Should I split and re queen?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Staunton, Virginia
    Posts
    10

    Default Should I split and re queen?

    I currently have one hive we got as a swarm last spring. The two hives we had before that didn’t not overwinter and got wax moth. My question is this hive did not seem to grow all year last year no matter what I did( other than re queen). They are in a 10 frame deep and occupy maybe 6 or 7 frames. Only about 2 or 3 frames have they drawn even the other ones it seems like they won’t touch the foundation they just want to build off the top bar. So I checkerboarded the frames with some new frames with wax foundation to see if that would help and it hasn’t done anything. I checked the hive today and had one frame of capped brood and one-ish of eggs and just a little uncapped honey on maybe 2-3 more. I had two frames on the outer edge where I moved them they won’t touch now. I was thinking of splitting the hive as even as I can and splitting into two nucs and introducing a new queen into the one without a queen. And trying to re queen the other one. I was thinking of doing a queen castle but I think illl outgrow my resources with that too fast. Kinda at a loss for what to do with this hive I treated for mites in the fall but the weather hasn’t been right for the spring treatment

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    9,995

    Default Re: Should I split and re queen?

    sounds like your colony needs a little more time to grow in size before splitting or adding foundation.

    it's a little bit early for new comb to get drawn and interspersing the foundation in there like that is making it difficult for the bees to function.

    i would put things back like they were and give them another month.

    i have a couple of colonies that small or smaller because they superceded last year's queen at the beginning of the build up.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,528

    Default Re: Should I split and re queen?

    Everyone does things different with their bees, many options in management and not all do the same way.

    I think it sounds like a bad queen, and would requeen the hive. I would not split it because it's not strong enough to be splitting, I don't think anyway.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,051

    Default Re: Should I split and re queen?


  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Wimer, Oregon
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Should I split and re queen?

    by checkerboard, did you split the broodnest, if so you are killing your bees and not checkerboarding.

    CB is only done with the honey supers, it has nothing to do with the broodnest expansion.

    sounds like mismanagement , and a queen that is being held back from laying due to no resources...ie..food

    put the broodnest back together as it was like squarepeg said, then put your extra drawn frames to the outside of the broodnest, one deep only, nothing above, no supers. they need the heat, and a big hive is not easy for a small cluster to keep hot.

    maybe even transfer them to a nuc, much easier to help them build up

    ASAP!!! FEED THEM NOW, give them some 1:2 sugar syrup stimulative feed not 1:1 or 2:1
    ASAP!!! get them some pollen patties, don't stop feeding sugar syrup
    change to 1:1 only after a month once brood buildup starts up

    this should get the queen in gear

    Go in only every 10 day no sooner no later, my gues is they will be ready to add a second deep for brood expansion end may

    hope they are ok, wish I was nearby to help.
    Last edited by Apis Natural; 03-31-2018 at 06:29 AM.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    9,995

    Default Re: Should I split and re queen?

    usmcpowerman, first of all if you are currently serving or have served, many thanks!

    since your colony is a caught swarm i'm guessing the queen is not marked, and unless you observed evidence of supercedure it's hard to know if you are seeing the old queen or a new queen.

    so not seeing much brood at this point could mean you have a poor queen or it could mean the queen is good and the colony's population is low because of an early supercedure and they have not had enough time and good enough weather to build up more than what you are seeing.

    if your brood pattern is solid, healthy, and increasing in size then your current queen may be alright. it's a usually a little tough finding a new queen to purchase this early in the season anyway.

    i don't think you killed your bees by interspersing the foundation like that. that there are not using the foundation is telling you it's too early for that and spreading the out the drawn comb is slowing them down more than helping.

    you could feed syrup and give a protein patty if you want to stimulate growth, but with the improving weather there should be no shortage of field nectar and pollen coming in.

    jmho, but if it were me i would put the frames back like they were, let them build up on the natural flows, reassess over the next several weeks, and go from there.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Staunton, Virginia
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Okay what my plan is now is I installed a feeder yesterday with sugar water. I checkerboarded last last year so when I refill my feeder I’ll move the most drawn out frames closer to the middle and re set that and add a pollen patty and go from there. My plan is to wait until end of April and see how things are going before I try to re queen. I looked in the hive yesterday and didn’t see any eggs but before I could finish my inspection the weather started to turn and they got super agaitated. Next time im in I’ll try and take some pictures and go from there.

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