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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Tolland county, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    62

    Question Some problems with one hive

    I was just out checking the hives. One is doing fine. They've started filling up the supers with honey. They had started late since I hadn't realized the bees were reluctant to go through the queen excluder. After being away on vacation for 4 weeks I noticed there had been no progress on the supers, so I removed the queen excluder on both hives for a few days. The one hive had started to fill out the frames, so I put the excluder back on last week and now they're fine. The other hive, however after 2 weeks has done nothing.
    I checked today to see if I could put the excluder back on. After finding no new comb, I removed the supers and checked the top hive body. All the frames were filled with honey. I think the hive may have swarmed again at some point (the same thing happened earlier in the summer) and there is no new queen yet. Then I did find some old brood in the single plastic frame I had in that box. I started inspecting it and found some problems. First I saw a few dead uncapped larvae. I removed a few with a twig. One was white and sac-like but the other few looked mostly normal. I also saw a grub popping it's head out of a cell then disappearing and coming out of another one. I caught it after a while. I think it was a wax moth larvae, but it was the only one I saw. Also, I saw quite a few mites on that one frame.
    Some bees were trying to emerge from the cells and a few were coming out backwards. All the bees I pulled out had deformed wings, short, rounded abdomens, and seemed quite weak.
    What should I do with this hive? Right now I have both supers off (they were empty anyway) and I removed the frame full of deformed bees. Should I leave the frame out of the hive and put in a spare one? Also, should I treat for varroa mites now or wait until the end of the season. I don't know how long it will be until there is a new laying queen, so will there be any point in putting the supers back? I'm not worried about not having honey from that hive since it's only the first year.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,985

    Default

    bettinacharlotte writes:
    All the bees I pulled out had deformed wings, short, rounded abdomens, and seemed quite weak.

    tecumeh: sounds like a mite problem and the hive has collapsed.

    how much time you have before winter would be one question to determine some (if any) remedy. the second question would be how much population does this effected hive have now.

    if the hive had modest population I would likely pull a frame of green brood from the populated hive and stick it right in the center of 'the brood nest' of the effected hive, feed (a dribble if possible over some time) and recheck in 7 to 10 days to see if you have any positive sign of a laying queen.

    if time allow continuous feeding may be required to establish a good population of young bees to make the winter.

    given the severity of the described investation even with a new queen on board you may need to treat.

    hope that helps and good luck...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Tolland county, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    62

    Default

    Thanks for the information. I was just out again checking the hive. I went to see how the bottom brood box looked. It had some older brood and honey. I think the problem may not be as bad as I first expected though. There's at least a few thousand bees. They did seem a bit more aggressive than usual, but they weren't too bad. Earlier this summer both hives were without a laying queen at one point because of a swarm I had not seen. The hives were a lot like the one hive is right now.
    I also looked more at the frame I had taken out. There still were some deformed bees, but some number of them were normal. There were still more hatching before I left. I did replace the frame, but I left the old frame outside the hive so the bees could get the honey out and to allow the healthy bees to get back.
    I think I'll wait a few days to see if a queen starts laying. If not I'll put in a frame from the other hive. I'll order something off Brushy Mountain to treat the mites later. Also, I found a place to order some wintergreen oil and maybe some tea tree oil so I can make some grease patties for mite prevention.
    I think I was just worried more than I should be earlier. Since I opened the hive up completely I saw there were very few deformed bees compared to the whole population. Also, the queen couldn't have been gone for too long (unless a worker is laying) since I did see a few younger larvae in a piece of brace comb between two frames.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,985

    Default

    bettinacharlotta writes:
    They did seem a bit more aggressive than usual, but they weren't too bad.

    tecumseh: this is usually a good sign of queenlessness but by your description it does sound like a new queen has begun to lay.

    once a good area of green brood is established their attitude should change.

    you did well in givin' it a bit of time and mentally considering what was happening in the hive... and thus acting and not reacting.

    if time is short (which I would assume it is) between now and the end of the season I would still encourage you to feed (1X1) if you have any doubt about a fall flow for the reason previously mentioned.

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