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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    47

    Default Late Season Adjustments Needed (Advnice Sought)

    Ok, I'm a 2nd Y Beek in SW PA. I've got 5 hives, two appear to be in trouble - no queen. Here's the facts.

    1. We're just coming full swing into our fall flow. Looks to be good - as all five are gathering and the hives are getting heavier.
    2. That said, we were in quite a drought/dearth - hives got light as a feather. I should have fed. Didn't. Know better now.
    3. MAQS three weeks ago (took them off two weeks ago). This was hard on the hives - with the drought, little to no brood, probably a mistake. Know better now.
    4. As I said, 3 of 5 really on their feet. Queens end-to-end laying - last week little to nothing, so they're kicked back in again. The other 2 absolutely nothing. Not an egg, not a single capped broodcell anywhere.
    5. Of the two - one is a swarm I caught from a hive of mine (was a second year hive) and the other is a new package installed in April. Both prior to dearth had been doing well - building comb, good activity. The package hive - all the comb looked good, but I did see evidence of a waxmoth track - looked like the bees removed an upside down 'seven' - almost like I took my finger and removed this wax. I assume it was a wax month and they took care of it. Other than this, no significant problems to my eye. Good clean comb, just nothing in it.

    So questions.

    1. If the other three are end-to-end in the broodbox laying, can I assume these have no queen?
    2. If it's "yes," then - is it too late to requeen? We should have another 6 weeks of good flow, and I can also feed later in the season if they need a boost. They've also build a decent amount of comb, so I think they could get enough of a hive built and honey saved for winter iwth the time remaining. But unsure. I'd not take a brood frame from another and place it in these hives, because if I'm putting a queen in I'd rather just buy a mated queen and get her going.
    3. Is it a "yes" but a "yes and combine?" Should I requeen one of these two and combine? I'm thinking along these lines only because I'm wondering how many new bees can be born before winter.
    4. Or - should I just combine these two with my others? I'd rather keep the hives so that next year I've got something left of my apiary! But if it's a lost cause, so be it.

    Advice appreciated. Thanks - Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: Late Season Adjustments Needed (Advnice Sought)

    The two weak hives either have no queen or a failing queen.
    I would buy a mated queen and the only time you lose is shipping.
    You could buy two queens, or combine the two weak hives and requeen the newer bigger hive.
    Combining the two weak hives would give them a larger foraging force to store up for winter.
    Worst case scenario you recombine them with one of the 3 strong hives.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Late Season Adjustments Needed (Advnice Sought)

    There will be many answeres,but i would do a full inspection to make sure u have no queens,then i would try to find a queen supplier local and requeen.if you think there light on stores i would start feeding,remember u may have better queen acceptence if u add a frame or two of brood from your other hives.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Late Season Adjustments Needed (Advnice Sought)

    The queens might have shut down if there are no stores in the hives. I agree with Mrqb to make doubly sure that there is no queen. Feed if they don't have stores and give it a week to get a better idea of what's going on. Just my opinion.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Late Season Adjustments Needed (Advnice Sought)

    These are all great thoughts, thanks. I thought about feeding, but there is plenty out there right now and they are ok now with stores. I figured feeding wouldn't improve that, but it's a thought.

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