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Discussion Starter #1
Checked my hive over the weekend and saw that I had a massive loss of bees. I do have some bees left and also found the queen. Now that being said should I start seeing eggs or brood? I look at just about every frame but did not see any eggs or brood. Shouldn’t the queen have started laying already? Is there anything I could do to stimulate her to get her laying? At this rate I will loose the hive I imagine with in a month. If anyone know how to get her to start laying please let me know.

Thanks.
:doh:
 

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If you had a massive loss of bees and now have only some bees left, the colony may have reached that low population threshold where they can't maintain a 93 F. to 96 F. brood nest to stimulate the queen to lay. They can feed on honey and feed the queen to maintain their lives and do some foraging for pollen,. but not much else. Yes, she should be laying in your area.

I had this experience with 4 hives last spring. I thought they would get going/survive but never did. I should have dequeened three hives and combined the bees as best I could into one with a queen. I even put the best colony in a five frame nuc box, took it home and brought it inside during the night, but that didn't help. Kelley Co. has four frame nuc boxes that might work in this situation,.I don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
All the bees seem to be up in the super/ Should I take the hive deeps away and collaps them all into that one super and hope for the best?
 

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You can try that. Yes reduce the size of the hive. Is it going to be just a medium super then? Some beekeepers install packages in just a medium. You need some frames [2-3 or 4] in the center that have open cells for the queen to lay. Not all full of capped honey.

>> The bees that have survived may be older bees that just will not be able to raise brood now. It is important to have young bees emerging in late summer to overwinter, and be in condition to raise brood in early spring.

I hope you aren't going to hold me responsible if this doesn't work,.:eek:....:lookout:!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I popped the top off the other day and saw a softball size cluster still active. Do you think they will make it? I’m a first year beek and have little experience. I would hate to loose my first hive . I ordered two packages but they will not be in until May 22, by then it may be too late to save this hive. By chance they die can I use the old hive? The new bees will have a better start having the frames already drawn out.
 

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I hope your feeding them?

Just checked were you are on the map, a bit north east from me, so yes you queen should be laying. My hives are full of brood.

I am also a first year beekeeper.

According to weather.com, the weather up your way for the next 10 days will be in the 50-70 range. If your not already feeding them, put some dry sugar in the hive -and- give them some sugar syrup, we are right in the middle of the temp ranges were the bees will be switching what they will take. So give them both that way they can take what they need. Also pollen patties. The may not lay if there is no pollen available for the bees to feed the brood.

I just mixed up a batch of patties this weekend, soy flower from the local health food store, and brewers yeast from GNC, will be interesting to see if the bees take it or not.

Good luck

Bill
 

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If you haven't yet done so, you probably need to feed those bees. Is there stored honey they can access? Or, if your temps are still below 50, put some dry sugar on newspaper above the cluster (Mountaincamp Method), until you can give them sugar syrup. By all means try to keep them alive, they may surprise you.

I too had a massive die off, but a small cluster remained with the queen. Now, two weeks later, they're going gang-busters. Still not as large as the rest of my colonies, but they're going to make it.
Regards,
Steven
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I did mix up some sugar syrup for them, but they also have plenty of honey stored up. I have this Friday off and it should be in the 70s. This will give me a chance to have a closer look to see if she started laying yet. But yes I am feeding. I placed a jar feeder out for them. One of those chick type feeders that screw onto a mason jar. I put some rocks in it so the bees have a landing spot so they won't drown.
 

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I think that the best answer was from Oldbee in the first response. I had a hive this spring that had dwindled to a small cluster. They had a very small (3" diameter) circle of brood. I had other hives that had 8+ frames of brood.

I took 3 frames of capped brood and bees and added to the weak hive. Suddenly she is a good layer again and the hive is catching up with the others. I think that with the temperatures and the small amount of bees that they just couldn't raise enough new bees to offset those dying of old age.

It is a gamble that you are not just wasting resources on a losing battle. I had hives that were well on their way to swarming so taking brood from them was needed anyway.
 
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