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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Letting go of Clarice

    Newbie. Started with 2 nucs. both swarmed and I caught both so, up to 4 colonies now. One is cranking! Need to add another super this weekend. One is good and strong with population and their own honey. One was a small swarm that's responding well to summer syrup and building nicely. The last one is not doing well. I'm thinking about cutting my losses on her but want to know if I need to do more than leave her alone. In my trade, we don't leave dieing plants around because they harbor disease. I'm thinking about things like SHB and moths. Should I clean her out? When do I make that call? I really don't mind dropping her any time but I don't want to be wasteful if there's a good chance she'll make it. There's a good chance I'll catch swarms next year, too, since I live and work on the same property and I'm always here in spring. So, I'll likely fill the equipment again pretty quickly.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,987

    Default Re: Letting go of Clarice

    In my opinion your business experience is pointing you in the right direction. Not only on the issue of disease. but on the issue of draining of resources, time energy etc. You will spend more time money and effort nursing one struggling nuc back to life than all the others combined. On a small scale intended fro pleasure this may very well be worth the challenge. education and experience. but as a business decision there is really no decision. As in all businesses it is crunching numbers. why invest in a loosing hive when the same investment will yield a higher profit in healthy hives.

    Nothing wrong in working to save a colony. It is just better to be aware of what you are paying to do it. Where I am with bees I woudl try to save it knowing full well I am investing way over the top in it. but it is also a challenge. I am investing way over the top in all my hives right now. I consider it tuition in B University.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Glennville, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Letting go of Clarice

    I would pinch the queen, and then do a newspaper combine with the weaker of the other hives. Doing this will reduce your time and effort two-fold, by ridding yourself of a dying hive and buikding up a weak hive.

    Garrett

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    DeSoto County, MS, USA
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Letting go of Clarice

    I agree with NGAnderson, pinch the queen and do a newspaper combine. From my own experience, as limited as it is, you will spend a lot of tiime and effort trying to build up that hive when you could do a split next year and have a strong thriving hive.

    Dave

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,080

    Default Re: Letting go of Clarice

    If the hive had visible problems I would agree, but just because it isn't building up as much as the others - no. Sometimes the strong hive today goes belly up next month and vice versa. Besides with only 4 hives sometimes you might find yourself where any queen with a pulse is good to have. I would leave it be for now - maybe not in October.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    485

    Default Re: Letting go of Clarice

    You could give the weaker hive like 2 nice frames of brood from the really strong colony and see what happens. The queen might respond to the new frames and the extra bees that come along with those frames and with more bees in the hive it might inspire her to start laying better. I had a queen that wasn't laying so I gave her some frames of brood and it made a change and now she is fine. I am basing my advice on that. It worked for me. I also agree with Mr. Laferney that having an extra queen around might come in handy. If your bees swarm or the queen weakens in one of your hives you will have a back up plan. I haven't ever killed one. I'd rather have her in a nuc with bees drawing out comb or something. It is still early in the season. Whatever you decide will be the right choice Good Luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Letting go of Clarice

    I had a similar situation last year with a hive and mites, and DWV. Lots of cut your loss, they are doomed, etc. Best advice I got, "How do you know what the can/will do if you do not let them." (reiterate what David stated) Reduce the entrance as small as necessary for them to be able to defend it. You may get a surprise Worst, case scenario, you can combine in the fall and spread the resources.
    BTW, one of my best hives this year

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Letting go of Clarice

    Thanks all for the good ideas!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Letting go of Clarice

    Full inspection a few days ago revealed no queen (well, I didn't find her), no brood and few bees along with a few yellow jackets inside. There were also a couple of trails through the comb indicating infestation. I can't remember if that's moth or beetle. Anyway, looks like I'll be breaking down this hive after all.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,080

    Default Re: Letting go of Clarice

    Yeah - that hive is already gone - the trails are wax moth. Shake it out, freeze the comb - then redistribute it to hives that are strong enough to put it to use.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Athens, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Letting go of Clarice

    Broke Clarice down over the weekend. Done. 3 thriving colonies left from 2 nucs in my first season. I'm perfectly OK with that.

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