Help saving hive
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    79

    Default Help saving hive

    Hi,

    I split my one hive 5 weeks ago. I checked on both hives through their viewing windows after 2 weeks, they seemed fine, and then at 4 weeks. At 4 weeks I found the new hive, the split, doing great, but the original hive had been decimated by varroa. I would normally have caught this, but i have a baby in the house, so time to get up on the roof to go through the hives is very limited.
    I treated the original hive for varroa, but the numbers are really low. To give you an idea, they’re gathered on only 4 bars/combs, and the comb is maybe half covered with bees on each one.
    My question is, can i take brood from the split and put it in the original hive to try and get them to raise a new queen? Is this too much stress on the split? Will this even do anything at this point or is the hive a lost cause?
    Thanks

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Help saving hive

    Im not into the bars. Buy, you can add bees and eggs, larve to the struggling hive. Helps if there is lots of brood ready to hatch soon. Gets the pop up, and they can make a new queen cells/queen from eggs and larve at the right age.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,729

    Default Re: Help saving hive

    Yes, if the nuc has two or three bars of eggs, larvae, and brood, you can give one to the original hive to boost numbers. If they lost their queen, they could make a new one. You need to treat both hives. The split has varroa too, since they came from the same hive.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    79

    Default

    Thanks for the responses. I’ll transfer one over and see how it goes. Can I include some workers to boost their numbers? Or will the hive reject them as intruders?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Geauga, Ohio
    Posts
    431

    Default Re: Help saving hive

    I would say 3 bars capped brood - ideally really dark cappings meaning they are just about to emerge - and only a few young larvae/eggs. Larvae/eggs are expensive to feed, and if they need to make a queen, just give them a bit to focus their energy on.

    Keep in mind some of the transferred bees will fly back - in fact, if you grab honey bars, or bars without young larvae, a lot may fly back because they are older bees. I would not shake any bees into the weak hive, as the queen might go in too! Unless you see the queen and can tuck her bar aside.

    So I would say 6 bars total, only 1 with a bit of larvae (thin like fingernail clippings), 4 with mature capped brood, covered with bees, but no queen.

    Check back in 5 days into the strong hive - if you see queen cells, you took the queen.

    +1 to treat both hives now for mites. I really like OAV, but I had to drill 1" holes in the bottom of my solid top bars to get the vapor in there. Do not do oxalic acid dribble - it will kill larvae. Weak hive may eat it too. Try Apivar, in center of brood nest - I bet that would work well.

    Oh, feed sugar syrup and pollen to weak hive. Avoid Honey bee Healthy or anything smelly - it may attract robbing.

    Good luck.

    I'll share my mite treatment approach - I aim for a "clean slate" when the hive is broodless. So in early Sept, mid Oct, early Nov, late Nov, and early Dec - I use OAV. I'm trying to catch any influx of mites from my bees going robbing, so I would probably not treat each of those times, but only after a "fly day" post Sept 15 - no more than 3 weeks between post-fly day treatments. That's when our bees go out and rob - after there is no more forage post frost, but weak hives dying from mites.

    In CA, the pattern is different, and you may benefit from treating during a brood break midsummer instead. Again aiming for a clean slate. Talk to beeks around you who are effectively managing mites...there are nuggets of gold there that you can mine for.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Help saving hive

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Yes, if the nuc has two or three bars of eggs, larvae, and brood, you can give one to the original hive to boost numbers. If they lost their queen, they could make a new one. You need to treat both hives. The split has varroa too, since they came from the same hive.
    Okay great. I transferred one yesterday, so I'll see how it goes.

    Trish, thanks for all of the info. Since I was taking from a nuc there wasn't enough to take as many as you were saying. Thanks for explaining your process. What do you mean by "fly day"?

  8. #7

    Default Re: Help saving hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Labow View Post
    the original hive had been decimated by varroa.
    How did you determine this?
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    79

    Default

    Determined (assuming really) that it was varroa based on the fact that there was a lot of varroa on my bottom board (i have a screened bottom with a bottom board), as well as all the dead bees. Do you think it could be something else?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Geauga, Ohio
    Posts
    431

    Default Re: Help saving hive

    Whenever you make a split, one of the hives will have a virgin queen, and one will have the original queen. Sometimes the virgin doesn't make it back and then there are no more options for the hive. If your queenright hive is nearby then the other bees can drift over there, causing the population of the original location to decline.

    To find out of the original/decimated hive even has a queen, you should look for eggs, of course. But also you can put a frame of open/milky brood into the weak hive - not the worm-looking brood. from the hive with the queen. Then if they start to make a queen cell, that tells you the virgin did not make it back.

    Or maybe it was varroa - a longer broodless period means more pressure on your bees from the varroa feeding on the adults. Start treatment before funneling resources from your good hive to your weak one...oh and feeding the weaker hive could make a very big difference too.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •