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Bees swarmed, new queen, but no brood?


#1

Hi all,

So I gave my 70+ parents the Flow frames just when they started on Indiegogo in 2015. We finally started with bees in June 2017 with a nuc from a local supplier. Colony went strong through the winter, and they were busting at the seams in the spring of 2018 (late April/early May). As the hive is at our second home in Normandy in France, we missed 'em and a lot of the girls had flown off.

Next time I did an inspection was late July, and I thought there was no eggs/brood. I counted about 10 queen cups, so maybe they swarmed again when we were gone. Some drones hatching so I thought to give them a bit of time until the queen had mated and started laying eggs.

Went in again today (18 or so days later), and I’m not sure what to think. We saw the queen, so they’ve requeened. But I would have suspected a lot of new eggs and brood, and I couldn’t see that. Also some gooey cells, so wondering if they have some disease like foulbrood. I remembered a trick with a match to check for foulbrood, so included one pic like that.

Setup is two brood boxes. Usually the bottom one is full of eggs/brood, and the top one is honey. Now the top one is honey, and the bottom one pretty empty.

Attached some pictures. Any thoughts from you folks?

Thanks! Sjoerd

Top brood box:



Bottom brood box (usually the more full one… now pretty much empty):




And the gooey stuff:



#2

It’s hard to be sure from the pictures but those cell cappings give the impression that there are drones being layed in worker brood cells. The queen could be poorly mated: If you have another hive, You can give it a frame of eggs after culling her. At this time of year it may be better to purchase a known properly mated queen.


#3

Very patchy brood pattern = not a good queen. The white gooey stuff looks like chalkbrood to me.


#4

I would be getting a good queen and pinch the existing queen.

Cheers
Rob.


#5

If that was my colony, I’d give it a frame of mostly emerging brood, say one every 7-10 days until you get a decent sized population. I’d give that beautiful looking queen a chance to come good.

That colony looks really low in numbers. A queen can only be as good as the workforce she has to support her.

I’m almost certain that your colony is dealing with chalk brood disease. You’ll need to take appropriate action there.