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Lethargic bees?

12436 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  chrissv
I have 2 hives, and one has a lot activity, but the other one has very few bees and they look ... tired. I inspected a couple of weeks ago, and while the hive had fewer bees than the active hive, it didn't look like any problems.

I am going to do an inspection tomorrow, but today I took a video of the bees for comparison.

Given that I haven't yet looked in the hive, can anyone give me any suggestions as to what may be wrong?


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It's time for you to do a frame count for comparison
Thats what mine looked like when they were queenless up until the queen hatched, then they ramped up....
How is their food stores? Bees will get lethargic as they starve.
Ernie do you equalize your hive strengths? If so, how do you do it?

I equalize the hives by pulling out a frame of capped brood and placing it next to the weaker hives brood nest. You should move a honey frame over to make room for the addded brood frame. The baby bees in the added frame should emerge within 7 to 10 days.
Be sure that the weather is settled or the hive receiving the brood may not cover it on a cold night.
Try and have an empty frame between brood and honey as the honey can chill the brood if it gets too cold.
Chrissy, You can't really tell anything until you look inside, so by now you probably know. Did you know that bees cannot see the color red? Did you paint it pink? It looks pink but it could be my monitor. That particular color is used for the inside walls of certain prisons, even for the uniforms. Research has shown that it supposedly has a calming effect. BG OMTCW
One of the bees that looked like it was disoriented on the landing board looked like it had K wing. Did you see a lot of bees on the ground trying to get to the hive? Another bee taking off looked like it had a serious hard time doing so. Possible tracheal mite infestation?
i am only guessing,
just a weaker hive, maybe weaker/smaller going into the winter? of my 3 hives two of them looked like that until a few days ago (on the few days they have been out). The strong hive looked like your green hive, the other two (a hive that swarmed and the resulting swarm rehived) were weaker/smaller because of the swarm mid summer last year. The strong hive gave me 30 full frames of honey the weakers ones mayb e3 or 4 each. As soon as the girls started flying the strong hive was the first to show. so much so that for a few weeks as they only flew occasionaly when the temp was warming up i thought i might have 2 dead outs. Then slowly they started to look like your video, one strong two weak.lethargic. Today the weaker hives looked like your strong one and the strong one looked pretty busy.

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i am only guessing, just a weaker hive
I'm thinking this may be the case.

Later in the day, as the temperature warmed up, the brown hive started to show more activity. It never equaled the green hive, but started getting better.

The green hive gets the sun first. I think I'll separate the hives a little to make the brown hive not sit in the shadow of the green hive.

Thanks everyone,

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