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NZBF Pollen underneath honey? and is there a queen present?

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Hi all,

 

Two queries.

 

1/ I have a brood box with no eggs. I wondered if the queen has died/left etc but just to give her a chance I added a couple of frames of eggs from another hive. Checked today and the eggs have been capped but no queen cells have been produced. I'm wondering if this means that I have a queen in there somewhere but she's not laying at the mo. If so, why would she have stopped laying?

 

2/ Because I only have two hives I tend to extract honey manually. This takes a bit of time so I do a couple of frames at a time. New one for me - one frame had some pollen underneath the capped honey. Some of it was a thick black substance - it looked a little like old capped brood but when I lifted it from the frame it didn't look like nearly ready bees. Any ideas? Regardles, I extracted the honey and put the frames back in the hive now for the bees to clean up.

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1/ There must be a new unmated Q in there.

 

2/ I harvest with a spoon too, & have found pollen / honey mixes. Dunno about the black stuff. Al;though I've read somewhere it's not unheard of for bees to collect asphalt.

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Did you have any brood that got chilled to death in those cells before being used for honey?

 

I had some brood chilled to death which went brown in the bottom of the cell. If it hadn't been cleaned out and was used for pollen / nectar storage I could see it turning black in time.

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If the bees in the 'queenless' hive hare leaving fresh nectar throughout the brood nest that means there is no queen. If they can bee seen moving nectar away from the centre of the brood nest and are getting ready for the eggs to begiun it is a sign that there is either an un matted queen or a queen getting ready to start laying....

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There was just nectar in the brood - I replaced 2 frames with eggs from another hive - they have capped these. Thought they'd have made emergency Q from the eggs if no Q. I'll add a couple more frames of eggs.

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Hi all,

 

2/ Because I only have two hives I tend to extract honey manually. This takes a bit of time so I do a couple of frames at a time. New one for me - one frame had some pollen underneath the capped honey. Some of it was a thick black substance - it looked a little like old capped brood but when I lifted it from the frame it didn't look like nearly ready bees. Any ideas? Regardles, I extracted the honey and put the frames back in the hive now for the bees to clean up.

 

This is probably frass (bee faeces) in cells in which bees have been bred. When the bee hatches most of the frass is tidied away, but some remains and becomes part of "slum gum" when melted out.

 

When the bees prepare the cells for honey they clean them and may line the cell with propolis, so I am informed. So the frass does not enter the honey. Bees are very clean and I don't think they would ever use cells containing dead bees for honey.

 

I would politely caution new bee keepers against regarding some opinions posted on this forum as valid, unless reinforced by the more experienced.

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1/

 

Dunno about the black stuff. Al;though I've read somewhere it's not unheard of for bees to collect asphalt.

 

I've done more reading...it seems asphalt traces have been found in propolis. So this particular black stuff won't be asphalt ! (y)(y)

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I suspect it is just honey-logged pollen. Dark pollen becomes very dark if honey is stored on top.

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Looks like pollen and honey combined. Not a problem as far as I am concerned.

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