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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sagaponack, NY, USA
    Posts
    33

    Question When to give up!!!!

    Hello all....I have a mite problem. But have a question that I can't really find an answer to...here's the scenario. Just want to point out that we are third year beekeepers.

    Aug 29th: hive inspected by my beekeeping partner. He saw the queen and the hive looked busy and healthy. this is a second year hive that has swarmed at least twice this year. the first swarm was recaptured and is now a thriving hive.

    Sept 12: On inspection we saw the queen and she had a mite on her! We applied api life var and decided not to do anything else. not alot of capped brood so we took a frame of capped brood from a very very healthy populated hive and placed it into this "sickly" hive.

    Sept 13: decided to go into hive and apply powdered sugar. NO QUEEN. some robbers (mostly other honey bees...no yellow jackets or hornets). saw a few bees with deformed wings. entrance reducer placed. decided to do nothing else because we had previously lost a hive to mites and just felt real powerless. by the way, our three other hives are fantastic!

    Sept 14: took another look. population not great. honey super is about 50-60% capped.

    Our question is....do we just take the hive apart and sacrifice those left behind? what can be done with those honey supers? the frame of capped brood?

    I'd like to thank you all in advance for any input...
    Thx
    Zoe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    mineral county,Montana USA
    Posts
    801

    Default Re: When to give up!!!!

    if the hive is really queenless i'd shake it out in front of one or two of your other hives. i would look again for a queen or eggs before i did that. if there is a queen i'd reduce it to the smallest size possible and monitor them. keep the super or put it on top of a colony that can finish capping it. if they are queenless and there is capped brood i'd pull empty frames from your other hives and give them the brood towards the middle of the hive. the mite treatment or the robbing could have caused the queen to stop laying. justin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: When to give up!!!!

    The worst thing you can do (this time of the year) open a hive ones a day tree times in a row and spread the combs around to find the queen. In no time you will have bees from other colonies on the combs steal the honey. When you put the combs back into the hive, the strangers are also in this hive. The girls leaving the hive with a full stomach, going home and tell the others where to go. Robbing starts in a matter of time. If you have to open a hive, do it early in the morning when only a few bees flying, put the removed frames in a empty box and cover it with cardboard.

    Your mite problem didn't started now, this started early in the year. You should treat all your hives the same time, not only the hive you are talking about. Bees with damaged wings means, you colony is in big trouble. IMO if you see a bee with a wing problem you MUST act immediately.

    If you take the cupped brood in your other hives the mites would be very happy. If there is no way to save the colony, bring this hive 100 meter away and brush all bees into the grass. Save the honey combs and destroy the brood. As soon as you put the brood into another hive you also spread the DVW.
    Spreading a disease comes first from the beekeeper and than from the bees.

    For the future, treat your hives against mites early in August and you girls raise healthy winter bees. If you don't know how to detect mites during the year, you can make an alcohol test (you will kill a few hundred bees), you can use icing sugar (the dropping mites are alive and can go up to the bees again) or you can use a vaporizer for oxalic acid (after 24 hours you know how many mites lived in that hive outside closed cells) you killed them and should treat with whatever is good for a summer treatment.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: When to give up!!!!

    ".... You should treat all your hives the same time, not only the hive you are talking about"
    Be aware ANY problem a hive has,be it parasites or disease,is being carried home and given to the hive the robbers come from.
    Good luck,
    Mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: When to give up!!!!

    Your hive sounds real weak. Even if you can reduce the mites, I fear they may not have large enough cluster to survive winter.

    It they were mine, I'd concentrate on getting your stronger hive(s) prepared for winter. I wouldn't transfer the remaining bees from the week hive to your others for fear of what they will bring. If your comfortable with treatments, you may try to help the weak hive and consider survival a gift. I had past success with NOD Apiary Products Ltd. pads and am using the gel packs for the first time this year.

    If they don't survive, secure the frames from wax moth etc and consider an early split from your other hive(s) next spring. You'll be creating the split from bees acclimated to your locale at no cost. I went from a single survivor back to five hives by splitting directly into single deeps from previous failures. I only cleared out the dead bees I could without damaging the comb. The new girls put all in order. An old trusted codger even leaves that to the girls.

    I planned to combine two single deep splits when well enough along. My thinking was to take advantage of two queen's production and cut the time required for one to become full size. The queens beat me to it so I added deeps to both.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Sagaponack, NY, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: When to give up!!!!

    Thank you all for the advice!!! Sorry to respond so late, but it's been crazy for me this past week.

    Here's the update

    1. I have treated all my hives and I promise to treat early next year!!!!!
    2. All the brood from the capped frame that we transferred from a healthy hive to the weak hive has hatched and they seem very calm.
    3. Not a lot of robbing.
    4. Saw two hive beetles (they were terminated)
    5. no mites. no bees with deformed wings
    6. We have 7 Queen cells now on one frame!
    7. i have not fed them for fear of robbing. they have a hive reducer and are doing ok.
    8. my other hives are super strong and bringing in tons of pollen (they have all been fed and am considering feeding again until they won't take anymore)

    so that's that. here are my questions:
    1. Any chance my queen will find a random drone out there????
    2. would it be beneficial to transfer another frame of capped brood from a healthy hive?
    3. Should i feed them?
    4. they are not bringing in much pollen, should i feed them a pollen patty?

    the weather here has still been mild. do i have time to save them?

    Zoe

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Argyle, New York, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: When to give up!!!!

    It sounds like you have come a long way back with this hive. I would give it a try. The big if here is the queen getting bred but I am north of you and my hives still have drones though the girls are starting to kick them out. So there is a good chance your queen may get bred. This hive will be short of young bees to take it through the winter as this new queen, even if bred, will not have many brood cycles before the cold shuts things down so another frame or two of mostly capped brood from your other hives would help. Just be sure you are not reducing them too much. That will be a judgement call that others may have more advice on. I would feed feed feed and give a pollen patty to get them set. Be sure to feed from the top of the hive and keep the feed area closed off from the outside and keep the entrance reduced to just a few bees. A slight pile up at the entrance will not slow them up that much and they will be able to defend the hive with minimal resources. Good luck!

    Joe
    Argyle, NY

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