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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    23

    Post

    I have a hive of Italians that was probably OK coming out of the winter until I worked them too early. My rookie mistakes left them with about four medium frames of bees. The queen is laying - there are eggs, larvae, and capped cells. The laying pattern is not solid, but not spotty either. But through the spring flow, they haven't increased.

    It has been a cool, wet spring here and is just now really summer. However, a new package right beside this hive is thriving. I have tried to feed them, but they are not interested in 50/50 sugar water. Right now I am playing the wait-and-see game, hoping they will begin to increase in population.

    Is there any real action I can take? Or should I just keep my hands off and let them do their thing? I would consider requeening but I don't really see evidence that she is the problem.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    Flip of the coin...... How long since you "worked them"? And what did you do that knocked them back so much?? It is early here in the season so I'd be tempted to wait a couple of weeks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    597

    Post

    After winter bees or queens get often nosema. They are not able to lay eggs any more like in last summer. Some queens stop egg laying totally.

    If you hive does not develope, it is better to join into package. It gets quick up from weak hive.

    But there is danger that weak hive gives something bad/invisible disease to healthy package.

    However I have noticed that when a weak hive gets new bees from stronger hive it starts normal progress.

    Have you noticed chalk brood on bottom board?
    .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,072

    Post

    What size box do you have them in? Weak hives benifit from being placed into a space that they have better control over. If a hive gets too weak, I place them in a 5 frame nuc box. They seem to come back quicker and healthier when they can control their "space" better.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    23

    Post

    First, what I did - Early in the spring it was really nice for a couple of weeks. They had wintered in 3 mediums and were all grouped in the top one. I put it on bottom and slipped a foundationless frame in the middle of the group hoping to start regression. Then we had a cold snap. The bees were split apart and about half died due to the cold. Then I found wax moths in the upper boxes (that they couldn't control). So I finally got somewhat smarter and consolidated everybody into one medium, removing all indications of moths.

    Through all my screwing up, the queen has continued to lay eggs. The consolidation occured about two weeks ago. I now have them in one side of the one medium box - hoping they can control this space better. From the edge of the box, they have one frame with comb and some nectar/honey, four frames of mostly full brood comb, then one empty old brood comb frame, then one partially drawn out frame with some nectar/honey, then four empty frames. There is a lot of brood on those four frames but they don't seem inclined to move over to the fifth frame.

    The weak hive is Italian. The strong hive is Carnolian. Does that matter if I want to give the weak hive some bees/brood from the strong hive? Or if I want to consolidate the two?

    Thanks to all.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,072

    Post

    "The weak hive is Italian. The strong hive is Carnolian. Does that matter if I want to give the weak hive some bees/brood from the strong hive? Or if I want to consolidate the two?"

    If you deciede to combine, it makes no difference that they are different strains, I would however deciede what you want the hive to be, and pinch the queen you don't want. You can give brood between hives with no problems. Just shake off the nurse bees first, either in the hive you take them from, or in front of the hive you give them to. One other thing you can do to boost the weak hive is switch spots with the two hives, putting the weaker one on the strong ones stand, and vice versa. Do this during the day when they are flying. It will put most of the field force of the strong hive into the weak one.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

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