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Author Topic: No brood?  (Read 1503 times)

Offline rgennaro

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No brood?
« on: September 22, 2019, 03:31:27 pm »
Last week when I opened my main hive I took a frame of brood and honey to put it in my small colony (the swarm that has been struggling all summer). I was a bit concerned because of 10 frames in the top box only 2 had brood and not that much of it and all capped (again this is the main hive). So I went back in today to check the entire hive and this week, no brood at all, neither open or capped. Lots of honey and pollen stores. Didn?t see the queen (she is marked so I should have seen her). No queen cells either (well there is no brood ....)

Last week I assumed the queen was slowing  down, now I am worried the hive is queenless. I am pretty sure I didn?t take her to the other hive but even if I did there would have been some brood in the hive since it?s been about a week.

Suggestions?

Online iddee

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2019, 05:38:42 pm »
Cut a 2 inch square of comb out of a frame in the middle of the cluster. Cut an equal square of comb with eggs from a frame in the swarm hive and install it in the main hive. It won't be enough to weaken the swarm hive. Then wait 7 to 10 days and check the main hive again. If you have a virgin queen now, she should be laying at that time. If it is queenless, you should have 1 or more queen cells..
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2019, 06:38:22 pm »
If you do the sums, a queen last laid in the hive more than 21 days ago, as all the brood has hatched. So if they used one of the last laid eggs and the new queen hatched at 16 days you should have seen a queen cell last week or just hatched.
So I would say you are queenless. Do you have time in the season to hatch a new queen and for her to lay. If she lays 25 days after you put the eggs in and 21 days to hatch you don't get a new bee for 46 days and 7-10 days to start working.
Should you buy a mated queen and add her to the hive to catch up 25-30 days?

Online iddee

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2019, 07:09:14 pm »
They did not start a queen cell with an egg. They started with a day old larva. IE: 4 day egg. She emerged 12 days later. She can start laying anywhere from day 21, "5 days old, to day 35. Possibly later.  Counting the days until your winter bees will be born is important, but the bees you have now will still be foraging for 45 days or more, with the exception of normal attrition.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline rgennaro

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2019, 07:37:30 pm »
Assuming it?s queenless can I just newspaper combine with the other one? That one has the odds against it anyway. Thanks

Online iddee

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2019, 07:45:33 pm »
YES, whether it is queenless or not. They will sort it out and either keep both or choose the best one.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Online sawdstmakr

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2019, 10:00:55 pm »
Being you are in New York, there is a good chance the bees have shut down the queen and she is not laying. If there is no flow, there is a really good chance she is shut down.
Jim Altmiller

Offline incognito

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2019, 10:28:16 pm »
Being you are in New York, there is a good chance the bees have shut down the queen and she is not laying. If there is no flow, there is a really good chance she is shut down.
Jim Altmiller
Jim,
I saw larvae and capped brood this week at hives in Manhattan and Long Island. OP is about 200 miles northwest at higher elevation. I am not disputing your theory, just sharing some observations from southeast NY (where the weather is noticeably moderated by ocean temperatures.)
Tom

Offline rgennaro

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2019, 02:55:09 am »
Jim that was my question: does a queen shut down completely or just slows down? That said, We have had some near freezing temperatures at night last week but it?s pretty warm now and the goldenrod flow is on.

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2019, 08:33:27 am »
With the cold nights she may have shut down. With an Apiary full of hives, half may shut down and the other half may still be laying.
I would not give up on this queen being in the hive. If you did what Iddee said it would prove whether she is in there or not. If they make queen cells, she is missing. If she is in there, they may even clean out the cells.
Jim Altmiller

Offline saltybluegrass

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2019, 08:46:21 am »
Jim that was my question: does a queen shut down completely or just slows down? That said, We have had some near freezing temperatures at night last week but it?s pretty warm now and the goldenrod flow is on.

Ugh near freezing and I?m hanging a hammock near WEST PALM BEACH good luck oh northern partner
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Offline rgennaro

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2019, 12:00:17 pm »
Of course my real job gets in the way and I am away at a conference all week. I will be back on Friday.

There is a couple of empty frames in the hive that I pushed toward the middle (since there was no brood that could chill). If she starts laying again there should be space for her to do so.

My hope is that my experienced beek  friend comes over while I am away or right after I come back and helps me out

The small hive is already kicking out drones btw

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2019, 12:44:06 pm »
Jim that was my question: does a queen shut down completely or just slows down? That said, We have had some near freezing temperatures at night last week but it?s pretty warm now and the goldenrod flow is on.

Ugh near freezing and I?m hanging a hammock near WEST PALM BEACH good luck oh northern partner

You ole rascal!  Must be nice at West Palm Beach anytime!!  I bet you do not miss Kentucky in the winter?  :grin:
A few weeks ago, I was in the middle of a dearth. I could not find one egg or one capped brood cell or the queen in two of my hives, and I am talking about summer.  I was concerned that the queens might be dead! That is when I completely made up my mind to mark my queens. Now they are again right back at it. I am anxious to hear the answer to your question also.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2019, 08:54:17 pm »
We are in a climate that has no snow in winter, frosts but a cold day is 10C.
We don't find fully shut down queens till mid winter, queens vary in their response to winter, some maintain a small patch while other may have brood on 2 frames, while a few totally shut down. The shut downs are not in strong hives, probably the reason their not strong as the queen has slowed down early in the season.
If there was any type of a flow they would not shut down totally here.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2019, 10:29:47 pm »
Last week when I opened my main hive I took a frame of brood and honey to put it in my small colony (the swarm that has been struggling all summer). I was a bit concerned because of 10 frames in the top box only 2 had brood and not that much of it and all capped (again this is the main hive). So I went back in today to check the entire hive and this week, no brood at all, neither open or capped. Lots of honey and pollen stores. Didn?t see the queen (she is marked so I should have seen her). No queen cells either (well there is no brood ....)

