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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    beaufort: South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Did I just kill my Bees?

    This is my first spring in South Carolina with my one TBH and I have not been in the hive since December. I have a viewing window and checked on them often. But did not want to open up the hive do to the cold weather. The last time I inspected the hive (Early December) there were 6 bars of capped honey and two of capped and un-capped. about 15 of brood, larva, eggs, honey and pollen. Very few drones and no drone cells but momma bee was doing good. It is now April and it has been in the 70s and 80s all week so I Went in today for the first time and found that momma bee has been a busy girl. All but two of the Honey stores were empty and were now being filled with brood and lots of drone cells. Seems like there were more drones in the hive then workers. I found two queen cells one on the second to the last bar (from the entrance) and one in the middle of the brood chamber. The bees had filled up the entire top bar hive even behind the follower/feeder board. (must have found a hole)

    Being My first spring and fearing a swarm, I decided to split the hive using another TBH I built over the winter. I went 50/50 on the honey and brood chamber and I plan on feeding both hives 1/1 sugar syrup until they no longer use it. I could not find the queen so I put one queen cell in each hive. My question is this, Did I just give both hives a death sentence or will the bees fix my mistake?

    Second year learning curve
    Thanks for any help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: Did I just kill my Bees?

    Nope, just keep an eye on the queen cells and make sure they hatch ok they will have to mate after they hatch. As for the queen that was already there when the cell hatches one will make it one will not. Within a couple weeks you should see brood in both hives. They were ready to swarm, that's why you see all the drones. You handled it right.
    All beekeepers can agree on one thing, and that one thing is, that all beekeepers can't agree on one thing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    beaufort: South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Did I just kill my Bees?

    I guess it was beginners luck. It is amazing what you can find on the internet.
    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Did I just kill my Bees?

    Was there any capped worker brood?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default Re: Did I just kill my Bees?

    > I went 50/50 on the honey and brood chamber and I plan on feeding both hives 1/1 sugar syrup until they no longer use it. I could not find the queen so I put one queen cell in each hive. My question is this, Did I just give both hives a death sentence or will the bees fix my mistake?

    It should do fine. Except if you feed syrup until they no longer use it, I predict they will both swarm in less than a month...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,993

    Default Re: Did I just kill my Bees?

    In 5 days have a look in the original hive. If there are eggs in the brood comb that is where your laying queen is. A lot of bees would have drifted back from the split also meaning that hive could still be in imminent risk of swarming.

    To counter that, as the other hive has bees to handle it you could transfer combs of brood from this hive to the other, just one every few days as the other hive has bees to cover it.

    If the queen ended up in the new split just leave both alone they will be fairly balanced for a time.

    But if you don't want swarming, TBH's are not the best choice, they are not expandable meaning the only way to control swarming is split, split, split, and how many hives do you really want, the season is still young.

    You could sell them of course, best of both worlds & a hobby that pays for itself.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,495

    Default Re: Did I just kill my Bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    You could sell them of course, best of both worlds & a hobby that pays for itself.
    Exactly! People are always asking for TBH nucs. People are willing to do crazy things to move bees from a square box to a trapezoidal box. If you have any TBH nucs my guess is you would have not problem selling them on craigslist or through a club.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    beaufort: South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Did I just kill my Bees?

    Update on my split
    I let them settle in for another week then checked again. The original hive was doing well lots of bees honey being made larva but no eggs or queen cells. The split that was re-hived into another TBH was decimated by hive beetles. Dead bees and Beetle larva covered the bottom of the hive. Most of the drawn comb had been destroyed by the larva. I shook off the remaining bees near their old hive and they went in(although a little reluctantly) I destroyed the rest of the comb and beetle larva from the hive. I tried a new bottom board with beetle traps (Jars hanging from bottom board) with oil and beetle bate in them that I found on the internet. Guess my beetles saw the same sit because it did not keep up with the production of those little varmints well enough to let the hive build up strength. The original hive is doing great as of today and I am building a swarm trap out of the jinxed TBH (bad bee carma). I built a langstroth type hive to go along with my remaining TBH. Something has got to work.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,993

    Default Re: Did I just kill my Bees?

    Oh, disappointed for you. But at least if you have one good hive, there is always tomorrow.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    450

    Default Re: Did I just kill my Bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by beeninja View Post
    Update on my split
    I let them settle in for another week then checked again. The original hive was doing well lots of bees honey being made larva but no eggs or queen cells. The split that was re-hived into another TBH was decimated by hive beetles. Dead bees and Beetle larva covered the bottom of the hive. Most of the drawn comb had been destroyed by the larva. I shook off the remaining bees near their old hive and they went in(although a little reluctantly) I destroyed the rest of the comb and beetle larva from the hive. I tried a new bottom board with beetle traps (Jars hanging from bottom board) with oil and beetle bate in them that I found on the internet. Guess my beetles saw the same sit because it did not keep up with the production of those little varmints well enough to let the hive build up strength. The original hive is doing great as of today and I am building a swarm trap out of the jinxed TBH (bad bee carma). I built a langstroth type hive to go along with my remaining TBH. Something has got to work.
    Sorry the SHB got your hive, it is amazing how fast they can do that. usually a strong hive is all the defense you need, a split, by def is not strong.
    Next time, don't throw the comb away. Freeze the frames and it's safe to reuse.
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives / 2 nd Year / 4 TF - 10T {OAV}

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    beaufort: South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Did I just kill my Bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbin View Post
    Sorry the SHB got your hive, it is amazing how fast they can do that. usually a strong hive is all the defense you need, a split, by def is not strong.
    Next time, don't throw the comb away. Freeze the frames and it's safe to reuse.
    I thought about freezing the comb but I wanted to get revenge on those pesky beetles and watch them run for their lives.lol If there is a next time I will try that, Thanks

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