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Thread: New Bees

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    52

    Default New Bees

    Hi.... new guy here...two hives....both hived in late April...one doing very well and the other is very slow to grow. Is there an easy way to spot bees that have just emerged from their cell? I've taken several pictures of the bees in the slow hive and am unable to see much difference in the bees although I'm sure new bees exist.

    Wayne

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,033

    Default Re: New Bees

    Might be a little smaller and fuzzier, but really can't tell them apart probably.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,416

    Default Re: New Bees

    There can be a number of reasons for a slow hive. One reason is providing too much space too soon. If the population of bees is lower for whatever reason, you may need to reduce the available space until they build up a bit. You can also try boosting them from your stronger hive. You can do that by giving them a frame of emerging brood, or by swapping the hive locations and letting the returning foragers strengthen the weaker hive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: New Bees

    Thanks for the replies. Interesting that you should say they may have too much space. I was told elsewhere they needed more space due to being installed in a medium (ala Mr. Bush). They have only drawn comb on the four center frames of the medium since April but have had plenty of syrup and available flowers all the time. I believe there is currently about 1/3 less bees than when I started but it seems they are holding their own as far as numbers goes. The two hives are about 170 miles apart with the furtherest one from my house being the slow one. It is located about 20 miles north of Brady, Tx. I'll attach a couple of photos of the weak one.
    circle.jpgqueen.jpg6-3-d.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,416

    Default Re: New Bees

    It's tough to work two hives that far apart. Generally, I feel you need a minimum of 2-3 hives in any location just to do the things I talked about. The pictures show a frame of open and capped brood and a couple of frames of honey. Did you start them on foundation? If so, it may have taken awhile for them to draw enough cells for the queen to lay in. If you only have 4 frames drawn, you should definitely only have one box. They can't maintain the environment of a larger hive with that few bees. You could even go so far as to use a follower board to shrink the hive down to 5-6 frames for a few weeks until they can reach critical mass. Giving them too much space too soon will really slow down a hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: New Bees

    Ok...you lost me on the "follower board". What is that?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: New Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross View Post
    Did you start them on foundation?
    I did start them on plasticell foundation. Are you saying that could be a reason for them being slow? There is plasticell on each of the ten frames in the medium. I am wondering if the whole problem could just be the queen. What do y'all think about that as a possibility?

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