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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Posts
    140

    Default Under Performing Package

    I just recently purchased 3 packages and installed them at the end of April (4-25-14).
    These first 2 photos are of the successful packages.
    It has been about 7 weeks after they got installed, and they are overflowing with bees.
    Celestina and Elizabedda are their names.

    Celestina

    Elizabedda

    My Gioffreda hive has the problem.:

    Looks like some larva on this frame, but am not sure.

    I gave this hive 2 frames from a prior hive that died out. That hive had an old queen.
    The other package also got some frames from the dead out.
    This is what one of the frames looked like.

    I am expecting this hive to perform like the others. I tried to find the queen but am not sure.
    I looked at the frames and didn't see any new larva, but no queen cells, so I am not sure if
    there is a queen there and she is not laying, or what may be happening.
    If someone can check out my photos and tell me what they think. I want to order a new
    queen, but I also need to figure out what happened here. There are no queen cells, so
    I may have gotten a bum queen.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    799

    Default Re: Under Performing Package

    I don't see anything to suggest that there is a queen in that hive. Your picture shows one frame of bees. If there aren't more than that, they may be too far gone to rebuild with a new queen. You don't have a lot to work with there. I'm sure that someone with more experience will reply soon.

    I can't get two hives side by side to perform the same, much less three package installs.
    Purveyor of almost organic honey and treatment free bees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Redmond, WA
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Under Performing Package

    Have them checked for Nosema. I've had 15 out of 20 packages I added this year and they all showed a high concentration of Nosema (> 10M spores /bee). I've had 2 new packages die (before I figured out what was going on) and they had > 20M/bee. After connecting with some other keepers in the are it appears this is a common issue with packages this year.

    Hopefully it isn't one of the more bad issues (life AFB) which can show the same.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,500

    Default Re: Under Performing Package

    1. You are way................... and may I say it again...........way way to late with the second box on the first two pics. If they aren't screwed up also at this point don't be surprised.

    2. The last few pics show a hive that is 100% queens less.

    Remember. Not all queens take! I'm gonna guess that you did not go back after the first week and check to see if she was in there and laying... When you encounter one that is not or the queen is gone you need to put a frame of brood in them faster than a bolt of lightening to buy yourself time to get a new queen. When we have queensless packages we just toss brood in and skip wasting the time and value of an additional queen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: Under Performing Package

    I'm not seeing any signs of AFB or Nosema. What I am seeing are 2 healthy hives and 1 dwindling. As Brad Bee states it's hard to get two hives to perform the same let alone three packages. Not impossible but a lot of added munipulation that's for sure. I'm not seeing the evidence of a queen either. If you want to get your numbers back up you can pull one to two frames of brood and eggs out of the other two hives and requeen with a new queen or you can just let them raise their own queen. Once they get going you can add more frames of brood to get your hives equalized. You can also switch positions of your hives to equalize populations also. The first hive does appear to have a higher population than the second hive. You could do a combine the third hive with the first hive if there isn't a queen, then split that. That might work for you and you won't waste the work they did in the third hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,500

    Default Re: Under Performing Package

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Drone View Post
    I'm not seeing any signs of AFB or Nosema.
    .
    What would be the visual signs of Nosema one would or could visually observe from these photos?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: Under Performing Package

    Fecal streaking on the topbars or on the face of the comb and K wing if it were Nosema Apis. Nosema Ceranae there isn't any visual sign. The fact that the other two hives are healthy Nosema either one is highly contagious. I've seen enough of it in the past, bought a microscope to more quickly identify.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Under Performing Package

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    1. You are way................... and may I say it again...........way way to late with the second box on the first two pics. If they aren't screwed up also at this point don't be surprised.

    2. The last few pics show a hive that is 100% queens less.

    Remember. Not all queens take! I'm gonna guess that you did not go back after the first week and check to see if she was in there and laying... When you encounter one that is not or the queen is gone you need to put a frame of brood in them faster than a bolt of lightening to buy yourself time to get a new queen. When we have queensless packages we just toss brood in and skip wasting the time and value of an additional queen.
    I went in after the first few days and removed the cage. I did not pull all the frames out cause work and other priorities like my other 3 hives set my inspection priorities. I did not want to disturb them too much. I really expected this hive to really take off population wise because of the head start I gave them. I have a total of 4 hives.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    tacoma, wa. usa
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Under Performing Package

    Another option is to take another look and verify that there is not a queen in the weakest hive and then just do a newspaper combine with Elizabedda and save yourself some time and money...

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