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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    marion county arkansas usa
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    7

    Default Introducing new bees to weak hive

    Can anyone tell me if you introduce a frame of bees from another hive to a weak hive should the brood be open or capped ?
    What are the chances the hive won't accept the new bees ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
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    554

    Default Re: Introducing new bees to weak hive

    Does the weak hive have a queen?
    What is the goal? (requeen, bring population up)?
    Same yard?

    Giving a few more details may help to answer your question....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
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    552

    Default Re: Introducing new bees to weak hive

    I'm assuming since the hive is weak, you are trying to bolster the population. I would add a frame with mostly capped brood. There will be no acceptance issues with the newly hatched bees. If you're trying to raise a queen, that's a different story.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    marion county arkansas usa
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    Default Re: Introducing new bees to weak hive

    yes the hive does have a queen but I bought this as a nuc and by the time we got home with them a lot of them had died or drowned in the feeder provided so this made the hive very weak and its not building very fast so I am afraid if it don't build faster it won't make it through the winter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
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    493

    Default Re: Introducing new bees to weak hive

    From my experience it doesnt matter. capped brood will result in new bees quicker (first capped at 9 days hatch at 21) so you could have a frame thats ready to hatch in 2 days or 12.... uncapped brood takes another week-ish.

    I always take the nurse bees with that are on the frame of brood when moving a frame to boosting a week hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    822

    Default Re: Introducing new bees to weak hive

    Quote Originally Posted by schmism View Post
    I always take the nurse bees with that are on the frame of brood when moving a frame to boosting a week hive.
    I did this earlier in the year (kept the bees on the frame) with a weak hive and they killed the queen. Granted I took from a strong hive and gave it to a weak hive, but isn't that the point?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    marion county arkansas usa
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    Default Re: Introducing new bees to weak hive

    Quote Originally Posted by delber View Post
    I did this earlier in the year (kept the bees on the frame) with a weak hive and they killed the queen. Granted I took from a strong hive and gave it to a weak hive, but isn't that the point?
    Why do you think they killed the queen ? My queen is laying like crazy but the hive is still way behind for this time of year , has anyone else had this happen ? Thanks for your response

  8. #8
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    Jun 2012
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    marion county arkansas usa
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    Default Re: Introducing new bees to weak hive

    Have you ever had them kill your queen ? delber has got me worried now , this hive has a good laying queen I just feel like it needs a little boost before winter. Thanks for your response

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,377

    Default Re: Introducing new bees to weak hive

    I just added a frame of bees from a very weak hive (yet another queenless swarm) to a semi-strong double deep and then I watched to see if there would be any fighting, as soon as I dropped the frame in the top deep the queenless bees started acting all "happy" and started moving slowly down the frame and into the bottom deep, I didnt notice any aggression even by the original hive, so I hope things do good.

    My hive count now is 8 hives, mostly due to laying workers and queenless swarms. Still double what I started with this year and I will be adding a couple nucs to the mix soon when I do some splits and adding some sunkist cells to them thanks to a great offer from a member on here!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Freeport,Pa. USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Introducing new bees to weak hive

    When I have combined colonies I use a seperate hive body and seperate the two hive bodies with newspaper so they get used to the smell and gradually mix...I make a few small slits in the paper with a razor blade....Usually they are fully combined in a couple of days....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
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    552

    Default Re: Introducing new bees to weak hive

    Quote Originally Posted by UJohn View Post
    Have you ever had them kill your queen ? delber has got me worried now , this hive has a good laying queen I just feel like it needs a little boost before winter. Thanks for your response
    I would give the frame a good shake, then put it in the weak hive with what few bees are left on it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    822

    Default Re: Introducing new bees to weak hive

    Quote Originally Posted by jadell View Post
    I would give the frame a good shake, then put it in the weak hive with what few bees are left on it.
    This probably would have worked for me if I would have thought to do this. I thought the drive and about 2 hrs away from the original hive would have got them thinking "trouble!!! No Queen" but it obviously wasn't enough time. Having only a few emmerged bees would have made the difference. This is where you "live and learn" in the school of hard knocks.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    marion county arkansas usa
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    7

    Default Re: Introducing new bees to weak hive

    Thanks for all the advice !

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