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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Brunswick, North Carolina
    Posts
    34

    Default When a hive doesnt make it post swarm

    One of my hives swarmed this past spring. The old hive made a new queen and she was laying but her patterns seemed a bit spotty. I thought that was probably due to the spring flow having ended. Well they steadily went down hill - neither mites nor shb seemed to be a problem - there was adequate honey left for them to make it. But after checking the hive last week the last bee was gone. I had even moved them into a nuke box so they wouldnt have so much space to take care of. What are the most probable causes of this? I really dont ever remember a hive that swarmed dieing out the same year. A weak queen?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: When a hive doesnt make it post swarm

    Could be a multitude of issues. Maybe the queen was not mated well. Barring disease, pests, lack of forage, or too few bees in the colony, the brood pattern and volume will determine the hive buildup. So if all else was good, the queen's egg laying could have been a problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Saint Johnsbury, VT,USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: When a hive doesnt make it post swarm

    There is no shame in losing a hive over the winter. But, after surviving a number of -25F evenings, I was sure proud when they made it to the spring. Following a beautiful spring build-up in numbers and a ton of honey I was pleased with my really robust hive. But, robust hives do what they do - it swarmed. Like yours, it never rebounded. The new queen sort of petered out. The purchased replacement queen was quickly offed. The honey was robbed. The drone laying began. Ugh.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Brunswick, North Carolina
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: When a hive doesnt make it post swarm

    My hive that swarmed that I am talking about, I actually stole 4 frames from in the spring and made a successful split with the aid of a purchased queen. They rebuilt themselves back up and swarmed and I couldnt retrieve the swarm it was so high up in a tree and now I lost the parent hive. The split that I made from the parent hive I lost gave me about 14 medium frames of honey.
    Last edited by MikeinCarolina; 08-26-2014 at 02:44 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,238

    Default Re: When a hive doesnt make it post swarm

    >patterns seemed a bit spotty.
    >spring flow having ended
    How spotty? got pictures? Is the open larva intermixed with different aged larva side by side?

    >neither mites nor shb seemed to be a problem
    Mites are often low when a brood disease is present, SHB will be a problem if the population drops.

    Sound like EFB. A lot of it going around even more so now that the flow has slowed/ended

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Laying-Workers

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...21#post1151921

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: When a hive doesnt make it post swarm

    I've done several cut outs where the mother colony had swarmed multiple times and the last queen cells were dinks or the last queens didn't make it. It happens. At least in your apiary you can combine or dump the laying worker hive out and have comb for a split/swarm next year. I view it as the bees may have died but they left me gold in the form of a combine and/or drawn comb.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Brunswick, North Carolina
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: When a hive doesnt make it post swarm

    For some reason I can not retrieve either of your links. No I do not have pictures unfortunately. Id say the brood was spotty enough that if the whole side of a comb had brood only about 1/5 would be covered - and yes there seemed to be mixed age larva close to one another as I recall.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    >patterns seemed a bit spotty.
    >spring flow having ended
    How spotty? got pictures? Is the open larva intermixed with different aged larva side by side?

    >neither mites nor shb seemed to be a problem
    Mites are often low when a brood disease is present, SHB will be a problem if the population drops.

    Sound like EFB. A lot of it going around even more so now that the flow has slowed/ended

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Laying-Workers

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...21#post1151921

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,238

    Default Re: When a hive doesnt make it post swarm

    >and yes there seemed to be mixed age larva close to one another as I recall.

    That is exactly what you see with EFB. The queen will lay in all available empty cells in the center of the frame, the eggs hatch then larva die between 3-8 days the queen will again fill in the empties and again until you have this spotty capped intermingled with all aged larva. The bees are quick to recycle the larva and bee milk spreads very fast (the more die the more is recycled)

    Can you take some pictures? And post them here. A lot of it going around and I am sure it will help others.

    Read these links and post any questions.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...21#post1151921

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Laying-Workers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Brunswick, North Carolina
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: When a hive doesnt make it post swarm

    No way to take pictures as the hive has died out completely and been disassembled. Is a neighboring hive at peril now?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,039

    Default Re: When a hive doesnt make it post swarm

    I have lost two recently that did not recover from swarming and left five full mediums suppers ready to be robbed.

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