Faltering queen?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Zookeep, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    now Ive never seen brood patters like this so thought I would post and ask,broods about 50/50 drone and worker but its only happening with the new comb not the old, maybe its cell size? too close between worker and drone cell so the queen keeps switching back and forth? or is the queen just starting to fire bad eggs every now and then?
     

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  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Is this just on one frame Zookeep? If you do not have a lot of drones at this time, this just may be their way of raising some. Sometimes they can mess up really nice worker comb if they realy want to raise some drones.
    Also, is this a new (just mated queen)? Sometimes they take a few days to get their rythme or groove on the right track and settle down, even laying more than one egg per cell when they first start.
    Taking pictures and posting will probably get you the answers you're looking for! :thumbsup:
     

  3. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    was this frame on the outer edge of the brood nest. I dont believe having a frame like this is entirely unusual. I have read when the bees pull new comb some times the first frame will be a lot of drone cells. I wouldnt judge the queen over one frame. Whats the others looking like?
     
  4. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    it was in the upper box in newly drawn comb and only 2 frames are like this but they were in the middle of the upper box
     
  5. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    sounds normal to me
     
  6. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    Good to hear, I will check the rest of the boxes of the hive but I think it was just the 2 frames.
     
  7. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Whenever I see drones being layed in worker cells, which is what that looks like to me, I figure that the queen is bad, not that the cell size of too close to in between.

    Were there any other combs which were all worker? Except what was actually drone cell sized comb?

    How old is this queen? If she is new, I would suspect incomplete mating. Pinch her head and add a new queen.

    If she is old, she is a failing queen. Pinch her head and add a new queen.
     
  8. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I will have to agree with Mark on this one.

    What is in the other cells that are not capped?
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Is the foundation plastic or wax?
     
  10. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    plastic, just took a good look at all the frames and noticed that there own cells are a bit smaller then the plastic foundation cells they had drawn out, also there own comb I used is almost all worker capped not like plastic capped with 50/50 drone and workers. Im glad I didnt squish her, I put her and 4 built frames and 1 new into a nuc and sized the full hive down to 2-9 inch 10 frame brood boxes,capped queen cells in the middle of the top box with a few others being built, other good news is Ive seen a few drones at the entrances, so mating flights are not far away
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I thought that might have an effect on it.
     
  12. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    im sticking by this is normal under the conditions described. Glad we can agree to disagree here :goodpost: :thumbsup:
     
  13. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Are you saying that this may have been the result of plastic foundation Iddee?

    If you want to get rid of it Zookeep, just scrape that area off the plastic. Would be a good chance to see if there are any mites in the drone brood at the same time.
     
  14. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Looking back at the photos in detail and reading that you said this was only the new comb, which is plastic foundation, it occurs to me that maybe the foundation might be drone cell size foundation?

    Putting this queen in a nuc box w/ good looking old er combs w/ very little drone comb present will tell you whether there is anything wrong w/ the queen. Which it seems you have already done.

    Do you suppose that foundation is drone comb foundation? I saw in the new Kelley Co. Catalog that you can get foundation mills w/ different size rollers. Three different cell sizes.
     
  15. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    ""Are you saying that this may have been the result of plastic foundation Iddee?""

    I'm not saying, I'm asking. It did seem like it was pointing that way.
     
  16. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    From what I can read theres what 3 sizes of cell foundation? small, normal, and drone.

    its not drone cell foundation but the cell size is bigger then what the queen is used to I think, if I can see the size difference betting the queen can too,and if not and the queen is bad Ill just leave her in the nuc popping out a 50/50 mix of drones and workers and use her for mass drone production for a while, there is already a capped cell in the hive she came from.

    To Perry, I have drones popping out now in every hive and see no mites at all (knocks on wood) and have scraped a few cells and nothing, I figure in another week im going to start pulling a frame here and there and start nuc production.
     
  17. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    location, location, location...

    as a general rule most drones (and a good number of queens) are reared on the edges of the brood nest (think the outside edges of a basketball here for a visual cue). the casualty rate here is high especially if you get any up and down swings in temperature. if I see a frame like the one zookeep has presented here and it's location is along the outside perimeter of the brood nest I think this is absolutely normal... on the other hand if this same frame was right smack dab in the middle of the brood nest I would think something was amiss. also typical of a failing or mis bred queen the cells in any given frame will have fairly random mix of worker and drone cells <so there is really not any definable patches of worker cells and then patches of drone cells on the face of any frame.
     
  18. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Scrapping cells is an insufficient method of varroa mite detection, though I can understand that at this time of year you don't want to sacrifice any adult bees. This is the time of year when varroa populations are lowest. So not seeing them in drone brood isn't surprising.
     
  19. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    went into the hive today and there must have been 30 cells, took 1 frame out with 7 cells and put in into a nuc with a frame of worker brood and 2 of food and a new frame then divided the other 15 frames about equal between 2-10 frame brood boxes and moved 1 away and added another empty brood box on top of the 1 that staying in the original spot (all the field workers gonna end up in it), I have drones flying now from at least 4 hives .
     
  20. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    "Scraping cells is an insufficient method of varroa detection"

    You lost me on this one Mark. I often use this method. The area between your brood boxes (top and bottom) is an area where bees will often raise drone brood. Whenever I crack boxes (remove top from bottom) one of the first things I look for is evidence of any mites in the exposed larvae I find there. If there is no comb in this area I will sometimes uncap a few cells in different areas in the hive to see what's there.
    I'm not advocating it as a means to tell you any level of infestation, but any sign would be an indicator that perhaps a mite count may be necessary.

    Zookeep, are you saying you found 30 queen cells :shock: Don't know how many nucs boxes you have but wow! :mrgreen: