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Found the queen but no brood

I was looking through one of my hives today (8/26/18) and found no capped brood there was a small patch of eggs and young larva. Found the queen, the same from January when I requested, so it isn’t a virgin queen. Plenty of honey and pollen in the hive just no brood. I finished a MAQS treatment a week ago and was wondering if that may have caused a die off of brood. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks in advance.

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I don’t have a straight answer for you, I am afraid. MAQS can cause brood die off if you inspected every frame less than 3 days before treating, but that isn’t always the problem. So, I do have a few questions.

  1. Did you peel the paper off the MAQS, or just the plastic?
  2. What made you decide to treat? Have you seen DWV or crawlers around the hive?

The reason I am asking is that I am also in CA, and had a horrible season with Varroa this year. I lost one hive, and have been babying 2 others back to health after treating. In 30 years of beekeeping, my husband and I have never seen anything like this. I don’t think the drought is helping, but that isn’t the whole story. I am suspicious that we have an extra-virulent strain of DWV which is hastening hive demise.

I hope that your hive makes it back on track. Just as a positive side note, the two hives we treated in time were hugely lacking in brood for a month, but now they are producing a lot more bees again. We offered food, but they didn’t want it, they needed bees not food. If yours don’t recover, one option would be to combine the best hives to give them a chance of overwintering successfully. Sorry you have experienced this too. :cry: :disappointed_relieved: :thinking:

I kept the paper on per mfr directions. I noticed a lot of mites on my sampling board before treating.

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Then you may have the same problem I had. I actually notified my local Agricultural Inspector, who is very friendly and he has issued a county-wide alert as a response. Make sure you do another mite count in about a month. Meanwhile, I hope your bees pick up the pace in the remainder of the warmer weather and the little nectar we have right now.

Hi Dawn,
Sorry to hear about your mite issues.

As Natural Beekeepers, we haven’t had these issues, but the lack of rain in Puget Sound has resulted in lower than usual honey stores and the drones were booted at the end of July this year.

The wildfire smoke has been an additional stress on all of us, bees and beekeepers alike. In addition, I have been suffering from my own mite saga, my first experience with chiggers :frowning::

Wondering if you’ve read this from April’s BeeWorld magazine:


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I hadn’t seen that article, thank you. The chiggers sound miserable, sorry you got infested. I presume they had gone by the time you noticed the bites? If not, I would have been tempted to try Oxalic Acid Vapor! :smiling_imp: Just teasing you. Hope you feel better soon without using the Swiss Army Knife therapy! :open_mouth:

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Supposedly they have been showered or scratched away (and die, making the whole relationship pointless, for them) by the time the itchy welts appear. I stayed very busy washing bedding, towels, and gardening clothes that first itchy day, as I read that the little buggers could lay in wait for over a month-just patiently waiting in your blackberry picking shirt :persevere:

Though still itchy, I have been able to hold off my urge to use the trusty Swiss.

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This one is my favorite, out of the many in our house. Not recommended for surgery though, it has been used for too many other things! :blush:

This is from scientific beekeeping. 1. Don’t assume that all beebread is nutritious! California beekeepers pay attention—that late summer and fall beebread may be more harmful to your colonies than good. Check it under a scope to see whether it consists of rust spores. http://scientificbeekeeping.com/a-comparative-test-of-the-pollen-sub/

I also saw that antibiotics were fed as a preventative for EFB prior the study and according to this, I don’t think the resultant observations in Bee nutrition give a balanced view at all.

The observations was the amount of brood with different pollen substitute. You might disagree with his conclusions but hive strength observation clearly show pollen substitute helps in brood rearing when pollen is not available or of low nutrional value. If treating with antibiotics is common practice by commercial beekeepers then treated hives in this study is appropriate. Perhaps he could of had a control group of hives untreated. The original post of this thread says pollen was available in hive. That pollen could have no nutritional value affecting brood production. Feeding a pollen supplement is worth a try.