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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey I've got a problem I have a new colony from a package this year that hasn't done squat. I have a two year old hive and a swarm hive from this year that is just as big as the old hive. This package has a screened bottom board; different from my other two. Here are some photos. The comb looks crumbly and non uniform. There is white powder (probably wax) all over the ground. The hive entrance has small, gooey, little bee larvae and the comb has sunken cappings.
 

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Does it have a good laying queen? How many frames of bees does it have? Do they have any honey stored? Based on the picture and your description of uneven wax it seems like they might be hungry. Sunken cappings could be from brood getting chilled because there are not enough bees or it could be some disease. As long as they don't have AFB and the queen is good, I would say give it a couple frames of capped brood, nurse bees, and honey from the stronger hives and see if that helps.
 

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After searching the frames I found no queen. A month ago there where 3 half frames of capped honey. Now there is no honey. There are only 3 frames of wax. I live in Tuscaloosa Al is it to late to start feeding sugar water.
 

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After searching the frames I found no queen. A month ago there where 3 half frames of capped honey. Now there is no honey. There are only 3 frames of wax. I live in Tuscaloosa Al is it to late to start feeding sugar water.
As long as the temperature is 50 F or higher, bees can be fed.

If you have no queen and not very many bees, you might be better off combining what's left with another hive.

If you really want to save the package, you could switch the empty frames with 1-2 frames of capped brood, 1 frame of open brood and eggs, and 1 frame of honey and pollen. Then take 2 more frames of open brood and shake the nurse bees off into the package. It is a good idea find the queen first and set her off to one side before taking frames out of her hive to donate to the weaker hive. This is a common method for making nucs. If you can't get a queen or queen cell to put in the nuc soon after it is made, it might make its own queen using the eggs you provided but it will have lower odds of success. Depending on who you bought the package from, they may be willing to send a replacement queen and you should be able to get the thing going before winter rolls in.

Be sure to reduce the entrance to help prevent robbing.

Some things to consider are whether your other hives are strong enough to donate the extra brood and honey, and whether there is enough forage for the nuc to get itself going (it will need pollen to make more bees; generally one frame of pollen = one frame of bees). I am guessing that Alabama may have a mid-summer dearth followed by a second honey flow when the weather cools a bit?
 
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