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Collapsed Brood and other general worries

 
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Albart
New Bee


Joined: 03 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Denver, CO

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 6:29 pm    Post subject: Collapsed Brood and other general worries Reply with quote

I recently bought a house and with it came a colony in a top bar hive. I've always had an interest in keeping and was really excited to get started. However, I knew nothing about the history or health of this particular colony. Today, I performed my first inspection and found that comb has been drawn on every bar of the hive. The hive is full of bees that appear healthy, though I was unable to locate the queen and saw no evidence of new eggs (though there appeared to be lots of brood). There appears to be lots of uncapped honey, and many bars full of brood and honey. However, the pattern of the brood comb doesn't seem to be entirely consistent throughout. I found several queen cells, two of which had pupae emerging at the time of inspection. I ended up harvesting one comb of honey. Unfortunately, a comb of brood collapsed and I wasn't able to reattach or salvage any of it. I've placed the detached brood comb outside the hive in hopes that other bees will save some of the honey/nectar, etc. my concern is whether or not I've damaged the colony or otherwise compromised their health in removing this comb of brood. I also have the following general questions I'm hoping can be answered. Thanks in advance for your help!

1) should I be concerned about so many of the combs being loaded with uncapped honey? In fact, most of the bars containing honey had few capped cells at all. Have the bees been robbing these combs in preparation for swarming or is the honey just not ripe yet? Many of the brood cells appeared "puffy" or raised from the comb. Is this normal?
2) how much damage was done by removing the collapsed brood comb from one bar of the hive?
3) how long do I need to wait before entering the hive again?

Thanks!
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WileyHunter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 125
Location: Batesville, IN USA

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without seeing it, from your description, the "puffy" brood is likely drone cells.
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Albart
New Bee


Joined: 03 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Denver, CO

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the response. Any idea at how far back the hive may be set by losing a whole comb of brood?
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they have other brood combs then the answer is not too much. We often take brood combs to create nucs, etc and the hive recovers.

Personally, I would not leave any comb outside the hive to be cleaned up. It may attract other bees or some predators. If you cannot reattach it then harvest the honey and discard the rest and let the hive get on with life.

As for the uncapped honey. It's early in your season and it is probably just not cured enough yet. Let the bees handle it would be my advice.

Cheers
Rob.
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Albart
New Bee


Joined: 03 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Denver, CO

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much, rob. I only left the comb out for reclamation during the afternoon and have discarded the rest. Thanks so much for the reply!
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