Edit: I had to edit the post because apparently math is hard, and the previous post had the rate of change and not the egg per day estimate.
Last night, I attended a webinar entitled “6 Weeks as a Beekeeper,…Now What?”. It was put on by Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, and Kim Flottum was one of the guest speakers. I thought it had a lot of good information although it did run almost an hour long so be prepared to set aside 2 hours if you want to listen to the entire replay.
One of the best suggestions I got from the webinar was counting capped brood in your hive over time to get a trend on how many eggs your queen is laying per day. It does require some guesstimation on your part, but I thought it was a good idea overall. First, you estimate the percentage of capped brood on a each of the frames in your colony. For this example, let’s say you have 6 frames that are 50% full of capped brood. Depending on your frame size, you can then get an estimate on the number of capped cells. I use medium frames that have approximately 6300 cells per frame. Deep frames have around 9000 cells per frame. These numbers include both sides.
6 frames x 6300 cells x 50% full = 18900 cells of capped brood
Since capped brood take 12 days to emerge, you divide that number by 12 to get the eggs per day from a period of 9-21 days ago.
18900 cells / 12 = 1575 eggs a day
You then check your hive exactly 12 days later and calculate the number of capped brood again to check the difference in egg production.
Since they say a good queen will lay around 1500 eggs a day, in this example, the number is right on the money and your queen is doing well. Obviously this is not an exact science, but it is an idea I’m going to put into practice to see how Large Marge is doing.
Since this was a bit of a dry post, here’s a shot of two adorable bees from my hive.