Ugh, think I'm losing a six week old nuc hive. Did I do the right thing?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Seattle, Wa
    Posts
    17

    Default Ugh, think I'm losing a six week old nuc hive. Did I do the right thing?

    We got this nuc around May 19th and she was doing great until early July. And now, week after week, our middle hive, Abigail, seems to be losing bees and failing. One frame at a time. Two weeks ago she seemed lighter, way less bees on the frames. We didnt see a lot of eggs. The larvae didnt look shiny. Today, Five of the eight frames were basically empty. Spotty brood pattern and weird liquid - shiny and almost too thick. Then, dead drone brood .. some looked like they died as they were hatching out of their cells? Just their little heads barely poking out. Some sunken darker cells.

    We didnt smell anything awful.

    No real bug problem that we can see.. a few tiny ants near the syrup (we've had a lot of rain in Seattle so we've fed since we got them) but we treated for those.

    And then one of the two healthy hives has one frame with about six queen cups on it. And some of them have larvae??

    I just dont know what is happening here with all of this.

    Anyhow, we did see mites on some of the pics we took from two weeks ago. So we decided to use the formic pro pad that lays in the box across the frames? In two weeks we take it out?

    And, we took the frame from the healthy hive with the six queen cups.. and put it in the failing hive, Abigail.

    I've seen so many videos where people say, "you can just swap out frames to help each hive out.." so, I hope that is ok.

    But any help would be welcome..

    p.s. if I knew how to post pics I would ..
    Last edited by Loriann1; 07-08-2020 at 10:52 PM.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: Ugh, think I'm losing a six week old nuc hive. Did I do the right thing?

    3rd year 6a-
    My style is to get very proactive about saving them. Since mites are #1 I would drop Apivar strips in them and leave for the treatment period. They are easy and not temperature driven. Feed aggressively both 1:1 and protein patties. My nucs usually get 3-4 gallons of 1:1 to start. Once nutrition is lined out you will be in a better position to evaluate your queen. She will only lay according to her population strength and size. I had one queen this year looking a little spotty until I dropped two brood frames in and fed pollen patties. She's a 2nd year and her pattern has improved dramatically from better nutrition and the flow starting.

    Forget about a honey harvest and focus only on colony health. I also keep ProSweet handy from MannLake. It's a pro grade carbohydrate feed and it can be stored immediately in the comb. I usually use it for fall feeding, but for touchy situations it comes in handy.

    They may have had a reaction to the Formic. Since we're not sure about disease just yet I would be reluctant to swap frames until we know for sure it's not creating another issue. I would take pictures of your brood frame so people can see what you're talking about.

    Most problems can be solved by 1) mite treatments 2) nutrition 3) good queen.
    I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Seattle, Wa
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Ugh, think I'm losing a six week old nuc hive. Did I do the right thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by LAlldredge View Post
    3rd year 6a-
    My style is to get very proactive about saving them. Since mites are #1 I would drop Apivar strips in them and leave for the treatment period. They are easy and not temperature driven. Feed aggressively both 1:1 and protein patties. My nucs usually get 3-4 gallons of 1:1 to start. Once nutrition is lined out you will be in a better position to evaluate your queen. She will only lay according to her population strength and size. I had one queen this year looking a little spotty until I dropped two brood frames in and fed pollen patties. She's a 2nd year and her pattern has improved dramatically from better nutrition and the flow starting.

    Forget about a honey harvest and focus only on colony health. I also keep ProSweet handy from MannLake. It's a pro grade carbohydrate feed and it can be stored immediately in the comb. I usually use it for fall feeding, but for touchy situations it comes in handy.

    They may have had a reaction to the Formic. Since we're not sure about disease just yet I would be reluctant to swap frames until we know for sure it's not creating another issue. I would take pictures of your brood frame so people can see what you're talking about.

    Most problems can be solved by 1) mite treatments 2) nutrition 3) good queen.

    We did give them a protein patty a couple of weeks ago - left it in for about 14 days, and they seemed interested, but I cant tell how much of it they ate. It was a sticky mess to clean out though!

    We are continuously feeding with 1:1 .. I did see mites in cells in this particular hive, so hopefully the treatment for mites doesn't hurt them.

    I guess we'll check on them in a couple of days and see if those queen cups with larvae have been capped yet. They sure look like well fed queen cups, lots of milky liquid around the larvae and the worker bees constantly checking on them. Or do you think we should take the new frame (with queen cups) back out of the failing hive?

    Ive also read that caging the queen in a failing hive can give her a break.. give the mites a time out, and kind of reset. Any thoughts on that?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Seattle, Wa
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Ugh, think I'm losing a six week old nuc hive. Did I do the right thing?

    oh and p.s. our plan is not to take any honey this first year, and leave it all for them... so, that isn't a concern for us at all.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,708

    Default Re: Ugh, think I'm losing a six week old nuc hive. Did I do the right thing?

    You have to consider the possibility of EFB. You could get a test kit for about fifteen dollars. Leave that frame in there and take all precautions to prevent the spread of disease. Do not share equipment between hives. Hive tool must be disinfected between uses. Use disposable gloves or better, go gloveless with sleeves rolled up.
    If there are only two frames of bees left, I would consider killing the hive and disposing of the equipment. It is certainly what I would do with a positive test to try to stop the spread to the other hives. J

  7. #6

    Default Re: Ugh, think I'm losing a six week old nuc hive. Did I do the right thing?

    I think that you need a local, experienced beekeeper to come look.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Seattle, Wa
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Ugh, think I'm losing a six week old nuc hive. Did I do the right thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    You have to consider the possibility of EFB. You could get a test kit for about fifteen dollars. Leave that frame in there and take all precautions to prevent the spread of disease. Do not share equipment between hives. Hive tool must be disinfected between uses. Use disposable gloves or better, go gloveless with sleeves rolled up.
    If there are only two frames of bees left, I would consider killing the hive and disposing of the equipment. It is certainly what I would do with a positive test to try to stop the spread to the other hives. J
    I will look into that test. And pray like crazy itís negative ...

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Seattle, Wa
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Ugh, think I'm losing a six week old nuc hive. Did I do the right thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I think that you need a local, experienced beekeeper to come look.
    Yep, we do... and no easy feat there. Finding mentors here has been a bit tough

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