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Does this look normal?

 
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Bleith
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Apr 2014
Posts: 51
Location: West Dundee, IL. USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:10 am    Post subject: Does this look normal? Reply with quote

First time bee keeper with HTBH. Installed a 3lb package with queen (was told it was an Italian) about 6 weeks ago. It has an observation window that I peek into about every couple of days. The other day I decided to remove one bar to take a peek. I can't find anyone around that is a proponent of HTBH so any questions I have I bounce of a conventional keeper (has about 140 lang hives). Although he is patient with me, he has no understanding of the HTBH. Since I can't figure out how to post a picture, I won't. Anyway he looked at it and it appears that one full bar has about 35-40% drone brood and he said he would scrape it off. Any suggestions? Or is there a time to remove all the bars and look at everything?
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nannybee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 21 Jun 2012
Posts: 127
Location: Deeping St. James Lincolnshire UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not an expert by any means but I do know that most conventional beeks dislike drones, seeing them as useless consumers of the honey they want to harvest, so they remove drone brood. You have to ask, though, if drones are useless, why would bees raise them? If you subscribe to natural beekeeping you work on the principal that bees do what they need to do and, if they are raising drones, they need to raise drones - even if we're not sure why. (There are various theories - queen mating, of course, but also, keeping brood temperature stable has been suggested).
I'd leave them alone!
I'm sure you will get more experienced replies, but I doubt you'd be told to kill drones on this forum!
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:55 am    Post subject: Re: Does this look normal? Reply with quote

Bleith wrote:
..... it appears that one full bar has about 35-40% drone brood and he said he would scrape it off. Any suggestions? Or is there a time to remove all the bars and look at everything?
[/img]


What was in the rest of that comb? Nectar? Pollen? Worker brood?
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 447
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I run Langs in a natural way and don't worry about drone comb. Contrary to popular belief it's never enough to worry about and is used by the bees as honey comb after they emerge.

In your world of varroa infestations I have no experience but if resistance to the mites is a genetic trait then killing drones is counter productive as they are the real source of genetic variation.

Cheers Rob.
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stevecook172001
Site Admin


Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 443
Location: Loftus, Cleveland

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Does this look normal? Reply with quote

Bleith wrote:
First time bee keeper with HTBH......
Honey bees, recognizable as such, have been around for about 22 million years. Therefore, a good rule of thumb, unless faced with the most extreme of circumstances, is to assume that they know what they are doing and that what they are doing is in their interests. Now, of course, allowing the bees to do what is in their interests (making more honey bees) may result in a lower harvest of honey than might be the case if we force them to do what is in our interests (making more honey). But, it stands to reason that there will be a price to pay for such human manipulations and that price is the overall health of the bees in our hives. And, of course, if everyone does it, then that price will be the overall health of the bees as a species.

In short, there's no such thing as a free lunch.

None of which is to suggest that a hive can or should, in all circumstances, be left to it's own devices. Rather, to reiterate, I'm suggesting that it is a good rule of thumb and should only be veered from as circumstances require. Where the line is specifically drawn with regard to those requirements is a matter of personal judgement, I guess. But, for me, getting rid of drones that the bees, for their own reasons, have seen fit to produce is on the wrong side of it.


Last edited by stevecook172001 on Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:59 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Bleith
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Apr 2014
Posts: 51
Location: West Dundee, IL. USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are the things I expected to hear. As to answer the question what was on the rest of the bar, there was about 1-2 inches of honey across the top and he said the rest of the comb had worker brood he believed. He did not come out see it, I sent him a picture.

Is there a time to do a full inspection?
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bleith wrote:
These are the things I expected to hear. As to answer the question what was on the rest of the bar, there was about 1-2 inches of honey across the top and he said the rest of the comb had worker brood he believed. He did not come out see it, I sent him a picture.

Is there a time to do a full inspection?


yes, when you removed that first bar

if your using smoke on them, I'd let them settle for a few days before going in again, drone brood is needed by the bees otherwise they wouldn't make it, they know better than anyone, even your so called bee keeper friend, you really do need to do full inspections, otherwise your asking for advice without giving all the facts, a bit like reporting you car stolen, but without times/dates/location,colour and plates on car?

as for your pictures, go to photobucket.com and open a free account, host your pictures there, then just copy and paste
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Bleith
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Apr 2014
Posts: 51
Location: West Dundee, IL. USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will work on posting pics. I did not use smoke and have no intentions of ever using it. Infact I don't even have a smoker. So, I went in there today and removed every bar, had my 9 year old take a picture if both sides and looked at each one for about 20 seconds and reinstalled each bar as I went through. Didn't seem to bother them too much. It was actually much calmer than I anticipated. From what I saw, it appeared that there were a couple of bars with some drone brood and pretty much the majority of the rest if bars seemed to have mostly worker brood.
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stevecook172001
Site Admin


Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 443
Location: Loftus, Cleveland

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant B. Can't wait to see the pics. I've just started out as well but I've gone down the Warre route and so am very interested in other people’s experiences of the various types of top bar hive.
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Bleith
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Apr 2014
Posts: 51
Location: West Dundee, IL. USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://i1373.photobucket.com/albums/ag384/bleith/IMG_1681_zps0e74900d.jpg

the above link is a picture of the comb I first had questions about. I will post more in an effort to get a broader idea of how the colony is doing.
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Bleith
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Apr 2014
Posts: 51
Location: West Dundee, IL. USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the newest bars
http://i1373.photobucket.com/albums/ag384/bleith/IMG_1698_zps03370c2c.jpg

about 2 bars down from the previous bar
http://i1373.photobucket.com/albums/ag384/bleith/IMG_1702_zps15a74aa0.jpg

Another 2 bars down
http://i1373.photobucket.com/albums/ag384/bleith/IMG_1707_zps44aa43a4.jpg

another bar or 2 down
http://i1373.photobucket.com/albums/ag384/bleith/IMG_1711_zps3e54bd4f.jpg

another bar or 2 down
http://i1373.photobucket.com/albums/ag384/bleith/IMG_1717_zpsd96b9338.jpg

and so on
http://i1373.photobucket.com/albums/ag384/bleith/IMG_1725_zps148081a3.jpg

and on
http://i1373.photobucket.com/albums/ag384/bleith/IMG_1729_zpsc7c2f654.jpg

http://i1373.photobucket.com/albums/ag384/bleith/IMG_1736_zps2486f176.jpg

If anyone gets a chance to check these out I would love to hear any comments and feedback.

Thanks again for all your info and help
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colobeekeep
Scout Bee


Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 286
Location: USA, Colorado, Denver

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see a lot of worker brood, in a good pattern. From the pictures posted, there are more workers than drones, and it's a healthy amount of workers, in a good pattern.

IMHO, leave them be, including the drones. A healthy colony will produce some drones. Most likely, the other beekeeper views drones as being a drain (consuming honey and producing nothing) instead of being productive (like worker bees - collecting nectar and producing honey). (I'm not criticizing, just making an observation.)
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 447
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks fine to me. Let the bees carry on like bees Smile
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

all looks ok to me, if I can point out one thing though, it's to remove those squashed bees from the sides of top bars, this is one way that disease can enter a hive,
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