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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Bay Springs, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Question about a weak hive

    I have two hives both were installed in May from strong nucs. They are both in double deep hive bodys and both have the upper deep full of 75% capped honey with a medium super on each, no shb or vorra to notice. The north hive has 75% filled the med super during our summer dearth, the south hive have not touched its med super. The south hive is gentle with only a minor irritation of me digging around in them. The north hive is hotter than a fire poker, I mean up in your face hot pelting your veil and suit like a hail storm.

    My question is with the south hive. I found no brood to speak of maybe 10% capped brood and very few larva and no eggs to mention. It seemed to have enough bees for its size but not even close to the north hive in numbers. I found 2 supersedure queen cells. This morning the north hive was working its tail off bees flying like a rush hour bringing in stores, the south hive were all sitting on the front porch having coffee and donuts. Our goldenrods are just starting to bloom and this hive is not gonna benefit from them at this pace. Im wondering if they have a virgin queen yet to breed or a lazy queen.

    I did not see the queen.

    What are your thoughts on the slow or weaker hive. Fire some questions at me if I missed details you need to evaluate more.

    Thanks Randy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Liberty, Ms.
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Question about a weak hive

    The supersedure queen cells you saw...did they have something in them? Are were they capped? Or are they empty?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Bay Springs, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Question about a weak hive

    Slow thinking on my part I didn't look... I will take a peek tomorrow evening since its raining here now and has been since noon.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Bay Springs, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Question about a weak hive

    After another and closer look the supersedure cells I saw are empty and look to have never been used, there are 4 of them. I did get a surprise, after several weeks of not drawing wax, today I can see new white wax on the empty super. I still didn't see the queen and looked really hard, up to now ive been pretty fair at spotting her, she is not marked. I didn't see any eggs but with the bright sunshine I did see some very tiny larva, so she has layed in the last week or so I would think. My eye sight is not as good as most so there could be eggs I couldn't see.
    The bees in general seemed to be more industrious today as to Saturday. Maybe im just too anxious. They have done so good this summer I just don't want to lose them due to my failures.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Morgan ,Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Question about a weak hive

    Randy you may want to check that brood in a week or so to make sure it isn't drone brood from a laying worker. I'd not worry but keep a watch on everything this time of the year, sometimes it takes them a while to get going after a change.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Bay Springs, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Question about a weak hive

    There was an unusual amount of drone brood, on a few frames it was what I would call normal 10 or so cells, but on one frame it was loaded out in the middle not down on the edges like most.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Bay Springs, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Question about a weak hive

    Im going back into it this weekend and hopefully I can get some pics to post and hopefully I can find the queen this time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Benton, KY
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Question about a weak hive

    Swap in a frame ofnbrood with young eggs/ larva. If they need to make a queen they can. It can suppress the laying workers and give opportunity to make a queen. It provides opportunity for her to lay if shes present. At worse you've delayed the inevitible

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Liberty, Ms.
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Question about a weak hive

    Randy, to see a few pics of the frames will help us see whats going on, but it is starting to sound like a laying worker. I think I would be trying to find a mated queen before it gets to late.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    independence,ky,usa
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Question about a weak hive

    If the hive is a laying worker hive and they are to the point that they are laying drones wouldn't they kill a mated queen?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Liberty, Ms.
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Question about a weak hive

    Quote Originally Posted by adgjoan View Post
    If the hive is a laying worker hive and they are to the point that they are laying drones wouldn't they kill a mated queen?
    They may not accept the new queen, than again they might. I was suggesting this late in the season is worth a try. Thing is to introduce a queen much slower to a laying worker hive. If he was to locate a mated queen I would suggest to rob a frame of open brood from his strong hive and place in the weak hive 24 hrs before the new queens arrival. Like Dave said in a post above this will suppress the laying worker. ( Normally when one re-queens they pinch the old queen 24 hrs before introducing a new queen. Some people introduce a new queen right away.) When the new queen arrives place her on that same brood frame, do not take the plug out of her cage yet. Wait 2 or 3 days and go check. If she is still alive in her cage and the bees are calm around her expose the candy plug and put her back in. Wait 2 to 3 more days and release her if she is not already. Be sure there is some empty comb for her to lay.
    Now. If that does not work and they kill the queen anyway I would news paper combine with the other hive, let them winter and make a split in the spring.
    I am working with a laying worker hive now myself except I have a capped queen cell.

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