Queen laying areas - affected by light, traffic, or heat or all?

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AdrianQuineyWI
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Queen laying areas - affected by light, traffic, or heat or all?

Unread post by AdrianQuineyWI »

The diary comment about heat being important in a hive for drawing wax and brood rearing made me wonder about a few things that may limit a queen's ability to lay up a whole frame with brood?
I find that in a 5 frame nuc or a 5 over 5 frame nuc the center three frames invariably are laid up wall to wall (no matter what) as soon as the populations get large enough to cover the brood. There are many frames of what i would call "boasting frames" - good enough to photo. Yet this is not always the case with 10 frame equipment.
I have auger holes in both 5 frame and 10 frame equipment, and I notice that in some colonies it is almost as if the queen is shy of the light and only lays at the back of the hive. Then I got to thinking is it light, heat, traffic, or something else?
I ran out of 10 frame reducers and found that 2 of my 5 frame reducers would do the job of a single 10 frame reducer. I started some cut down splits with queen cells, and I found in some of the hives the queens started laying in the half of the hive that still had a 5 frame reducer, and not in the half that didn't. In the half that had the reducer one of the new queens had filled 2 frames of brood wall to wall.
Sometimes if I find sealed brood on the back half of the frame I spin it 180 degrees to put the neglected half into the dark where it may get filled.
What are your thoughts Allen? I find these variables really interesting. Also, I noticed a couple of cut-down splits that had seemed pollen bound. The queen had laid up very few cells and then they went straight to s/s or swarm cells. I cut the cells and exchanged out a couple of frames. I will see what happens. I appreciate your insights.
Allen Dick
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Re: Queen laying areas - affected by light, traffic, or heat or all?

Unread post by Allen Dick »

Sorry for the delay. I'll try to address this soon.
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
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http://www.honeybeeworld.com/Allen%27s%20Beehives.kmz
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AdrianQuineyWI
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Re: Queen laying areas - affected by light, traffic, or heat or all?

Unread post by AdrianQuineyWI »

Hey Allen, no worries. It looks like you have been busy. The question will wait until you have time to answer it. I appreciate your thoughts and know you have plenty to do.
Allen Dick
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Re: Queen laying areas - affected by light, traffic, or heat or all?

Unread post by Allen Dick »

I have auger holes in both 5 frame and 10 frame equipment, and I notice that in some colonies it is almost as if the queen is shy of the light and only lays at the back of the hive. Then I got to thinking is it light, heat, traffic, or something else?
Continuous warmth is necessary for comb building and brood rearing. Bees prefer to occupy hive regions where the temperatures and humidity do not fluctuate, and only use cool regions for brood and honey storage after the better areas are full. In addition,
  • Some genetic lines naturally have a more compact brood pattern than others.
  • Young queens tend to travel throughout the hive. Older queens may not range as far.
  • Some combs are more attractive than others to queens due to their brood history.
  • Some combs or cells are already occupied by capped honey or pollen.
  • Frames from storage are unattractive to bees and queens until the bees have occupied them for a while.
I ran out of 10 frame reducers and found that 2 of my 5 frame reducers would do the job of a single 10 frame reducer. I started some cut down splits with queen cells, and I found in some of the hives the queens started laying in the half of the hive that still had a 5 frame reducer, and not in the half that didn't. In the half that had the reducer one of the new queens had filled 2 frames of brood wall to wall.
Many beekeepers recommend extreme ventilation because they see bees hanging out and want the bees inside. Hanging out is natural when bees have nothing to do and hive interior climate control does not require them. If all the bees are inside when they would normally hang out, it may mean they are needed inside to control temperature and humidity in the brood environment due to small populations or excessive airflow.

Bees do best when slightly crowded and that is why we use small boxes for nucs in spring. Of course, they do so well in tight spaces that they can overpopulate them very quickly and swarm. The art of beekeeping is largely one of anticipating needs and managing space in a timely manner.
Sometimes if I find sealed brood on the back half of the frame I spin it 180 degrees to put the neglected half into the dark where it may get filled. What are your thoughts Allen? I find these variables really interesting.
Bees naturally choose fairly small cavities with entrances that are small compared to what we give them. Is it possible they know best?
Also, I noticed a couple of cut-down splits that had seemed pollen bound. The queen had laid up very few cells and then they went straight to s/s or swarm cells. I cut the cells and exchanged out a couple of frames. I will see what happens. I appreciate your insights.
Not sure what cut-down means. At any rate, when queens are absent or not laying well, hives often become pollen-bound.

Trying to understand what the bees are doing and why is a constant challenge. There are so many factors and the parameters change daily and seasonally.
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/Allen%27s%20Beehives.kmz
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