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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Posts
    195

    Default Weak hive question

    Dear all,

    I have some questions about my weak hive and how to help it. I have two hives one 1 deep, and the other 2 deeps plus a super about 2/3 drawn. The strong hive a month ago robbed the weak one, and it stalled it completely.

    Once I realized what was going on, I started feeding the weak hive gallons of 1:1 surup through a top hive feeder, reduced the entrance, decided to give the queen a last chance. This payed off: 3 weeks later (now), I can see that she has been laying again in nice pattern, the population is expanding
    and the bees are building comb, even though the nectar flow is over in Atlanta.

    Currently, the weak hive has 7/10 deep frames drawn and used, and 2/10 that
    they are working on drawing comb and 1/10 empty. It also has SHB but I think
    the bees are in better control of them now than a month ago.

    Question 1: Once they draw 8-9 comb on the deep, should I give them another
    deep to start drawing? Or how about a super, assuming the queen will not use
    it for brood chamber? Or is it too late in the season?

    Question 2: Would a hive make it through the winter with one deep only +
    constant feeding?

    Question 3: My strong hive has two fully drawn deeps and a super about 2/3
    drawn. Should I take their super of honey (once capped) and move it to the
    weak one? Or would this starve the strong hive with many mouths to feed? Or
    should I take about 4 frames of the super for me, and give the weak or the
    strong the rest to eat during the winter?

    Sorry for the long message with numerous questions. Your opinion matters a
    lot!

    Thanks a lot,

    Stavros

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default

    Question 1: Once they draw 8-9 comb on the deep, should I give them another
    deep to start drawing?

    Of course.

    > Or how about a super, assuming the queen will not use
    it for brood chamber? Or is it too late in the season?

    You never know if you don't try. You may get a fall flow yet.

    >Question 2: Would a hive make it through the winter with one deep only +
    constant feeding?

    Maybe. It will depend on the size of the cluster, the intensity of the winter and the race of the bees.

    >Question 3: My strong hive has two fully drawn deeps and a super about 2/3
    drawn. Should I take their super of honey (once capped) and move it to the
    weak one?

    You still have time for the weak one to build up. Why not leave things as they are and see what happens.

    > Or would this starve the strong hive with many mouths to feed?

    How much stores do they have?

    > Or
    should I take about 4 frames of the super for me, and give the weak or the
    strong the rest to eat during the winter?

    It's not winter yet. Why not leave it all until you get a better feel for what they will have going into winter?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Posts
    195

    Default thank you

    Dear Michael,
    Thank you for your advice. I'll wait and see how the weak hive progresses.
    Stavros

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Rocky Face, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    136

    Default

    Stavros,

    First, listen to Michael, I'm just starting so don't know what I'm talking about. But I had a thought, take a frame of capped brood from the strong hive and give to the weak hive.

    Everybody,

    Chime in if you think this is bad advice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,790

    Default

    Kmartin,
    sounds like a good idea to me, but I'm just learning too.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Posts
    195

    Default moving capped brood

    Dear all,
    Thanks for the suggestion of moving a frame of capped brood from the strong to the weak hive. I forgot to add to my original message that I did that 3 weeks ago, and I am sure it is one of the factors that made the population of the weak hive turn around. I brushed all the bees from the frame to avoid any fighting, and it was a solid wall of capped brood. I should have taken a photo of it; it looked so perfect. In fact, the queen of the weak hive has laid in a nice pattern on it now.
    Thanks a lot,
    Stavros

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