What to do???
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Thread: What to do???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    20

    Default What to do???

    Hi All—
    I started beekeeping last year with two hives, both of which made it thru the winter. Hive #1 has always been very strong. It swarmed in the spring and from the queen cells, was able to make new queens for both original hives plus start three new hives.

    So now we’re at the end of my second season and I just finished checking the hives. First off, I should tell you that I use OAV on the 5 day rotation and just finished up the series (same as last year. Also treated right before Christmas and a “warm enough” day in late Feb/early March). The three new hives are doing great but the two originals aren’t, from what I can tell.

    Hive #1 (strongest hive)

    Harvested honey 4 weeks ago and have been feeding since then. Left them 2+ supers of honey. Today—very little stores, capped and uncapped brood but not a ton. Some of the brood was actively emerging. There was also some (just a few) brood that was bright white and the bees were pulling them out of the cells and then removing them from the hive. This is the first time I’ve seen that in my hives (none of the other four have this).

    I know I need to feed them like crazy but wanted to know if the white brood indicates a problem. Thoughts?

    Hive #2

    This hive had been doing well but abt a month ago, we noticed the queen slowing down, which happened with this same hive (different queen) last year. We also saw very spotty capped brood, a small amount of new brood and very little stored. A month ago, there was at least one super worth of stored honey. I did not harvest any honey from this hive. My gut feeling says that this hive is dying, but I’m not sure why. Varroa amounts don’t appear abnormal abs, as I mentioned, I’ve been treating. I took a frame of brood in multiple stages out of one of the newer hives and put it in this one just in case that helps. What are your thoughts? Is it a goner? Is it possible to re queen?

    Thanks!

    Denise

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,729

    Default Re: What to do???

    Denise, get feeders on these hives! And put a pollen patty in for good measure. The white larvae may have been drone brood that a hive low on resources would be quick to get rid of. I have been feeding since July and have gone through about 400# of Walmart sugar already. Fed 50# today. There was light yellow pollen coming in this morning, but the hives are tearing up the patties I am giving them. My guess is they will turn around quickly if you give them proper nutrition. I had a little medium over deep nuc that had a jar feeder on it. I put them in a hive today and there was not a drop of stored syrup anywhere on the frames. Installed a hive top feeder. They put away 1/2 gallon of syrup in less than 5 hours. I gave them another whole gallon which I expect to be gone by morning.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    553

    Default Re: What to do???

    The other thing I am thinking is do you have robbing issues going on? This could explain part of the low stores and exposed brood.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Elmer-
    I have seen zero robbing activity at either hive. All of my hives currently sport top feeders. Hive #1 consistently drains 2 quarts of it pretty quickly and the others take longer. #1 is much larger than the others, so this is a new thing.

    John——I’ve been consistently feeding the 3 smaller hives since mid July but waited on these two because I planned to harvest honey. I ended up harvesting only from the larger one and then immediately started feeding. Admittedly, I have been inconsistent the last two weeks because of work travel but gave them a does of 2:1 this morning using 8lbs of sugar. Need to make a Costco run after work,

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