Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    New Caney, Texas, USA
    Posts
    86

    Default weak hive- what to do

    I have one really healthy hive. One hive starting from a small swarm that I added two frames of brood and bees. My third hive has been dwindling. Loooking in it yesterday, there is a queen and she is laying but there is a lot of open comb and few eggs. The hive did FILL two deeps now the top deep is empty and there is not that many in the bottom one.

    Should I requeen.
    Can you supplement with bees from the other healthy hive without them robbing and going back home?
    Should I kill the queen and combine the swarm hive with the weak one? (havent checked the swarm hive yet to see if that queen is laying).

    I also noticed a lot of worms in the portions of a couple of frames. Hive beetle larvae?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,765

    Default Re: weak hive- what to do

    You have a few options. Yes, you can re-queen. That might boost egg laying and eventually, hive strength. You can also grab a frame or two of brood from the other hives and add it to the weak one. You can add the nurse bees that are on those frames as well as they really won't fly back to the old hive. Make sure you're feeding if stores are an issue since fresh brood needs food. And finally, you can certainly combine. I'd do that as a last resort unless you end up with a couple of weak hives. I don't mind fall combines since a weak hive doesn't typically winter over well. Your area is different that here of course. Oh, and a weak hive will host larvae like you mentioned.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: weak hive- what to do

    All the abouve are good, but do one other thing first, remove all the empty (not brood occupied) frames and freeze them to kill the Bettles......


    Give the frames back to them as they grow... they can't protect all the frames with a shortage of bees, which allows the pest to take over and ruin the frames

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    New Caney, Texas, USA
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: weak hive- what to do

    Thanks for the great information.
    Question if i put a couple frames of brood and remove the frames without brood and freeze - if the queen is inadequate and cannot lay enough eggs to maintain the current population much less attain a healthy hive status - should I not replace her as well. Or does the hive beetles eat the eggs or keep down the population somehow.

    there is plenty of stores

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: weak hive- what to do

    Another option you might consider is...

    Swap positions of the strongest hive with the weakest hive and requeen the weakest hive. The field bees the weaker hive gets from the swap will give it a boost of field force and requeening it will give you fresh genetics and replace the queen not performing so well. Over time the two hives will somewhat equalize in strength from the swap and requeen.
    “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
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: weak hive- what to do

    Quote Originally Posted by nkhd1 View Post
    Thanks for the great information.
    Question if i put a couple frames of brood and remove the frames without brood and freeze - if the queen is inadequate and cannot lay enough eggs to maintain the current population much less attain a healthy hive status - should I not replace her as well. Or does the hive beetles eat the eggs or keep down the population somehow.

    there is plenty of stores

    I don't know if the beetles eat eggs/ larve.. but you obviously have an issue. the hive got weak which allowed the SHB in strength....
    Could be a queen issue, could be mites, or some other issue... that needs to be addresed seperatly I am just suggesting you try to save teh surplus frames and wax

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads