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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Four weeks ago this hive was doing pretty good. Two weeks ago I noticed it wasn't growing as the other two hives, last week it seemed their were fewer bees.
Today I went thru it again. Saw the queen, she looks plump and normal, moving casually thru other bees on the frame. Their were a few capped cells and a few uncapped larva. Now, if all the bees were moved together they might not even cover two deep frames, a month ago they would have covered five frames or more.
I didn't see any dead bees on the bottom board, no pile of bees on the ground. No DWV. They seem calm, went thru them without any smoke without any issues.
They have plenty of capped honey and pollen.
I have not seen any swarm or supersedure cells
My other two hives are one the same stand and are doing very good.

Any idea on what to do to save them?

I guess I could pinch her and either add a frame of eggs from another hive or get a new queen?

Any suggestions?
As always thanks for the help.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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"a few capped cells and a few uncapped larva"... are these scattered or all consolidated? Are the cappings flat or domed like kix cereal? A frame of eggs won't hurt. It may or may not help... It takes bee to make bees...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They are scattered on the top third of one frame, both sides. In that third it's not solid, pretty spotty.
The cappings seem to be flat, sorry don't know what kix cereal looks like - wife has been on a health kick.

I did notice on another frame that two (?) caps had been chewed open slightly, I could see a white larva inside. Not sure if it was opened or they just hadn't finished closing it off.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I used to describe drone brood as "bullet shaped", but most people don't know what a bullet looks like and then it's really like a "round nose" bullet, and not a spritzer... so I pick kix cereal... the point is a drone cell is noticeably domed. A worker cell is barely convex. Scattered brood is not a good sign. Usually it's because the egg police have been removing drone eggs. Domed caps would confirm that you have a drone layer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I sure they are not drone cells, no 9mm on any frames.
I'm 99% sure they have not swarmed, I've been doing weekly inspections for almost two months and have not seen any swarm cells, plus the queen "looks" good as of today.

If she doesn't get to lay'n within a week should she be replaced?
 

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a frame of capped brood would help them with population, a frame of eggs and capped brood could perhaps give them something to make a new queen out of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Would it be best to
1) add two frames of eggs and capped brood and leave the queen.
2) pinch the queen and let them raise a new queen from two frames of egg/capped brood.
3) add two frames of eggs and capped brood and introduce a new queen.

I'm leaning to #2 unless I can find a local queen.
Thanks for the help!
 

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Is the larva pearly white or is it slightly yellow to a little orange? It could be a brood disease like EFB or sac brood.
 

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EFB will cause some of the larva to turn a slightly yellowish color and they of course will die. The queen will keep laying but the brood will die and the bee numbers will diminish to nothing. Just make sure you do not have a brood problem before you try to give resources like frames of brood or a new queen to the hive. It could be a waste.
If the hive was strong a few weeks ago and the queen doing good a brood disease could be the cause of the hive getting weaker. But so could other things.
 

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First you have some cause of your population vanishing. I can think of a couple of ways.

1. At some point for whatever reason the queen no longer kept up with the rate of losses. The superseded the old queen and the new one is just getting up to speed or simply does not have the speed in her or ???

2. you have some predator such as a skunk making a late night buffet of your hive.

The reduced population reduces the amount of brood that can even be produced. even if you queen is fine they cannot support any more than minor laying of eggs.

Recover in the current condition woudl be extremely slow if it was possible at all. Not to mention it sounds like the nest even as it is may be to spread out for the population to cover.

What does the open space look like. does the queen even have any place to lay?

Try to discover the cause for loss of bees. attempt to confirm if the queen can even lay at a decent rate. Then correct as necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I won't be able to get back into them till Wednesday or Thursday, I should have time to read up on efb
No sign of predators, mice etc. No supersedure or swarm cells have been found, they've been inspected every 6 to 8 days for the past 2 months
All of the bees are concentrated in the upper center of the hive, a few bees wandering on the outer frames.
The queen has plenty of worker and drone cells to lay in, all other frames are full of capped honey (3), pollen (1) or completely empty (4).
I did take a peek yesterday afternoon, their she was, checking cells laying in some and passing up others.
 
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