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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did an inspection on one of my hives today and have some concerns. Here are some of my observations.
- Poor (spotty) laying pattern

- Multiple eggs in cells

- Pupae found on screened bottom board


Here’s the timeline for the hive.

- April: purchased established 10-frame deep hive

- May: hive swarmed (I was able to catch the swarm and it is doing great! :grin: )

- June 16: Observed small amount of capped brood and larvae (did not see queen)
- June 29: No queen, eggs, larvae, or capped brood observed
- July 3: re-queen hive (bought from GA vendor)


I’ve been able to see the queen on the last 2 inspections, but I am concerned about the poor laying pattern. Today I was able to see that some cells had multiple eggs. Is this a sign of a laying worker?

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I was also alarmed to see that there we some larvae on the screened bottom board. It looked like the workers were attempting to remove them from the hive. What would cause them to do this? I removed the cappings from a couple cells of the center frames. These frames are much darker and I assume that they were the original older frames used to start the hive. The larvae beneath the caps were white…
Brown Beehive Pollinator Apiary Insect Brown Natural material Pattern Soil Wood Beehive Pollinator Apiary Insect Honeycomb Beehive Pollinator Vertebrate Natural material Honeycomb


Can anyone offer suggestions on how to move forward? Is all this related to the new queen?
Any information would be appreciated. Thank you!
 

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I'm thinking there has been a succesful supercedure or other emergency queen rearing episode. The new young queen is starting to get it into gear.
 

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When a new queen starts laying you will often find multiple eggs in cells for a week or two. Once she gets her "groove on" things will settle down.
If the hive was queenless for a bit, what can happen is that the bees will begin to plug up the brood comb with nectar and pollen, given that there are no eggs or brood to prevent them. Then, when your new queen starts to lay, she can only find empty cells sporadically so what appears to be a shotgun pattern is sometimes not her fault.
 

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Two very good and accurate answers. In the second pic you will find that several cells have two or three eggs in them, but they are in the bottom and more or less centered. A laying worker will have many, 5 to 8 eggs in the cell and mostly on the sides. Give this hive a week or two and go back again, you should be pleasantly surprised!!

As was said about the spotty pattern, if you look at all of the cells with out brood there is something else in them............nectar and pollen.

White brood is what you are looking for, a good sign they are healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Excellent! Thank you all for the feedback. The shotgun pattern explanation makes complete sense. Should I be concerned with the dead larvae at the bottom of the box? Or is this just normal 'housekeeping'?

Thanks again.
 

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Hard to tell from the pic. Looks like they were pulled from the center of the nest.

Did you do an inspection in the last day or two? you could have harmed them in some way

These could also be very hygienic type bees and this is normal for them.

A closer look at what they are pulling out would be more helpful.
 

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Sometimes when confronted with a shotgun brood pattern, a simple test can be to simply insert a nice frame of empty comb, right in the middle of your brood nest. This will give the queen the ability to lay unrestricted and "prove" herself. If she continues to lay sporadically in that new frame............:sad:
 

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someone need to archive these pictures as a classical example of a very poor laying pattern.

a snip...
I was also alarmed to see that there we some larvae on the screened bottom board. It looked like the workers were attempting to remove them from the hive. What would cause them to do this?

tecumseh:
based on very casual observation of your pictures I would guess the primary cause is starvation. the larvae and pupae form (almost up till the adult form emerges) should be white (off colors of these suggest diseases or pathogens). there does appear now to be some small amount of nectar or syrup entering the hive (a cell here and there with just a wee bit of feed and very little pollen stored).

if the drought earlier in the year has affected Gainesville like it did most of Florida this could be the primary problem this hive has had all along.

and ps... go Gator.... class of '71.

and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Larvae on bottom board
Yes, I did an inspection 2 days before these pics. Unfortunately I did not notice if anything was on the bottom of the box (was focused on the frames). I'll be sure to give it more attention on the next inspection.

I'm not sure about starvation. The pics above did not show many stores, but there are several good frames of honey. I've been feeding them sugar syrup through most of the drought and into July. I actually just removed an unfinished bottle this weekend (1 week old). I also gave them a small amount of a megabee pattie last inspection which still had some remaining. I will continue to feed to be sure.

Poor laying pattern
Good plan. I will try to install an empty frame to see how the new queen performs without any obstacles.

Thanks again! I appreciate all the help.

Go Gators! :thumbsup:
 

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at this point in the season I would likely do as wadehump has suggest above.

there are of course a number of things that could be taking place here. starvation (that is for me the lack of a ring of feed around the edges of the frame) still seems to be the primary concern (which makes me wonder what have you been feeding and how much?). starvation is also suggested by looking at the larvae in pictures 1 and 2 <with nothing that appears to be larval food at the bottom of the cells.

my other concern would be 'where are the live bees' on the pictures you took of the frames. did you shake or brush them off prior to taking the pictures? it appears to me there is a lot of brood and not very many bees to cover or attend to these frames. if you have no answer for this lack of adult population then the next problem I might expect would be nosema (at this point in time and season more than likely nosema c and not nosema a).

contrary to my first line in 'what I would do' such hives for a new bee keeper represent an opportunity to discover first hand what can go wrong and the ifs and hows of remedy a problem.

good luck...
 
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