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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    180

    Default Moving brood from one hive to another

    I haven't done this yet but I can see where it may be necessary sometimes. Say I wanted to move a bar of brood from a strong hive to a weaker hive, assuming that all the nurse bees are removed from the brood, how long would I have to move them and get them into another hive?
    I eat my peas with honey. Ive done it all my life
    It makes the peas taste funny. But it keeps them on the knife!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Hartford County, CT
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Moving brood from one hive to another

    I would try and keep the nurse bees. Shake the frame lightly, and most of the workers will take off while the nurse bees stay behind. The bees in the new hive will generally leave the nurse bees alone and allow them to integrate into the new colony. How much time you have depends on the temperature outside. Try to wait for a warmer day and make your switch quickly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: Moving brood from one hive to another

    Yeah, keep the nurse bees. More of a risk that the brood will not be covered in the new hive than the actual switch time.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    valencia, cal
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Moving brood from one hive to another

    It would seem to me, if you have a weaker hive, then your queen is not producing well . . consensus is to change out queens to build stronger hives . . by stuffing in some brood from another hive, . . well . . that will not change your queen's laying status or quality of brood, nor will it change the hive as long as your queen is still producing brood. Perhaps you invest in a new mated queen . . . . or create queens from your stronger stock and introduce one to that weaker hive and terminate the weaker queen. Tossing in a frame of brood will only be a temporary effect at best, in a limited fashion at best . . . imho of course

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Moving brood from one hive to another

    Thanks for the replys. I wasn't aware that the nurse bees could stay there in the new hive. Not planning on doing it now but just asking the question in case I saw a need to do that in the future. I see your point mastercylinder. The only time I might consider doing it would be if I were starting a new hive from scratch wanted to give them some brood right off the bat. My top bar hive struggled last spring when they had to start out with nothing but an empty hive.
    I eat my peas with honey. Ive done it all my life
    It makes the peas taste funny. But it keeps them on the knife!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    valencia, cal
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Moving brood from one hive to another

    I didn't consider that application, and I get your point exactly, and it sounds like a smart way to go. I've started my hives from collected swarms, and it takes some for them to get going. I think I'll try this method if I start any more hives.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: Moving brood from one hive to another

    Just make sure you don't have the queen...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    827

    Default Re: Moving brood from one hive to another

    .

    I have a small top bar hive I got from a cut-out last summer.

    It has been a very steady hive up until a couple of weeks ago when the queen stopped laying.

    I found the queen several times on checkups, so I know she's still there.

    I have moved a frame of larvae/eggs from another hive, but I haven't noticed any emergency cells they are building. (See Michael Bush's 'panacea').

    My conclusions thus far:

    a) The queen is now dried up.

    b) She has stopped laying in order to thin down so they can swarm.

    c) They are in a dearth and don't want too much brood to feed.


    So, also, I suppose they may not be building emergency cells yet because they still smell the queen?

    What might I be dealing with? And yes, I wish I had extra nucs or swarm cells laying around so I could just throw a new queen in there, but I'm not there yet.

    .
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Moving brood from one hive to another

    Are you sure it is the same queen? It could be a new virgin.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: Moving brood from one hive to another

    Usually if they don't start queen cells it means they have a queen and for one reason or another she is not laying. Usually because she's a virgin queen. Sometimes it's because of a dearth or other issue.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    827

    Default Re: Moving brood from one hive to another

    Yeah, I didn't even think of the possibility of it being a virgin queen. But thinking back on it, she didn't look smallish. I suppose she could have been mated and getting ready to lay, or just started.

    Hmmmm, interesting.

    I kind of ruled-out dearth being the issue because my other 4 hives are making brood like crazy, but I realize each hive can be a different beast altogether. But yes, dearth could still be the issue. She may be waiting til March when the flow starts.

    How likely is it that the bees would allow a queen to continue walking around inside the hive when she's not producing?

    I think I'll just let it run its course just out of curiosity rather than panic and buy one of those store-bought queens. I'm kind of a feral snob right now, although I realize the definition of 'feral' can be a bit clouded.

    Thanks for the input, ya'll.



    .
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

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