Lots of Drone Brood?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by ziffa, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. ziffa

    ziffa New Member

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    Hello,

    We went through all of our hives yesterday and found a lot of drone brood in one of them. I got nervous that we had a drone layer or worker layer, but we did find regular brood as well. The first frame - frame #2 had only drone brood, then on frame #3 there was about 30-60 drone to worker brood and the same on the next couple of frames. The drone brood was on the outside and the worker towards the center.

    Is this strange for this time of year? Should I be worried about something? There looked to be unfilled queen cups on the bottom of just about every frame we looked at. Population is good, though not as booming as our strongest 2 hives.

    There was also what looked to be water in the bottom of some of the cells in the center of two frames with capped brood. Not nectar and not jelly - just wet. These frames are in the middle of the hive??? We have had a lot of rain, but the hive is in good nick and has a good telescoping top.

    Thanks for any advice or comments!

    love,
    ziffa
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Sounds like queen development is between 18 and 24 days. The new queen should be laying by day 35.
     

  3. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Could be the queen is running out of sperm and the workers are going to supersede her ,or they have swarming on their mind. I've seen this many times and it's usually one of the two. Jack
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I think you were right two weeks ago, Jack. With only capped brood now and most of it drone, I would say most workers have emerged, thus day 18. Drones are more numerous, as they take 24 days to emerge. Thus the day 24.
    I would say the new queen has emerged and is between emerging and laying.
     
  5. ziffa

    ziffa New Member

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    Thanks Guys,

    Iddee - this is a different hive than the one I think is queenless. They are both our original hives and I think they both swarmed a few times in April. (We caught 3 swarms and lost 2 with in a week :( . ) Do you think both are in the queen making process? I agree that this one definitely seems to be working on replacing the queen. The hive just feels sluggish, although there is brood. The other hive was just so barren of anything that it is hard to believe they have a queen made, though I trust you. I'm still taking your advice and will wait a week to see. I just wondered if this post influenced the reply to the other.

    Thanks Brooksbee. That is exactly what I was worried about. Is there any way to tell which it is? None of the queen cells looked developed, but we did not pull every frame. <edit> Iddee replied while I was typing and answered this. So do you think they swarmed already and we missed it? Does the drone brood indicate swarming? Or could it still be either, we just know that it is almost a completed process?

    I appreciate the replies. :)

    love,
    ziffa
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Any time a hive, any hive, is thought to be queenless, my recommendation is to add a frame containing eggs and waiting a week. You should either have new eggs or queen cells at that time. Then you will know the answer.
    It will also give the hive a boost with new bees emerging for 3 weeks or so.
     
  7. The Bee Guy

    The Bee Guy New Member

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    I agree, when I see a lot of drones I will add a frame or two of brood and eggs.
    But when you check the cells in the foundation and see 2 or 3 eggs in a cell then you've got a problem that needs tended to right then.
    After you get rid of the laying worker then install a couple of frames of brood and eggs.
    Eggs should be preferred over brood.
    In 24 hours or so the hive will know they are queenless and about that same time the eggs will be hatching making the larva prime canidates for workers to make a new queen.
    Good Luck.
     
  8. ziffa

    ziffa New Member

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    Ok, thanks Iddee. I understand that.

    I'm sorry to keep harping on the drone brood, but I'm trying to wrap my brain around the brood timing thing and I have to ask a lot of questions to understand : /.

    I re-read your reply and noticed that you said "only capped brood". I was in error in my first post because I didn't indicate that I did see uncapped brood, although I did not see eggs. (again, we didn't pull every frame in the hive, but most of them in that box). Since most of the uncapped brood was in the areas adjacent to the drone brood and looked like drone brood to me (larger larva in larger cells), does that mean we can move your dates back a little?

    If I understand correctly - drone brood is capped on day 10. and most of the brood was pretty well developed, so I would estimate they were closer to being capped than laid. There was still capped worker brood, most of it dark capped but some lighter. So, without having observed a completed queen cell, open or closed, would it be safe to assume we are somewhere between day 16 and day 20? Because the queen is probably emerged (no queen cell) but the the worker brood is not all hatched? (day 20)?

    Am I at all close to grasping the concept?

    Thanks,
    ziffa
     
  9. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    hi ziffa,
    yes, drone brood is capped on day 10. here's a general time line, hope this helps you a little:

    a queen's timeline:
    day 1, 2, 3, Egg
    cell is capped on the 8th day
    day 16 Queen birth
    day 20 Mating flight
    day 23-30 Start Egg Laying

    stages of growth of honey bees days after eggs are laid:
    egg hatching>worker 3, queen 3, drone 3
    larva>worker 5, queen 5, drone 7
    cell capped> worker 8, queen 8, drone 10
    pupa>worker 13, queen 8, drone 14
    adult emergence>worker 21, queen 16, drone 24
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I cannot give you an accurate summary if I don't have the correct info.

    I still say, tho, to find the answer, add a frame of eggs. Until that frame has been in the hive for a week, no one can answer the question.
     
  11. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Iddee and i were posting at the same time. i agree with iddee, i didn't do the math.:???: Jack
     
  12. ziffa

    ziffa New Member

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    Ok, sorry.

    Thanks,
    ziffa
     
  13. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    It's not uncommon for a brand new queen to lay several eggs per cell for her first week or so of laying. She may even lay some eggs outside the cells, or on top of frames. She's simply not got the hang of it yet, and will straighten up and lay just fine when given a bit more practice time. Please don't automatically dump such perfectly good young queens onto the ground- get a closer look before doing anything rash, and maybe give it another week. Look carefully with a magnifying glass- Laying worker eggs are usually attached to the sides of the cells only, since they can't reach their butts all the way to the bottom of the cells. A good young but inexperienced queen will lay two or three eggs in a cell, but at least some of them will be at the bottom of the cells.