Author Topic: Live Larvae Being Drug Out Of Hive  (Read 158 times)

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Offline Jen

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Live Larvae Being Drug Out Of Hive
« on: December 01, 2019, 07:30:33 pm »
We have a foot of snow. Saw one of my hives dragging out live larvae onto their front porch. What does this mean?
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Online Bakersdozen

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Re: Live Larvae Being Drug Out Of Hive
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2019, 05:40:42 am »
I would say that is a sign of hygienic behavior.  The bees sense there is something wrong with the larvae and they are getting out of the hive.  Jen, you say it's live larvae.  Is it healthy looking?  Are there mites attached?  Do the larvae look chalky?  Chalk brood looks like chalky mummies.

If it's hygienic behavior, the queen is a keeper!

Offline Jen

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Re: Live Larvae Being Drug Out Of Hive
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 05:05:58 pm »
I didn't have a way to get a photo this trip, drat! There is about 100 larvae of different development stages, different sizes, outside the hive on the porch and ground. Some are pure white, some are tinted creamy, some look kinda dried up. I think this is A LOT of brood to kick the bucket.

three stack hive, top box full of honey.

No mites, OA treatments in the fall, sticky board shows 3 dead mites, no wigglers.

A week ago, I went down to the second box, no brood, but plenty of healthy bees. So I'm thinking there is capped brood in the bottom box. 4 nights ago we had a snap wind and freeze night below 20 degrees. The entrance to the hive is blocked to 2 inches. I'll bet the brood was close to the bottom of the frames and got chilled and some frost bitten. Also found that by accident the inner cover was put on backward where the notch then faced the opposite direction than the entrance. Sooo, that would make a pretty good cold gale going up thru the hive.

The hive doesn't seem to be any worse from it, and good thing I caught it right off the bat.

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Online Bakersdozen

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Re: Live Larvae Being Drug Out Of Hive
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 05:22:22 pm »
Jen, I've had all day to think about this.  There are some other possibilities that could have caused this.  Are you using screened bottom boards? Chilled brood is the 1st that came mind. (You stated there was a foot of snow on the ground).   Usually at this time of the year, in my neck of the woods, we are in a broodless period.  The queen doesn't start laying again until the days get longer.  Also, the queen doesn't lay more eggs than the colony can care for.  So, to me, it's odd that your queen is laying in the last 3 weeks.  Another factor may be starvation.  The nurse bees may be sacrificing the brood due to lack of food stores.
Perhaps others will have some thoughts on this subject.

Offline iddee

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Re: Live Larvae Being Drug Out Of Hive
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2019, 06:28:55 pm »
I'll guess either chilled brood or drone brood being removed. Starvation would see bees eating, not discarding, the brood.
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Offline Jen

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Re: Live Larvae Being Drug Out Of Hive
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2019, 10:45:48 pm »
Hi Mr. Wizard  ;) Being out in the field a lot the last couple years, I've noticed that This Year in particular I've seen an enormous amount of excess drone brood. Some hives had full deep frames solid drone brood both sides. That hive was just as full of worker brood and ample healthy bees all the way to the lid. I was concerned about all those drones hatching out and would be fed too much of the stored honey. Later in the beginning of Fall, the drones slowly disappeared, which makes sense.

This hive I'm talking about did the same thing this year. It's my best hive this year, but later in the year an excess of drones were hanging out on the porch, I mean covering the porch completely. I did an inspection and the hive was healthy and also very full of capped worker brood, baby bees and the sort.

Could it be that last year the entire west coast was burning up, the bees were starving and many hives died, commercial and back yard bees? Maybe the bees felt the need to produce excess drones to make sure that mating was more successful this year... like trying to make up for last years losses?

I also read that when bees have determined that a long cold wet winter is on the way... Of which it is already happening... the bees will produce more drones to help keep the hives warm over the winter. Such as we order a couple more loads of wood for back up.
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Offline Mikey N.C.

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Re: Live Larvae Being Drug Out Of Hive
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 07:25:50 pm »
Jen, can I ask why 2 inch entrance at those temps.

Offline Jen

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Re: Live Larvae Being Drug Out Of Hive
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2019, 02:08:41 pm »
Hi Mikey, this time of year in upper northern Calif, our temps are not that low yet. We do get freezing snaps that can last about a week, then the temps stay pretty steady around 40 at night. Later December temps will start to drop down to 20's, that's when I will close the entrances to 1 inch.

We still get some bees out on the front porch for maybe 2 hours in the afternoon so they are willing to break cluster to get some fresh air. Later on they will not break cluster for about 3 months.
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Offline Mikey N.C.

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Re: Live Larvae Being Drug Out Of Hive
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2019, 09:15:25 pm »
Yes , here I make entrance small. But i have a dearth early . can be early Aug. . then comes yellow jacks.
(Not a problem this yr.) I set standard entrance reducers in front , with 3" opening,then I use a small block of wood and slide to adjust for condtions

Offline Jen

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Re: Live Larvae Being Drug Out Of Hive
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2019, 12:05:16 pm »
Mikey, I keep the entrances completely unblocked during the flow so all the busy bees have plenty of room to zoom in and out. Then, we have dearth as well in late July and August, that's when I put on the robbing screens. Then, when the temps drop to a steady 40 during the day, I remove the robbing screens and put on the entrance reducers like yours keeping the entrances approx 2 inches, and adjust smaller as the days get colder.
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Offline Mikey N.C.

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Re: Live Larvae Being Drug Out Of Hive
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2019, 03:54:41 pm »
Mine