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OA dribble?

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OrchardBees 

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Please be kind. This is my first year, with next-to-no help. I'm learning as fast as I can. I'm using 14x12, lots of capped stores, no super, but the photo is a smaller frame I had to swap in.

I did an inspection today, and the good news is that the queen is laying again, the bad news is in the photo. Not only was there an actual mite, as bold as brass, on the surface of the capped brood, there were three on one of the pupae that were uncapped.

Given the urgency, could I do an OA dribble? I only have three patches of brood, on two frames.

I chequerboarded three empty frames further into the middle, so there’s plenty of laying space.

Could I afford to just get rid of the frame with the drone brood/varroa on it? The second photo is the other side of this frame, which I think is also drone brood (?), but it was all capped and looked ok from the outside.

Also, the brood was all at one end of the box. If I do get rid of that frame, should I shift things around to move the frame with the worker brood to the middle, with the capped stores at the ends, and the undrawn frames either side of the brood?

Sorry the pics aren’t great, I was by myself, videoing it and didn’t get close enough.
 

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Swarm 

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Not the easiest year to start beekeeping.
Do you have a pic of any other patch of brood? It's difficult to tell with that second photo. Drone caps are domed and worker is flat like stores cappings. First glance looks like a failing queen/drone layer. If there is worker brood, eggs, I would put all the brood together (chequer board=bad idea) They need to stay concentrated, spreading and splitting brood is unnatural and puts stress on the bees.
These are in a sorry state and may even be doomed if the queen has in fact failed. An oxalic drizzle will do no harm.
They need to go into smaller space so if you have a nuc arrange them capped stores, brood frames, capped stores in the nuc and then add a strip of apivar.
If no nuc, see if you can dummy down the space with insulation.
As I said, it all depends if that queen is viable, sorry to say, it's not looking good.
 

enrico 

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I hate to say it, but if all the brood looks like that it is all drone brood and your queen has failed. It is too late to get one mated now. I think you may have to start again the spring! So sorry. If there is decent worked brood in the hive then put all you can in a poly super and start praying!
E
 

hemo 

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Even if the colony was good with worker brood cells OA dribble will only get rid of phoretic mites in the short term, if using OA one would need to vape 4 X at 5/6 day intervals to cover a brood cycle.
 
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Is there a local beekeeper or forum member that could help you out?
 

OrchardBees 

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Even if the colony was good with worker brood cells OA dribble will only get rid of phoretic mites in the short term, if using OA one would need to vape 4 X at 5/6 day intervals to cover a brood cycle.
I was wondering about disposing of the drone brood, then dribbling the bees, but if the queen's failing it sounds as if I may as well give up and start again.

Not the easiest year to start beekeeping.
Do you have a pic of any other patch of brood? It's difficult to tell with that second photo. Drone caps are domed and worker is flat like stores cappings. First glance looks like a failing queen/drone layer. If there is worker brood, eggs, I would put all the brood together (chequer board=bad idea) They need to stay concentrated, spreading and splitting brood is unnatural and puts stress on the bees.
These are in a sorry state and may even be doomed if the queen has in fact failed. An oxalic drizzle will do no harm.
They need to go into smaller space so if you have a nuc arrange them capped stores, brood frames, capped stores in the nuc and then add a strip of apivar.
If no nuc, see if you can dummy down the space with insulation.
As I said, it all depends if that queen is viable, sorry to say, it's not looking good.
I've got one frame with a bit of capped worker brood and eggs. The drone brood is on a separate frame. The queen stopped laying four weeks ago, but has started again. I hadn't split the brood with the other frames, I moved undrawn frames inside capped stores. I've got a poly nuc, but there are way too many bees to go into it. If I put the queen and the frame with the small patch of brood into the nuc, and fill up the rest with stores, what happens to the other bees? Would I need to leave laying space too or would the one frame be enough?

Is there a local beekeeper or forum member that could help you out?
I don't know anyone local. My association did get one person out to me back in June, but it didn't really work out.


Thank you all so much. I might as well try the nuc option, I suppose there's nothing to lose at this point, unless you advise against it. The only slight positive is that I might actually get some honey left over if I do this. If I do, should I freeze it? I'm very grateful for all your advice, thanks again.
 

drex 

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They tend to lay drones at the edge of the nest. If she has started to lay again it is perhaps worth waiting to see if it end up as capped worker brood. If so you are in luck. It is difficult for a beginner to judge bee numbers and the space they will fit in, but a lot do fit in a little space. However in view of your comments I would just remove unused frames except one or two and dummy down. They make the nest where they want it, no need to move it into middle. Take out the chequer boarding. You certainly need to get a mite treatment in there Asap. Oxalic dribble is better than nothing but it will damage open brood. A vape or Amitraz would be my choice
 

enrico 

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If the queen had gone off lay and has started again then that drone brood may be the last of the previous laying. Definitely wait until you see what the new brood is before giving up hope!
E
 

OrchardBees 

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Thanks. It's only two frames with brood on, and she's moved from the middle of the hive to laying next to the outer frames at one end. I'll get rid of the frame with the drone brood, it's riddled with varroa, and double check that the other patch is worker, and look to see what happened to the eggs.
 

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