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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Starkville,Ms,USA
    Posts
    516

    Exclamation Reduced egg laying

    The last few weeks my two hives have had far fewer capped brood cells. I am wondering if it's that time of the year that they begin cutting back on egg laying or something else is going on. And what to do about it.

    Hive #1 has a prolific queen who has been laying gang busters until recently.

    Hive #2 has a young queen who upon my latest inspection I discovered has a crippled back left leg. However, I did see her laying eggs and moving quickly but there are numerous supercedure cells evident which I've been removing so far.

    I have been feeding both hives fairly lightly the last few weeks following several weeks of heavier feeding.

    The thing is I want both new colonies to draw the maximum amount of foundation possible so they get out of the gate quickly next spring. Hive #1 has filled one deep and hive #2 has only filled one half. I want them to fill that deep by early winter.

    If I start feeding them heavily again will they start laying heavily again?

    Or is there some other limiting factor here?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,125

    Default

    Its probably just that time for her to slow down. Do you know what kind of fall flow you most get? Feeding pollen should get them going.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,599

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    If it was me, hive #2 with the queen that has damaged leg, quit destroying supercedure cells and let them replace her.

    It is the time of year for queens to start slowing down egg laying. Feeding might help to pick them back up some if they have room to lay. Constant feeding might help to get them to draw wax, but it is getting late in the year now. I'm in California, and with constant feeding, I've had strong hives build wax into October here.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Starkville,Ms,USA
    Posts
    516

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    If it was me, hive #2 with the queen that has damaged leg, quit destroying supercedure cells and let them replace her.
    Yes, but this somewhat defeats my goal of having them fill that deep since there will be a gap in generations as the new queen is mated and begins laying.

    I guess I could get rid of the queen and combine although I am reluctant to do that as my goal is to have TWO hives going into winter. I just can't understand why I don't have that by now since both these hives were started in spring. Very discouraging.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,599

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    If the workers keep building supercedure cells then they don't like the queen and won't do well, and most likely won't make it thru winter. Where you are located, you should be able to let them supercede her and have a better chance of over wintering than if you don't let them supercede.

    Poor on the feed, keep the feeder going thru the end of October. Make sure good pollin stores are in the broodnest and if it is light, then feed 1/2 pollen patty every 2 weeks until stores are built up. Pollen patty in the fall promotes brood rearing.
    “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
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Starkville,Ms,USA
    Posts
    516

    Default

    Ok Ray. I will do that. Do you know of a good place where I can order pollen patties and maybe save some money?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tulare County, CA USA
    Posts
    1,380

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    Another option is to pinch the poor queen, combine the two, and come out in spring with one rip-roaring hive ready to split and still make honey. If you have any kind of fall flow, they can take real advantage of it this way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Conroe, Texas, USA
    Posts
    192

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    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    If the workers keep building supercedure cells then they don't like the queen and won't do well, and most likely won't make it thru winter. Where you are located, you should be able to let them supercede her and have a better chance of over wintering than if you don't let them supercede.

    Poor on the feed, keep the feeder going thru the end of October. Make sure good pollin stores are in the broodnest and if it is light, then feed 1/2 pollen patty every 2 weeks until stores are built up. Pollen patty in the fall promotes brood rearing.


    Dr. Wax here is a link to a feed mix thread.


    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=221682


    Your in Old Miss. you should have plenty of time to get them built up.

    I used Mega Bee from Dadant this spring, they like it really good.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Starkville,Ms,USA
    Posts
    516

    Default

    How about using a pollen substitute?

    Has anyone used Bee-Pro?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    261

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    I would agree with RayMarler, let them replace the queen or put a new one in. i think i would purchase a queen from a breeder since you only have two hives unless you are certain there are enough feral hives for the virgin to mate with.
    Hughes Honey Apiary
    http://www.hugheshoney.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,599

    Default

    I don't know where to get small quantities of pollen patties, I get a box at a time from Mannlake. I suppose they would sell small quantities, I never checked, as usually my neighbor and I just split a box. Ordering a queen could be a good option, I like Ray Oliveraz queens at http://www.ohbees.com he's got great carni's and carni x italian. And from what I've seen of the pics of brood and from what I've read of his posts, I'd say BjornBee has good queens as well.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

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