Hive Concerns
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Thread: Hive Concerns

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
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    16

    Default Hive Concerns

    This is my first year and I'm trying to understand what might be going on in the photos at the link below? It think the queen may have swarmed when they were taken because I didn't see any evidence of her in the hive. I've seen her since then and she is laying. I just don't know why they chewed the caps off these cells and left the larvae. She's laying around all these uncapped cells. Shouldn't they clean them out?

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/gqD8D5KGisCnQ6vb9

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    1,446

    Default Re: Hive Concerns

    It appears they are starving, possibly robbed to the point of no return. It doesn't look like enough bees to make a viable colony.

    What are you doing about mites

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Yakima Co, WA, USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Hive Concerns

    Do you have any honey/nectar stores at all? It looks like you have another hive next to this one in the pic...how is it doing? Have you monitored/treated for varroa?
    Meghan

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Hive Concerns

    Wow, better start feeding immediately, it is quite late in the season to have no stores in the hive. That is the first problem and priority. I would feed sugar syrup 2:1 and pollen sub as well.

    Consider reducing to a nuc.

    Treat for mites, you don't have enough bees to risk testing.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,729

    Default Re: Hive Concerns

    Are you sure you have a queen? Most of those cells look like drones to me. And of course, there are no stores. I had a nuc looking like that about two months ago. Combined them with another queenless nuc and added a frame with eggs. They made a queen and now the hive is doing well, for a late nuc.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Hive Concerns

    When I started this was my stronger hive. I've been feeding when not in a dearth but they don't take it. I put a little over a gallon of 1:1 on last week and they barely touched it. I've seen the queen and she's laying pretting solid in the empty cells. Seeing eggs and uncapped larvae. They're just not drawing any comb or storing any nectar or pollen. Gave them pollen patty last week and yesterday. Not sure robbing is an issue. My reducers are set to 3" and I use an internal hive top feeder.

    The other hive swarmed in July and the new queen is laying like a champ, there are plenty of honey stores and they're bringing in pollen like crazy. They also gobble up the syrup when I feed them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,729

    Default Re: Hive Concerns

    Since the hive is queenright, drop in two strips of Apivar and see if the pattern doesn't even out over the next two weeks. As mentioned twice already, mite infestation can produce the same pattern as you see if the bees are hygenic and uncapping infested brood. Is there mite poop, little white specs, on the top surface inside of the cells?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    North East Wyoming
    Posts
    540

    Default Re: Hive Concerns

    I've got to agree with JWPalmer, that all looks like drone comb to me. Maybe your queen is failing. Is there any worker brood?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Hive Concerns

    Quote Originally Posted by kghart View Post
    When I started this was my stronger hive. I've been feeding when not in a dearth but they don't take it. I put a little over a gallon of 1:1 on last week and they barely touched it. I've seen the queen and she's laying pretting solid in the empty cells. Seeing eggs and uncapped larvae. They're just not drawing any comb or storing any nectar or pollen. Gave them pollen patty last week and yesterday. Not sure robbing is an issue. My reducers are set to 3" and I use an internal hive top feeder.
    The other hive swarmed in July and the new queen is laying like a champ, there are plenty of honey stores and they're bringing in pollen like crazy. They also gobble up the syrup when I feed them.
    Feeding when not in a dearth? You have that backwards, friend. Feed in a dearth, don't feed in a flow. That is, when the hive is healthy.
    In this case, you should be feeding them now with 2:1 syrup and pollen sub. Reducing to a nuc, or at least using a follower board to reduce the size of the nest is a reasonable course of action. # inches may be too big of an opening if there are not enough guard bees to protect that much space. How many bees are in that colony? It might be necessary to reduce entrance to 1 inch or less, which would require only a few guard bees.
    Never ask a barber it he thinks you need a haircut.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    washington, vermont, USA
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: Hive Concerns

    I'm no expert but imo this looks like a classic varroa mite crash. A couple apivar strips would be like bandaids on a gushing artery, won't cut it. Probably a goner but you could try reducing hive size a bit and giving them a "formic flash" (heavy dose of formic acid like MAQS). Then if you still had a queen, enough bees, and another hive that could donate a couple frames of capped brood and adhering bees you might be able to get it turned around. Big MIGHT this late in the year.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Hive Concerns

    I mistyped. I have only been feeding when in a dearth. Thanks for keeping me honest.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Hive Concerns

    Agree with VTBeeGuy - DOA

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Hive Concerns

    I broke this hive down to a single box and put on a MAQS. The comb looks much better and the queen is laying well. Hopefully they'll rebound before winter.

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