About 10-12 weeks ago we purchased and installed 2 hives of bees.
One hive is doing amazingly well. They've drawn out all frames in the original deep super and are working on a second super. The hive is a frenzy of activity.
The second hive has me extremely worried. They've only filled about 5 frames of the original deep. Plus lately, the activity level of bees leaving the hive has dropped dramatically. You hardly see any foraging bees. When we check, the queen is present and there are capped cells. No dead bees outside the hive. However, the number of bees is considerably less than in the strong hive. I think I'm seeing supercedure cells as well.
Is it normal for foraging to slow to almost a stop during supercedure? What should I do to help this hive along? Just let it go? Anyone have any ideas on what is going on?
There are many things that can happen with a package. If they are close togher some bees may drift makeing one hive stronger then the other. Then there are not enough workers/field force to build the hive up. Here is what you can do to strenghen the weak hive. Move the hives, put the weak one where the strong one is and the strong one where the weak one is. The ample field force will return to the location building the weak hive up and the strong hive will continue on in the new location. I have done this many times when I set up new packages. Good luck
Switching hives is good, but will only help for a while. When the "equal out, make sure you move them further apart, or find or make some type of landmark so the remember!. I had the same problem, but an old timer even suggested painting one hive a different color, or anything to make them look different.