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Author Topic: Possible Drone Laying?  (Read 270 times)

Offline Badwwolfe

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Possible Drone Laying?
« on: May 26, 2020, 06:49:24 pm »
New urban bee keeper in LA County here. We have 2 hives with mediums on them already, started late April. The problem is with only 1 hive though. In this 10 frame deep we have a feeder and 8 frames. The 6th frame from the feeder (3rd or so from the other side) is the last frame they?ve filled out, and I?ve included pics of it.

The problem is that the frame has what appears to us to be drone brood in the middle surrounded by uncapped honey. The dozen or so capped cells in the middle seem to be convex compared to the capped honey around the top edge. Looking deeper into the hive they?ve built we see plenty of capped brood and developing larvae. We just can?t figure out what these capped cells in the rogue frame are or if we should be worried at all. Anybody more experienced have any ideas?

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Possible Drone Laying?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2020, 07:37:01 pm »
It's hard to see from your pictures, but as long as you have mostly worker brood in the hive, I really wouldn't be concerned.  A queen becomes a drone layer because she runs out of stored sperm and therefore can only lay drones, so as long as she is still laying worker brood, she isn't a drone layer.  What type of frame is this?  Is it fully drawn plastic, foundation, or foundationless?
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Offline Badwwolfe

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Re: Possible Drone Laying?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2020, 07:43:19 pm »
The post wouldn?t let me post the attached pictures at full resolution, limit of 200kb each. They?re plastic foundation bought from our local bee keeper place (we took classes there and bought all our equipment there as well). The capping are convex, not like most worker brood or other capped stores. I agree that it?s not something to worry too much about, just figured I?d rather ask some people and get more opinions than my own.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Possible Drone Laying?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2020, 08:51:51 pm »
The post wouldn?t let me post the attached pictures at full resolution, limit of 200kb each. They?re plastic foundation bought from our local bee keeper place (we took classes there and bought all our equipment there as well). The capping are convex, not like most worker brood or other capped stores. I agree that it?s not something to worry too much about, just figured I?d rather ask some people and get more opinions than my own.
Yeah, that image limit can be a pain at times.  If the cappings are definitely more convex than worker brood, then you are right, they are drones.  I have never used any fully drawn plastic frames, so I can't speak from experience, but it wouldn't surprise me if the bees just decided to put some drones in the worker-sized cells since they didn't have any other options.  Perhaps someone more familiar with this type of frame can give you a better answer.             
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Online cao

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Re: Possible Drone Laying?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2020, 02:53:30 am »
Welcome  :happy:

That patch does look like drone brood.  It is not a problem as long as the majority of the brood is worker bees.

Online TheHoneyPump

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Re: Possible Drone Laying?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2020, 03:03:02 pm »
It is absolutely normal to have some drone brood.  It is a sign of a healthy hive. Typically the drones are along the bottom area of the frame.  The bees will convert some worker cells to drone cells as they need them.  It is common in a healthy hive for plastic worker foundation to have some drone cells built along the bottom or in palm sized areas off to the side.
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Offline Robo

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Re: Possible Drone Laying?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2020, 09:57:50 am »
It's hard to tell from the pictures (you can reduce the resolution and still keep a larger dimension) but if they drew out drone sized cells on the foundation then it is totally normal.   If they are overly protruding capped worker sized cells than it is a queen issue.   This will usually manifest intermittently and you will see these drones in worker cell splatter across the frame,  hence the term "shotgun brood".  It does appear there is a nice section of worker brood in one of the corners in one of the pictures so I think you are fine.   

Don't forget, bees prefer a lot more drones then we give them foundation space for, sometimes up to double digit percentage of the population.   My bet is you gave them no drone foundation and they are just winging it where they can.
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