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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Kingston Springs, TN
    Posts
    117

    Default 2 good hives, 1 weak.........Solution ?

    This is my second year keeping bees. I bought 2 hives last year and both made it ok through winter, but had to be fed for lack of honey because of a late summer drought in TN. Both overwintered in Langstroth deeps. I also ordered a new package this spring and put them in a new top bar hive. They are doing well after about 3 weeks.

    One of my 2nd year hives is not doing well. It has about 6-7 frames of bees, in one deep, but hasn't expanded much from winter. I found the queen a few days ago and she looks fine, there is brood, eggs etc. But I cant help but compare it to the other 2nd year hive right beside it. It is booming and after I moved the bottom deep on top, the queen has it almost full of brood and eggs in one week. So now that hive has 2 deeps full of brood, eggs and bees ! It is a booming hive.

    Considering that theres no way this weak hive will probably make it through next winter, before it gets too much later in the spring, should I combine the bees with one of my other hives, or just requeen this hive ? My thoughts are, the hive beside it doesnt need anymore bees, and the other hive I have is a new package in a top bar. Im not sure if its even possible to combine bees in a top bar hive.

    I bought the Nicot Queen rearing kit but after 3 inspections I still cant find the queen in the booming hive. I was planning on trying to raise a few queens for fun and experience, but just cant seem to locate her. The genes in that hive should be very good, considering they have built up fast 2 springs in a row, never been treated with any chemicals and have been so gentle, rarely getting upset during inspection.

    Any thoughts on what the best solution would be ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,872

    Default Re: 2 good hives, 1 weak.........Solution ?

    Maybe your weak hive just needs some help. You have any pollen patty to give them and how are their nectar/honey stores?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Farmington, NM
    Posts
    736

    Default Re: 2 good hives, 1 weak.........Solution ?

    If the hives are beside each other and since one sounds like it has really taken off, you can swap the location of the hives this will allow more foraging bees to go into the weeker hive. That just might be the thing to kick it off. If it doesn't catch up to your satisfaction, I would requeen.
    Plant Hardiness Zone 6B, 5300 ft., Bee Zone A/B, Proverbs 24:13
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Kingston Springs, TN
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: 2 good hives, 1 weak.........Solution ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Maybe your weak hive just needs some help. You have any pollen patty to give them and how are their nectar/honey stores?
    They have a little honey stored, but I sould probably feed them. I didnt think about that. I just assumed that since its spring and they are bringing in food, that they would be ok. But since they dont have the population, maybe they need some help. Ill try that for a few weeks and see if that helps.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Kingston Springs, TN
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: 2 good hives, 1 weak.........Solution ?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhfury View Post
    If the hives are beside each other and since one sounds like it has really taken off, you can swap the location of the hives this will allow more foraging bees to go into the weeker hive. That just might be the thing to kick it off. If it doesn't catch up to your satisfaction, I would requeen.
    Another good idea, I can try that too. Thank you !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    942

    Default Re: 2 good hives, 1 weak.........Solution ?

    Borrow a couple of frames of capped brood from the strong hive and give it to the weaker one.

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