Badly mated Queen or what?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by ApisBees, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Expect the unexpected, Question what you see.
    Pulled a frame of brood a few weeks back and put it in a 4 frame nuc with only 3 frames in the box. The frame with brood and eggs, frame with honey and pollen and an empty frame. Pulled the frames out of a strong colony when I thought I might need it for a trap out. Checked that they started drawing a queen cell. Checked that the queen hatched and was in the nuc. Today went in to see if the queen had been mated and is laying.
    This is what I found a hole sheet of burr comb with nectar stored in it. The empty frame filled with honey, and honey stored in cells after the brood hatched. Should have installed the 4th frame.
    IMG324.jpg [video=youtube;w1x1YpgkySM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1x1YpgkySM[/video]

    The next discovery. Capped brood in the worker cells, the cappings bullet shaped.
    Found the new Queen in the hive, there are lots of eggs and small larva laid in a solid pattern in the open brood comb.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSiETMfAkMQ
    Now the question is. Is the queen not mated properly?
    Was there a worker bee that got impatient waiting for the queen to start laying? The capped drone brood was laid prior to when the queen would have went on her mating flights.
    Did the queen skip the mating flights and started laying early?
    There seems to be a break in the stages of brood. Older drone brood almost all capped, it is not a solid laying pattern. The new egg and newly hatched lava areas are laid solid.
    What is going on? I don't have a clue, I can only speculate.
    In 9 days the new eggs and fresh brood will be solid capped worker brood or bullet shaped drone brood.
    My options are scrap her now, or wait 9 days and see what transpires.
    I will let you know in 9 days.
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    A good, and interesting tutorial! :thumbsup:
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I would give her another 9 to 10 days and see what develops. If she started laying as soon as she returned from her mating flights it is possible she has not settled in good. Remember this egg laying stuff is all new to her and does take a few days to figure it out.

    That is what I think, now time will tell.
     
  4. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    There is lots of signs of the newly mated queen doing things right, it is the bit of sparse drone brood that is out of place. The timing is off when compared to the development and maturing of a queen. Although we have had the odd rain shower during the time the queen would have gone on her mating flight the weather was sunny and warm for the most part.
    Some times one sees things in the hive that you just can't explain and only in time will the answer reveal itself. In 9 days I will know one way or the other what happened. I posted this experience that I am going thru as an example of things that can happen in a hive that are not readily explainable even tho I have been playing with bees for 34 years now.
    I knew what I was expecting to find and when I went in the nuc I was looking for conformation that every thing had worked out as expected.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I like it Apis...........a good learning scenario for all of us.
    riverrat was doing this a while back and quit :cry:

    post up more of these, they are fun to think about and learn.
     
  6. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    I'm back 9 days after the last inspection of a nuc. As stated in the previously posts only time would tell.
    Went in today hoping to find the brood caped with flat cappings, not a frame full of bullet shaped cappings.

    The cappings are flat the queen in the nuc and has laid all available cells that are not filled with pollen, nectar, or drone brood that have not emerged yet. Some of the drone brood in worker cells has emerged already and there are more cells that need to emerge. The Queen looks good healthy, good color, and laying well.
    IMG331.jpg IMG333.jpg IMG336.jpg
    I guess the lesson here is to expect the unexpected. Watch for signs that not all is what it seems at first look. Most importantly keep track of the days and the development of the queen and ultimately the hive.
    9 days ago first seeing worker cells with drone cappings the first thought is the queen was lost and I have a laying worker. Then I find the queen, the next thought is improper mated queen and to get rid of the queen. But the timing was off, the queen should have only started laying. Not brood already capped over that the eggs would have been laid 12 days before. The capped drone brood in worker cells did not fit into my timeline for the raising of the queen so I chose to ignore it for the 9 days to get a second opinion or sampling. I will continue monitoring this hive to see that the drone brood ceases and the queen continues to lay well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  7. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Good Idea Thanks

    To continue the learning from this nuc.
    The nuc has bees to cover 3 frames, 1 1/2 honey, 1 capped brood, 1 1/2 open brood and eggs.
    When is it time to move this nuc into a full size hive?
    The queen has laid all available space, but until more bees are available to support the new brood from the queens egg laying, moving the bees will cause the hive to have to defend and heat a larger area. So when will the bee population expand so there will be the population to support the new space? In 9 days the capped brood will be emerged but from the larva size from the inspection 9 days ago they will not start to emerge for another 6 days. So in 9 days the population will expand to 4+ frames maybe 5. This is when I plan to transfer the nuc to a full hive body. Over the following 9 days the bee population will expand to cover 8 frames allowing the queen to lay in 5+ of the frames.

    Keep in mind a full frame or brood will emerge to provide bees to cover 2 frames. All capped worker brood that you see in the hive will emerge over the next 9 days. All open brood will be capped in 9 days and will emerge during the next 9 days.
    Anticipate the needs of the hive and provide the space and resources to the hive as needed. Not in reaction to a crises that you find in the hive.
     
  8. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Been 10 days since I was last in the nuc. No more bullet shaped drone brood in worker cells.All was as expected it should be 4 frame nuc full of bees covering all 4 frames. Equivalent of one frame of honey and 3 frames of brood 2 capped and 1 open or eggs.
    It was moving day, the colony had come to out growing the nuc box they called home for the last 50 days, as predicted 10 days ago. Moved them in to a standard lang, the weather is warm even thru the night so it will not be to hard for the bees to look after the extra space. With the new bees to be emerging over the next few days the colony will continue to expand. In 9 days the population will cover about 8 frames. this is when i will place a honey super on top in 18 days the colony will be at 10+ frames of bees and 7+ frames of brood.
    So my next planed visit will be in 9 or 10 days. What to look for if their is as many bees as i think should be in the hive ,if not check out why? Check that the queen is not restricted in brood laying space because of being honey bound. If so give empty frames into the brood nest. These checks can be preformed by looking down between the frames. Give the colony a honey super so they don't plug the brood chamber with honey restricting brood rearing.
    IMG355.jpg IMG356.jpg IMG357.jpg IMG358.jpg IMG360.jpg IMG361.jpg