What exactly is a shotgun pattern?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by onehorse, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. onehorse

    onehorse New Member

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    I checked on the cutout hive yesterday and they have brood, no a lot, but some. Anyway, based on what I have seen, she has a shotgun pattern, but the cells that are open do have larva in them and they look healthy, just not capped. Is a shotgun pattern when the queen just completely misses a cell or when the bees clean the cell out because it wasn't developing properly, or is it when she isn't laying from one side of frame to the other and just lays where ever when she gets around to it?
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    A shotgun pattern will be just sporadic laying of eggs all over a comb, it should be solid looking with very few cells missed.
    If there are eggs in the cells give them several days to get them capped and check back on them, it should look solid.

    A new queen will sometimes miss cells as she is still learning what to do.

    You say this was a cut out, from how long ago? are they still repairing the comb, maybe some of the cells got a little smushed and the workers have not fixed and polished them yet.

    G3
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    snip:
    Anyway, based on what I have seen, she has a shotgun pattern, but the cells that are open do have larva in them and they look healthy, just not capped.

    tecumseh:
    what you are describing is not a shotgun pattern. the queen is simply laying up in the now emerged cells. quite typically with a shotgun patter you have a solid frame of capped brood and the 'shotgun pattern' is the empty cells where the workers have removed defective eggs.
     
  4. onehorse

    onehorse New Member

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    Okay, that's good. It is a cut out from a couple (maybe 3) weeks ago, but was such a small cut out that, while we would have liked to have saved the pieces of comb with brood in it, we didn't feel that we were winning anything by attempting to save it. We took the bees and put them on drawn comb from a dead out that had reserves, so it shouldn't be too much of a mushed comb issue. I have no idea how old she is, but she is the queen that over wintered with this colony. I am just concerned that I gave her brain damage when we did the cut out. The first time I checked, she had a solid laying pattern. I got concerned when I saw the open cells with brood in the middle of capped sections, thinking that since it is such a small cluster of bees, that the clean up crew hadn't been through yet. Good deal, sounds like we might still be on a good road with these guys. Thanks!