I am a 2 hive beekeeper.
Both hives were even all season.
THEN! Last week #1 made 50# honey. #2 just a little.
This week #1 made another 50# and #2 nothing.
Basswood is in bloom.
Everything else looks the same. Did #2 decide they had enough? Lazy,?
Or is that just to be expected?
Do they have equal populations? If one has more workers then they will make more honey which may be due to a better queen. If they are roughly equal, maybe #2 didn't discover the basswood yet.
I remember seeing a video with Dr. Delaplane
several years back. The video was on requeening. Doctor Delaplane showed how to do it and during the discussion said that the queen in that hive although she produced
a lot of bees, they were not disposed to gathering honey.
You might have a simular situation and in which case a new young queen might help.
Are they preparing for a swarm? Collection usually stops for a period prior to this.
Are they filling in the brood area instead of the supers? Did you actually open up and make sure your not queenless or without a layer. This is the time of year when some hives shut down and sometimes they will just concentrate on filling the brood chambers. Open it up. Is the queen still working?
Are you judging the bee strength on bees coming and going/bees on the inner cover/bees in the hive itself? Each can give you false readings if not careful.
IF you have a good queen I would swap hives and see if moving some of the workers to the other hive might help. It just might "stimulate" the other hive a little. If spotty brood pattern or all else checks out, including looking for queen cells and desease, then I would requeen.
[This message has been edited by BjornBee (edited July 17, 2003).]
Also putting the wet supers on the slow hive the next time you take honey off might "stimulate" them also.
Your advice got me do doing something instead of just complaining.
Here is what I done; They had to find the basswood as they are close and even I can smell when in bloom.
I went through the hive. NO QUEEN, just a small group of drone brood, many empty frames where brood was. No eggs or larve. No queen cells of any sort.
I took 3 frames with eggs and larve from the "good girls" and gave it to the "bad girls". If they make a queen they should then have a good queen.
I hope this doesn't disrupt the good hive too much.
I hope I am right about no queen and I didn't transfer the good queen. I looked carefull but who knows!!!!
I went back a couple hours later and the poor hive had more activity then the good hive. Also a nice even peacefull sound.
Probably too late to do any good this year but anything is better then nothing.
How long before I should find eggs in the poor hive??
Do drones take longer to emerge then workers?
What do you suppose happened to the missing queen.
The hive is full of bees so I doubt they swarmed.
Many drones in the poor hive.
Would be good if you could introduce a laying
queen with the 3 frames of brood. It would speed things up a little. If you let them raise a queen it will be around 13 days before she will come out and then she will have to mate and then start laying, which could be 7+ days depending on the weather. You are still looking at a minimum of 21 days more likely 30 days before you would start seeing any eggs laid. Personally I would feed also. Just a thought. Duane.
Another option would be to just combine the hives. Even a laying queen at this point wouldn't give you much honey. If you combine them, and freeze the drone brood, then in theory you would have a really strong hive going into the winter, unless most of the bees in the weak hive are drones. Then, you might be doomed. If there are too many drones, they will consume stores faster than the workers can bring it in. Are you in 2 or 3 deep for brood boxes?
C. B.; Not mostly drones. Just lot of them.
Only about a 3 inch circle of drone cells caped. Not enough to wory about except that is all the brood in the hive.
There are very many bees in the hive.
They are inclined to make honey as for the prior months they were keeping up with the good girls. They have 3 supers full. On #4 is when they went on strike.
Today they have more activity , outside the hive,then the good hive.
So; I conclude, They are happy to have the 3 frames I gave them.
What do you think of this posability; When I wasn't looking, they made a queen, tore down the cells, she is now back and laying and I missed the eggs as they had not progressed to larve yet??? All would be nice if that is the situation.
I am just learning this beekeeping thing. I could have it all wrong.
I can find no disease of mites.
Only time will tell!
That's a possibility. Are they trying to make queen cells on the frames you gave them? They aren't likly to do that if they have a queen in there somewhere. I would get a new queen asap, and try to put her in there. Worst case, if they already have one, they won't release her and will kill her. Best case, she starts laying as soon as she gets out, and gives them a head start. Good luck.
Just put the frames in yesterday It is raining today. I will check in a couple days to see what they have done with the new frames. I wish had marked them so they would be easy to find.
I don't know where I would get a queen quick around here.
I will make a few calls.