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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in my second year keeping bees in Maine. I have 2 hives, and the bees in one of them have become relatively inactive in the past couple of weeks. I opened that hive this morning - the lower hive body has 7 frames of empty drawn comb with some capped brood in the remaining 3 frames, and the upper hive body has a small amount of honey, and also some capped brood. At this rate I can't imagine that this hive will have a chance of making it through the winter.

So I have a few questions: 1) why are the bees in this hive so inactive? could it be mites? 2) should I consider consolidating the bees from both hives into a single strong hive to get them through the winter? 3) Should I be treating for mites, or feeding sugar/water, or anything else at this point? Thanks in advance for any responses.
 

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If the other hives are busy, I would look for the queen in the lazy hive. If there is no queen in the lazy hive, that may be your problem.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually, I saw the queen when I opened the hive this morning, so I know she's there. And we're in the midst of the goldenrod bloom here, so I can't imagine it's a problem with lack of forage. Hmmm...
 

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Without actually seeing the hive its hard to tell exactly whats wrong .But it sounds like the hive is weak and lite.This could be because of disease or mites,but most of these that I find at this time of year just have a poor queen(assuming mites are under control).She just didnt have what it took to build up a strong hive.Its a judgement call on whether to requeen and try to get them to some sort of strength before winter.If its too far gone I just shake the bees out and put the equipment into storage then re-stock it next spring(but if I find afb into the fire it goes!)I will add that if varroa/virus is the problem(sick brood /bees emerging with shriveled wings) DONT combine the brood with the other hive if it is still healthy.
 

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"I'm in my second year keeping bees in Maine. I have 2 hives, and the bees in one of them have become relatively inactive in the past couple of weeks. I opened that hive this morning - the lower hive body has 7 frames of empty drawn comb with some capped brood in the remaining 3 frames, and the upper hive body has a small amount of honey, and also some capped brood. At this rate I can't imagine that this hive will have a chance of making it through the winter."

In your description, I didn't see you make mention of any eggs or open brood. Would that be a clue?

Hayseed
 
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