, RR crossties, axes, sling blades, weed eaters, hammers, pretty much everything but my shotguns/rifles. I live in an area just ripe for the stinging. I've been snakebite at least a half dozen times (nonpoisonous) as well. I think I'm an attractant.   

blanc; I agree with staying out of the hives, however I think (?) I'm justified so far. 1st time 3 days after queen release to make sure she's still there. The second time was around a week later to make sure she was laying, and this last time was to see if they were ready for the second brood chamber. I know I tore loose honey caps where they were extended next to the other frames. Do you think I need a spacer or does it really matter?

Thank for each of your comments. They are welcomed and needed. If I have a preconceived notion that is inaccurate please point it out. Thanks again, gary
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"Life is hard, It's even harder when you're stupid."

John Wayne
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