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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    796

    Default Operation Hive Equalization has begun!

    Gearing up towards fall now. I have 2 hives - one is a packed 6 medium super hive, one is a fairly struggling 4 medium super hive that was requeened with a Russian in late June but hasn't really taken off, altho it has built up.

    The top super (#4) of struggling hive has remained completely empty, just built up frames that I had put in there.

    So this is what I did. I took 4 capped and uncapped honey frames (with some capped brood on them) from the top super (#6) of the strong hive, and swapped them into the empty top super (#4) of the weaker hive. I also took a full capped brood frame from the strong hive (super #3) and put it in with the swapped honey frames in the weaker hive. So now the top super of the weaker hive, instead of being empty, has 4 frames of honey (with some packed brood) and one frame of full packed brood. I took the bees along with the frames.

    I was thinking of just swapping the top super from the strong hive with the empty super of the struggling hive, but I was afraid an entire super of bees might maul the Russian queen? I was afraid to add too many foreign bees at one time, in case there were enough of them to put up a fight. Yes? No?

    So now what should I do? Do I need to go back in and check the weaker hive and make sure it's populated enough and has enough honey in, say, another 3 weeks? Since the strong hive seems to have an excess of everything - brood and honey - should I just keep plopping them into the weaker hive, or do you think 5 swapped frames means enough is enough already.

    Also, I have a new note taking system. I numbered the hives, the supers, and the frames on paper and jot down what each frame contains. The only problem is, I keep getting off count - I have 3 frames left, but my notes say 4. GRRRR. It's so distracting going thru the hives, it's hard to keep accurate count of which frame you're on. GRRR.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,145

    Default Re: Operation Hive Equalization has begun!

    I don't equalize brood in the fall because I have no idea if it helps or hurts. It if very hard to tell what the colony is thinking. The bees have convinced me that they know better than I do so if they screw up and don't make it I don't want them hanging around.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    796

    Default Re: Operation Hive Equalization has begun!

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I don't equalize brood in the fall because I have no idea if it helps or hurts. It if very hard to tell what the colony is thinking. The bees have convinced me that they know better than I do so if they screw up and don't make it I don't want them hanging around.
    Well, I guess that would be the non-intervention style.

    But I'm bound and determined to get both hives through winter. I have big plans for splits in the spring and I don't want to spend another $90 on a new package.

    Saw orientation flights at both hives today - the strong hive has no shortage of bees, so stealing a frame of brood from them doesn't look like it will even dent it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Operation Hive Equalization has begun!

    a full super of bees that you are CERTAIN has no queen in it, must be combined with newspaper or shake out.

    that is certianly a way to move a LOT of bees around but i would think you still have several weeks left before winter "shutdown"

    a frame or 2 of brood with nurse bees can go a long way. ive done this in the past but then had to feed heavly because they chewed up a lot of stored honey to feed the large influx of brood.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,649

    Default Re: Operation Hive Equalization has begun!

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I don't equalize brood in the fall because I have no idea if it helps or hurts.
    You have a valid point Ace. We think we are doing what's best, but sometimes you can negatively impact both hives instead of having one good and one weak. Be careful what you do this time of year, you don't have the benefit of the summer to work with.
    Regards, Barry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    796

    Default Re: Operation Hive Equalization has begun!

    Quote Originally Posted by schmism View Post
    a full super of bees that you are CERTAIN has no queen in it, must be combined with newspaper or shake out.
    Thanks for the confirmation.

    Right now there is so much goldenrod out there that I barely see a goldenrod covered with bees. I don't know exactly where they're spending their days, but they seem to be zooming in and out of those hives like they're in a real flow.

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