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Discussion Starter #1
I hived 4 packages on April 17th. one hive is doing very well, I added a 2nd broodbox to that hive 3 weeks ago and it has about another week before it will be ready for a super. The 2nd hive is still 1 brood box and is about a week away from a 2nd brood box. Now for the last 2 packages, they are both still just one brood box. One hive is just now starting on it's sixth frame while the other is still working on it's 5th. Both hives are queen-rite and they are laying. All hives are being fed 1/1. I am thinking it is time to combine these hives or re-queen. My concern for combining is that I will still be working with an inferior queen. So is it time to order a couple of good queens, or should I give them some more time?

Thanks
Blueline
 

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How long have you been keeping gbees?
Perhaps you are expecting too much uniformity from your bees.
If you want more uniformity in your colonies, I would suggest equalizing brood between all of your four colonies and putting the "weaker" colonies where the strong ones are and visa versa.
Requeening at this time is premature, imo.
It is early enuf in the season yet.

You know when your colonies will be ready for their next box? If you want to make God laugh, tell me what you are going to do tomorrow. You are right to anticipate the need for more room or more foundation to build on, but I just got a bit of a chuckle that you knew so far in advance when your colonies will need the next super. But that is probably just me being me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for your wisdom, and for pointing out my error in saying that the first 2 hives will be ready for another box in ABOUT a week, as a way of indicating to readers where those 2 hives stand on drawing and filling the boxes they are currently working on. I should have went into detail about exactly what I observed (number of frames drawn, filled etc.) instead of making it sound like I had a clue when the bees would be ready for another box. I guess I am also wrong to predict that the bees won't be bringing in pollen or necter in January, after all that is a whole six months away.
 

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Oh heck, I'm sorry I didn't use more tact in answering your question. I try not to come off as a rear end, but it just doesn't work sometimes.

I hope you got something out of the rest of my comments that is of use and that you didn't dismiss it because of the comments that you refered to.
 

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Blueline, what is the brood pattern looking like with the problem hives? If the pattern is good, then they might be self limiting until there are enough bees to cover more brood.

Rather than moving entire hives of bees around, can you take a few frames of capped brood from the good hives and swap them out for unused frames? This would give you a nice population boost in the weaker hives. Plus the empty drawn cells would give the queens somewhere else to lay.
 

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can you take a few frames of capped brood from the good hives and swap them out for unused frames? This would give you a nice population boost in the weaker hives. Plus the empty drawn cells would give the queens somewhere else to lay.
What I said.

Out a here. Bye.
 

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Hives will build at different rates. Some kick in as others slow, some build up fast, others at a more even pace. This is one of the reasons starting with two hives is recommended so you can see differences in the progress. From what you are saying in your first post I would say that all your hives sound fine. Remember that a hive will only build up as fast as they can cover the brood. Also as a hive gets bigger it will grow much faster so a hive that has an early build up will continue to build faster until maybe mid summer when the others will catch up as populations max. If you notice a bad brood pattern, lots of drones, no laying, then think about re-queening.
 

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All good advice. Keep feeding, evaluate brood patterns, equalize if you really feel the need, but most of all allow the bees to build up at their own pace. Save decisions on combining for much later in the season.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guy's...The brood pattern seems to be okay, judging from descriptions I have read and photos I have seen of course. So I guess I will Just relax and wait them out.

Blueline
 

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If your other hives can spare a frame or two, it wouldn't hurt to put them in. Think of it as an investment in their immediate future. Depending on how densely the brood is laid, you could be adding a couple thousand more brood coverers to your weak hives. More bees to cover the frames, the more brood the queen can lay.
 

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I'd recommend you just leave the dang things alone and let them do their thing. You don't have to be a bee herder! They pretty much take care of themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Fish Stix...That is what I have decided to do. I have noticed that it is pretty common on the forums for new beeks to get over worried about something that is really nothing. Hopefully this will be my one and only new beek moment..........But probably not:rolleyes:

Blueline
 
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