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Healthy Brood Patterns

Healthy Brood Patterns

The presence of eggs, large, and capped brood is indicative of a mated queen. But as a new beekeeper, how will you know if your brood pattern is healthy?

A mated queen will produce both worker and drone brood within the brood chamber, with the majority of the frames filled with worker brood.

Worker brood appears as flat, capped brood within a cell.

“Capped Worker Brood” by johnpaulgoguen is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drone brood appears as puffy, ‘muffin top’ capped brood.

“Natural Construction of Drone Brood” by blumenbiene is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

A beekeeper should be concerned if:

    1. Eggs, larva, and capped brood are not present at all
      Solution = Requeen
    2. Two eggs are repeatedly found in the cells and the queen is not a new layer.
      Solution: Re-check within 3-5 days. If the pattern continues, you likely have a laying worker. Shake all bees out of the hive. The laying worker will not return to the hive, but all others will. Requeen.
    3. Drone cells without worker cells are found. This is indicative of a laying worker
      Solution: Shake all bees out of the hive and requeen immediately. The laying worker will not return to the hive, but all others will.
    4. A spotty brood pattern is found. This is likely due to a sick or failing queen. Determine if supercedure cells are present. If so, consider allowing the hive to naturally re-queen. If not, replace with a mated queen immediately.

 

Spotty Brood Pattern. Credit: John Pons, CC BY-SA 4.0

“Big mistake” by Max xx is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
This drone brood is indicative of a laying worker. The hive should be requeened immediately.

 

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