Brood opinions

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by ziffa, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. ziffa

    ziffa New Member

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    Hello all!

    I've attached some images to see what you think of these frames. They look like worker brood to me, but are covered with drones!

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Background:
    Well, Iddee asked me how my split was doing a few weeks ago and I was feeling pretty good about them. They are a little light and small, but they are reduced down and I've been feeding them. Activity at the door is pretty good and when I went into them last there were eggs, larva and brood.

    Well, I checked them again this weekend to reassess their stores and do any rearranging. The situation in H#1 was pretty much the same. The brood is pretty sparse, but the frames are covered and we have been pretty derthy, so I figured she wouldn't be laying much. still saw capped brood and larva. Rearranged some of the partially filled frames. Alls good as can be expected.

    Went to H#2, which was the split that took a while to requeen. Hmmm. While there is what looks like worker brood to me, flat caps, no bulges, there is a plethora of drones. I'm mean, it's weird! There is larva, but didn't see the queen. I did see her last time I went in and she was laying. Do you think she is a drone layer? Would I still have that many workers if I split in July? Am I mistaken about the appearance of the brood looking like worker brood?

    What are your opinions?

    Thanks much,
    liz

    ps. The comb is all wonky and flat on one side cuz they pulled it weird and when I straightened it out, they never finished pulling it out on that side.
     
  2. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    My opinion?- yes it's worker brood, looks ok to me. I am seeing lots of worker nurse bees there in the photos, not just drones over the brood. Just because you have a lot of drones running around in your hive at the moment doesn't mean you have a laying worker. Drones come and go from hive to hive, and the drone population fluctuates all the time.

    One thing to be wary of is going in and rearranging the frames too much. I was guilty of this last year. I'm not saying YOU are doing this, but you mention rearranging frames and I think it's good to be aware of, especially when just starting out. We can begin to think we always know better than the bees and treat their hive as though it was our kitchen pantry...we start rearranging the stores and canned veggies in a more 'logical' order- like it'll be better for the bees. After a while it becomes something we do too often, thinking we are 'helping' by correcting the bees' constant mistakes. Though sometimes it's necessary to move frames for some specific purpose like for making splits, preventing swarms, or getting ready for winter, it's also easy to just start doing it automatically every time we go in. It's somehow satisfying to move a frame!
    But every time we move a frame in the hive, the bees have to spend time either adjusting to the new setup or even undoing what we have done. If occurring too often, this can set the bees back over the course of the year. My new approach is to give the bees the benefit of the doubt and not move frames around unless I think it's really vital. Just something I learned for myself last year! :)
     

  3. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    what I see looks good and normal good pics. I can even see eggs in some of the cells in the top photo
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    looks like worker brood to me.

    if the picture of the frame with the drones was from the outside edge of he brood nest that might explain that. that simply where they typically hang out.
     
  5. ziffa

    ziffa New Member

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    Thanks everybody! Glad to know my identification of worker brood is not askew! :) I had just never seen that many drones on a frame and thought it odd at this time of year. Riverrat - I think those are light reflections in the cells, I didn't see any eggs.

    Omie, I don't usually mess with the frames, but I wanted to move those with the most honey together in the center in preparation for winter. I agree with you that leaving them alone is best!

    I sure hope they make it. I have a quart of 2:1 on them right now, but they aren't taking it very fast. Keep your fingers crossed!

    Thanks again for the responses!

    love,
    ziffa
     
  6. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Ziffa, I'm assuming you know to never split the brood area in half- the frames with brood go generally in the center, and the honey/pollen to the sides. But then...usually the bees arrange it that way already. ;)
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    typically you want to keep brood frames down and together. honey to the very outside of the bottom box (it's good insulation) and above the brood area.

    fall inspection should be minimized and somewhat timed to day time temperatures above 55 degrees.