Last week I assumed the queen was slowing  down, now I am worried the hive is queenless. I am pretty sure I didn?t take her to the other hive but even if I did there would have been some brood in the hive since it?s been about a week.

Suggestions?

I have a question, have you checked this hive for mites?
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2019, 10:30:56 pm »
Cut a 2 inch square of comb out of a frame in the middle of the cluster. Cut an equal square of comb with eggs from a frame in the swarm hive and install it in the main hive. It won't be enough to weaken the swarm hive. Then wait 7 to 10 days and check the main hive again. If you have a virgin queen now, she should be laying at that time. If it is queenless, you should have 1 or more queen cells..

iddee, this is a great idea. You are always coming up with good ideas. Thanks, Phillip
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline rgennaro

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2019, 04:41:45 am »
I have a sticky board on this hive which has consistently show little to no mites. This past weekend when I checked there were 2 mites and the board had been in there for a long time (I had forgotten it :). I don't think mites is the issue here.

I find it difficult to believe that the queen might have shut down. The cold snap was in between the two inspections and in the first one there was already very little brood and all capped, so if she shut down it would have been before that and it wasn't that cold and there was food (again the goldenrod is in full bloom here). Add to it, that I didn't see her (and she is marked). But it is a possibility I am not discounting. If she is gone it's a shame, she was laying like a champ while she was around.

I am away so I can't do the 2" square of brood test that idee suggested until I get back. It requires finding eggs in the small hive, which I am not sure I can do ... but I'll try. I'll keep you all posted.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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No brood?
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2019, 01:55:51 pm »
There is quite a bit of look-loo experience to support that queens do not shut down completely.  They do slow substantially and take pause a day here a day there.  However, there is always some brood/eggs on the go 24/7/365.  It may be very little, as little as 50-100 cells mid dead winter, but there nonetheless.  When looking for evidence of queen in fall/winter; first figure out where the centre of the tight cluster is.  Look there. The queen will not be roaming about the hive.  She will be huddled centre/centre.  Do not expect to easily see the few cells or the queen under the mass of bees.  In a healthy well organized hive ramped down for fall and drifting into winter, both will be there. (queen and a small brood patch)

Complete absence of brood/eggs means either there is no queen, or there is a queen which is virgin or defective.

Perhaps just as a comparison or reference at this point in time (Sep25).  Here in the north, my queens have slowed down.  When I look in the hives this week I see 2 frames with palm sized patches if eggs/larvae both sides.  I also see between 3 and 4 peppered frames left of matured emerging brood. A week ago those ones where -sheets- of brood covering 70% of the frames both sides. Now as a bee comes out, every cell is being backfilled with the syrup being fed.  Point being, your hive(s) should still be raising new palm sized patches of brood on 2 to 3 frames at this time. The main mass winter bee brood cycle should emerging/emerged and the bees promptly backfilling the nest as those cells come open.
 .... completely broodless means queenless or a dud queen regardless of season, imho.  I do not believe your issue is the season.

Hope that helps! ... in some way.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 03:54:06 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline rgennaro

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2019, 04:17:24 pm »
I am back home. Still no sign of brood in the main hive. I could not find eggs in the small hive so I couldn't do what idee suggested (not because there weren't any, but because I couldn't see any -- there was plenty of brood open and capped and I saw the queen in the small hive).

I have a theory that the main hive actually swarmed. In the weeks leading to this I had  removed several swarm queen cells from the bottom of the frames. And the number of bees in the hive looks smaller than usual. If that's actually what happened, there might be a virgin queen in there. Also the bees were relatively calm today. Are there tell-tale signs of a swarm that happened recently?

There were 8 mites on the sticky board which has been in there since Sunday. This has been the highest number I have seen the whole season. I am thinking of dusting the bees with powder sugar to take advantage of the lack of brood at the moment.

I am leaning towards a newspaper combine given that both hives have issues ... but I am nervous that if there is a virgin queen in the main hive, the mated one from the swarm will be killed and then something happens to the virgin one during her mating flight ...

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: No brood?
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2019, 04:28:45 pm »
Suggestion:
At the location of the small hive. 
Put the queenrite mated queen on the bottom, then newspaper sprayed with honey bee healthy syrup, then queen excluder on top of paper, then queenless/virgin hive on top. Close top entrance and hole in cover - or at least screen them to prevent traffic and possible virgin escape.  Reduce the bottom entrance to medium size.  3/8 x 3. If there is a very large difference in colony size, use 2 sheets of paper. 
Leave alone for 7 - 10 days minimum.
If there is a virgin upstairs she will eventually be abandoned, balled, perish, after the hives  have joined and allegiance to the mated queen below.
In 3 weeks remove the excluder. 
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