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Day 11 after install 1 booming, 1 creeping along

1412 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  AugustC
Hived 2 packages on the 12th

Booming hive eats 24 oz of 5:3 syrup in less than 24 hrs started on 9 bars added 3 more in last couple of days
large comb built out on 8 bars, I took pictures of all the large comb both sides but the pictures didnt turn out

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Weak hive eats 24 oz of syrup in 5-6 days, I suspect the queen did not make it or has a problem. Only built some comb on 2 bars. There is a barrell shaped queen cup built in the middle of the largest comb.
and they dont seem as active as the other hive.
I looked for the queen but I did not find her but I'm new at this as may have missed her.
Should I ask for a replacement queen or give them some more time ?

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If thats all the bees the second hive, I day say it wont make it period. If that is all the bees that hive has, try shaking 3-4 bars of bees into the weak hive and see what happens.
The second hive -- are those all your bees? If so, it should be really easy to find her. If those are all your bees, I doubt that a new queen is going to help you at this point. If I had only those few bees left, I'd combine them with the stronger hive (but make sure they don't have a queen) and maybe make a split later.
what she said ^

I know that isn't helpful but it is so rare for us beekeepers to agree I thought I would highlight it.

To combine you can just dust the bees in both colonies with icing sugar NOTE: Dust! not Douse.
There are more bees some are festooning on empty bars and the hive sides has some coverage as well, I might try to find the queen again after work but probably not enough bees to make a go at it without some help, Even though these queens are marked I havent seen either of them other than when they were in their cages.
Really buddy, if they're building leave them alone.
It is hard enough for a small colony like that to build up without them having to reheat the brood everytime you open the hive.
Heat means calories, calories means food, less food means less comb/bees/chance of survival.
Hmmm.. so there are more bees and festooning. Although that's a good sign, I still would've expected more comb after almost 2 weeks. By any chance, did you notice egg/larvae when you checked? It's hard to tell from the photo.

Also, I'm curious why you're feeding 5:3 sugar syrup? I'm sure your bees love it, but at this time of year, you could probably save yourself some money by feeding 1:1. Plus, 1:1 is supposed to encourage drawing comb.
what she said ^

I know that isn't helpful but it is so rare for us beekeepers to agree I thought I would highlight it.

To combine you can just dust the bees in both colonies with icing sugar NOTE: Dust! not Douse.
LOL! So true! One of my favorite beekeeping sayings is:

Ask 5 beeks, get 6 answers.

I did not see any capped brood in the weaker hive but at 12 days im not yet expecting it to be capped yet, I couldnt make out any larvae or eggs but my vision isnt that great, I was hoping the camera would give me enough detail to see any but no luck with that, there are some reddish brown material in a few of the cells probably pollen ?
As to using 5:3 vs 1:1 I just went with Michael Bush's recommendation as there are a lot of differening opinions so I just picked one :) With only 2 hives sugar cost isnt that much of issue for me and the booming hive is making a lot of comb.
My very :no: frank advice to you would be to ... for at least the next thirty contiguous days ... (a) leave them completely alone, and in the meantime, (b) stop feeding them sugar-water.

When you install a package, you are (necessarily) dealing with "a totally artificial situation." At this point, there is no brood with which to replace the bees that, every day, naturally die-off. The number-one priority of the entire hive is therefore to construct comb, to raise brood within that comb, and thus to "bootstrap" the natural life-cycle that will sustain the hive from that point forward.

Even though that seems to be "a daunting task," just sit back and watch them ... do it.

Every "intervention" that you make during this very-delicate time – well-intentioned though it might honestly be – merely sets them back. Severely. Therefore, constrain your inevitable human curiosity to observations made from strictly outside of the hive.

Instead of pre-conceiving in your own mind what the bees "ought" to be "achieving," and then by hapless interventions trying to "help" them achieve (your(!)...) "goals," just pretend they're in a tree. (Believe it or not, that's where most bee colonies do live, and they do so without any human "help" at all.) Ain't no sucrose in a tree. Create your "artificial tree," as you have done. Now, for the next thirty days at least, leave them alone and let them be bees, at their own pace. You'll be quite pleased at how little they actually need from "us."
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Ain't no sucrose in a tree.
Wickipedia said:
Although nectar's main ingredient is natural sugar in a proportion of approximately 55% sucrose, 24% glucose and 21% fructose...
Raw material for comb can be supplied in the form of syrup, or their own hard work. Your choice.
Everytime I have had a problem with my bees and tried to "fix" it I have inevitably made it worse. When I have given them what they need and left them alone they have sorted themselves out just fine. They only things I "fix" now is cross comb and brood nest size (adding bars) and let's be honest that isn't for the bees benefit it is for my own.
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