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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Lake County Ill

    Default Why is One Different?

    I have 5 hives in a east/west row facing south. This is my second year. The first hive at one end(east) required a second deep 2 1/2 weeks before the others, and now that same hive required a super and it looks like the others are still about 2-3 weeks behind. I noticed the same progress last year. Is there some way I can alter this situation next year. They are all new packages and are doing well so I am pleased but wonder if there is something that might allow each hive to progress as well as the first hive? I thought perhaps the first hive did better due to the fact that the sun hits it first but the others also have about the same sun within minutes. The hives are about 3 feet apart if that helps.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Clarkson, KY. USA

    Default Re: Why is One Different?

    This is probably due to drift, often seen when hives are in rows. Generally the hives on the end of the rows pick up more bees. You may want to swap positions of your hives. Move the inside ones to the outside, and the outside hives in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA

    Default Re: Why is One Different?

    There may be more bees at the east end due to "drifting". In effect, some bees get confused about which hive they came from, and since the end hives are more distinctive than the ones in the interior of the row, the end ones receive the benefit of the extra bees. One approach to even this out is to move the hives around so the stronger hive is not at the end of the row.

    Some people try to make the hives more distinctive with different paint colors or schemes.

    Drift is found in the Beesource Glossary:
    Note that Barry is seeking additional photos to illustrate many terms in the Glossary. See the messages at the very end of the Glossary for more info.
    . . . . . . "Reality trumps ideology." - - [Crofter - 2017]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Evansville, IN

    Default Re: Why is One Different?

    Bees can appearantly only count to three, so putting 5 hives in a row confuses them. Typically they end up in on of the end hives, or both ends in a long row.

    Drifting is a well known phenomenon, and I think the solution is to stagger or offset some of the hives so you have two groups rather than a single line. Separating them is even better, although not always possible or practical.

    They may still drift, though. The bees seem to have rather short memories about where home is, and any hive will accept a bee with nectar or pollen.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Brookville, PA

    Default Re: Why is One Different?

    If drifting would be the cause, wouldn't the other end hive be booming as well? I'm guessing the hive that is doing great just has a better laying queen than the others.

    You could do a test and switch the booming end hive with the one beside it. See if the booming hive continues to boom, or if the other one starts to boom.


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