Stingless Bee Intermediate – Removing Brood
Removing brood from stingless bee hives can be a useful tool for many reasons. It can be used for transfers, boosting hives, making new colonies with the help of existing colonies and of course swarm capture.
Removing brood from hives can be difficult to do without causing damage to your hive. In this video I will be showing you the use of some stingless bee tools that will help with the process and cause minimal bee fatalities. This tutorial is for Tetragonula carbonaria but a similar method can be used for Tetragonula hockingsi.
Removing brood tips
-Open hive gently. The more gentle you handle the box the more gentle the bees will be. Bees sense your intentions.
-Open hive when bees are working. This ensures the hive is lower in numbers because the field bees are out.
-Take your time. There is no rush when doing this and the more time you take the more gentle you can be with your girls. “THATS NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY!” Same rule applies.
-Take only what you need for the task at hand. Each disk of brood has a certain age of bee. After removing some or all of that disk the hive will see a drop in numbers when that disk would have hatched.
-Work gently. By pushing the involucrum that surrounds the brood aside you push the bees aside also where they can wiggle free after the hive is put back together. Going straight in and scoping the brood out will kill many of the important bees that look after the wax and baby bees inside the brood area.
-The advancing front (Red/deep brown brood) often contains the mated queen, be careful when handling this as to not squash her.
-Queen cells are found on the edge of brood disks in Tetragonula carbonaria. Keep your eyes open when working. As to not damage one of these.