Weak hive problem
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Hamilton TN USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Weak hive problem

    I have a weak package hive I installed this April. They superseded from the beginning and have been weak since. They have gone over the last month from 6 deep frames to now 3 deep frames. I don't mind a project and would be willing to try and save them if it is possible. Is it too late in the season to feed pollen patties and sugar water to try and get them to build up? If I bought a new queen this late would she be able to turn the tide on such a small population of bees?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Weak hive problem

    Yes you could try all of that but better to just let it go or shake the bees into another hive. You would need a queen quick and even then she isnt' going to lay up the whole box as the weather will be getting cold
    Terrence

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    10,252

    Default Re: Weak hive problem

    To solve a problem, you need to know what the problem is.

    Could the hive be weak because it has been hungry? Could it be weak because it has a varroa mite problem?

    Or what else do you think could be the cause, then, you deal with the cause.

    Queens tend to get blamed for a lot of problems that are nothing to do with them, and therefore changing the queen will not solve the problem.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Hamilton TN USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Weak hive problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    To solve a problem, you need to know what the problem is.

    Could the hive be weak because it has been hungry? Could it be weak because it has a varroa mite problem?

    Or what else do you think could be the cause, then, you deal with the cause.

    Queens tend to get blamed for a lot of problems that are nothing to do with them, and therefore changing the queen will not solve the problem.
    I'm not completely sure what the problem is. I bought 3 packages and installed them last day of March. I fed them all the same and have treated for Varroa as well. This hive is the only one out of the 3 packages that superseded and the only weak one.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,237

    Default Re: Weak hive problem

    The description sounds very similar to my observations of what turned out to be European Foulbrood. Believe my the solutions most surely was not in shaking them in with stronger colonies. I am a big gun shy now admittedly, but I would eliminate the possibility EFB before I did any mixing of bees or equipment.
    Frank

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,252

    Default Re: Weak hive problem

    Quote Originally Posted by rtaylor View Post
    I'm not completely sure what the problem is.
    If you can get a decent quality pic or two of the brood and post it here, people may be able to see some clues. Also, did the hive collect much honey, does it have sufficient stores. And, do you have some way to measure varroa mite levels, if not, we'll talk you through some, varroa mites are the root cause of many beehive problems.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Hamilton TN USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Weak hive problem

    I'll try to get some up close pics of the brood tomorrow. When I inspect the brood and cappings look very similar to the other hives but the brood pattern is horrible. Very shotgun like. Shouldn't be varroa because I just got finished doing 3 treatments and this hive had no mite drop after treatment.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,252

    Default Re: Weak hive problem

    When people say their hive was treated, I wish they would say how. Some treatments work, some pretty much don't.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Greenville, NC, USA
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Weak hive problem

    What he said!!!

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Hamilton TN USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Weak hive problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    When people say their hive was treated, I wish they would say how. Some treatments work, some pretty much don't.
    Sorry. I did 4 OAV treatments that were 4 days apart.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Weak hive problem

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    The description sounds very similar to my observations of what turned out to be European Foulbrood. Believe my the solutions most surely was not in shaking them in with stronger colonies. I am a big gun shy now admittedly, but I would eliminate the possibility EFB before I did any mixing of bees or equipment.
    good point. I should have added "if found healthy". I was picturing just a queen that isn't laying. The one hive i had EF on last year and quaretined rebounded after treatment, packed on 2 supers of honey, then promptly died out after the first cold frost.
    Terrence

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Otsego County, NY, USA
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Weak hive problem

    there is an old saying in beekeeping "Take your losses in the fall". That said you could try requeening with a GOOD queen and then try to winter it as a nuc. Doubtful you could get to full colony strength before winter, but in TN, maybe, not my area.

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