Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Failing Queen or Hygenic Behavior????

This is a post written by Randy Oliver on Bee-L which really sums up how to identify if your "spotty" brood pattern is from a failing queen, disease, virus, or expression of hygienic behavior (which is good). I believe it is important enough to post for documentation and to share...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: randy oliver <>
Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Subject: [BEE-L] Intermittant brood pattern

> > How does one tell the difference between a failing queen and brood
> > that
> has been removed due to hygienic behavior.

Mike, there are other possible reasons for the shot pattern:
Miticide or pesticide contamination of comb Virus mortality Fast-acting AFB strain

All above, plus failing queen, could be ruled out by inserting a drawn comb in the center of the brood nest.  The queen should start laying immediately.
 Then simply follow that brood up to capping, and a few more days.  Hygienic uncapping won't happen until later.

If queen is failing, then you will see a poor egg pattern.  If larvae or eggs are removed shortly after queen lays them, then suspect nutritional stress.

If the egg and larval development pattern is uniform, and the larvae uniformly develop through capping, then you can rule out the above.  Removal after that would likely be due either to hygienic behavior or virus mortality.  If hygienic, the removed pupae will be white and solid during removal.  If virus, they will be miscolored (gray) or disfigured.

Hope this helps!


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Here is a picture of a solid brood pattern (top) and a spotty brood pattern (bottom) i found at University Of Ga's site

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