How much luck involved in frames with a solid pattern?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Crofter, May 23, 2013.

  1. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had a lot more frames of even age/stage patterns on first year hives where everything but the nuc frames were started as a clean slate. Some of the hives that overwintered with honey to spare, are all mixed up. I can see signs that early spring hand sizd patches of brood were raised and some frames were laid up later only where the honey was emptied. Now with nectar and pollen coming in some areas are not available for the queen.
    It seems to me that the availability of space or laying pattern is in a lot of cases totally beyond the queens control.

    One hive in particular got me to thinking about this. Wherever there was a bunch of cells laid up there was no shotgun pattern and the queen was laying in both boxes but nowhere could you find a large panel of even aged production. The hive is growing rapidly but by many contemporary standards the queen is not laying a good pattern. Hate to see a good girl get a bad reputation because of external circumstances.

    What would it take (or does it matter) to regulate the pattern?
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    sounds like you need to add supers for the bees to put stores. then add a couple frames of empty comb into the brood nest. If they are back filling the broodnest this early they are out of room:thumbsup:
     

  3. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am going to split these hives as soon as I get queens. Today is the first there have been drones hatched but not flying yet perhaps it is a bit cold today. I can put either supers with drawn comb or deeps that I will use when I split but agree they will need more space as there is lots of capped brood ready to come on line shortly. It has been down near freezing the last few nights and again tonight so have to be careful.

    I was amused by the way the one queen was hitting all the different patches of cells throughout the hive; she must have a bicycle to get from job to job!:lol: I threw in a frame of foundationless a few days ago and they have it nearly drawn out solid drone cells so that should keep her on one frame for a bit. Putting in some blank frames seems the only way to break the cycle. I think if I had taken off more honey last fall they would have had more empty space to get going in a regular pattern but this is the first I have overwintered this far north.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think I understand what you are talking about here Crofter and I often see it in hive that I use for grafting. Ideally you would like to have the same aged larvae on one side of one frame so you don't need to do much search and find when it come to proper aged larvae to graft, but naturally nothing ever works out to be quite as cleanly as you would like. at some point the queen simply lays into what ever cells she decides is ready. if you do not have a population of house bees cleaning up stuff ahead of time or if you have larvae that emerge on any kind of interrupted time line then this is the kind of pattern you might expect (it is definitely not the same as a shot gun pattern which always indicates a failing queen). <I also tend to think that although we model in our minds that it requires so many days for a worker to emerge actually this one thing has it own distribution and biology and temperature do factor in here to make this a range of days and not A day so.
     
  5. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    tec, you do a much better job describing it. I was thinking that unless you present a queen with a totally drawn out empty frame that is the only way you could get it drawn out nearly even aged. I am thinking of creating a queenless starter/finisher nuc as described by Joseph Clemens. Should be a good way of making some queens and getting a bunch of pristine new comb drawn out. Sure could use more of it in both brood and supers.
     
  6. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

    Messages:
    469
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm having much the same problem as you. The brood is all over the place, little patches here and there. Seems like as soon as a cell is empty it gets plugged up with pollen. Overall there is lots of brood, but I rarely see more than a palm sized area of even aged brood. I've been making some splits and putting in drawn comb, hopefully that will help the queen out.
     
  7. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Pistolpete; I think the drawn comb will do the trick. My hives came out of winter with a lot of honey that was taking up space. I am just now seeing some drones in my hives to make splits at all possible since there are no other bees close. It will likely be another two weeks before I have replacement queens to be certain of splits.
     
  8. cheezer32

    cheezer32 New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A lot of times on frame you will see 3 or more circles within each other of different aged brood, where in the middle you might see capped brood, with a ring a eggs around that and a ring of larva around that, especially during a nectar or pollen flow cells are filled and emptied constantly through the hive and if the queen doesn't have a lot of room to lay see is just going to drop and egg in every suitable cell that see comes across. Giving the broken brood pattern, but as tech said, not a "shotgun" brood pattern. If everything looks like it has something in it, whether its capped or uncapped honey, pollen, or brood. I don't worry about anything besides maybe giving them more room. I think all hives eventually get to this state without intervention. a few frames of empty drawn comb put in the middle of the brood nest in a strong hive are sure to get laid up quick and even.
     
  9. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

    Messages:
    469
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I did an inspection yesterday. The frames that I replaced after pulling off a 5 frame Nuc two weeks ago are all solid capped brood. I put in one green drone frame and that is 90% drawn and 70% occupied by drone larvae. The rest is still quite a mish mash of everything. I think I'm going to pull one more 5 frame Nuc from this hive. Seems that the small splits clean up the brood nest and make the hive stronger, not weaker.
     
  10. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It has to be more efficient to lay continuously on the same panel before moving on. I see comments on the queen wasting time looking for and sizing up the next deposit. Kind of like hunt and peck typing. I am going to have a peak tomorrow at what the girls have done to the frame with notched cells. If they are not building queen cells they must have a virgin queen and should soon see eggs.

    I am thinking of throwing another deep on each hive and that will give them something to play with till I get queens to do splits. Needless to say, I want to avoid them swarming.