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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 4 frame nuc that made it through the winter...but upon inspection it seems that the queen is not laying anymore. Its the same queen from last year as she is marked. The population has declined obviously. Should I add a frame of brood from another hive to see if that the problem? Will they stop laying if the population gets too small?

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How many bees survived when the nectar flow started and how much has it declined. My thoughts are that they should have kicked in.

If everything looks okay, I would look at pinching the queen and replacing her with a productive one. My goal for this year is to have late summer queens in all my hives going into winter.
 

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Our nectar flow hasnt started yet but I have been feeding them 1:1....not honey stores...should i a frame of honey in?
 

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First off, were you in a dearth? This will shut down a queen quick. If that is the case, keep the 1:1 and add a pollen patty or two. Give them a few days to a week to get going. Check for eggs then.
Maybe there are not enoug bees to cover more brood. You might want to consider a combine with a stronger hive to balance out..
One way is, to have one hive that is too strong for one brood box and then your weak hive. Spray both hives with a scented syrup, such as 1:1 with vanilla. Do not drenched wet bees, just to mask the scent of the queen. Then to the strong hive add a sheet of newspaper and a queen excluder. Then spray the weak hive in and then place on top of the strong hive. Check in 4 days for eggs, on the top weak hive. If there are eggs, wait two to three weeks and then split. One of two things will happen, both queens will lay and you will have two equal hives ready to add another brood chamber, or the strong hive will kill your weaker queen and you will have one strong hive that will need to be split and you will have to buy another queen. Feed this combine when you combine it.

Before you weaken another hive by giving a expensive early spring build up frame of brood or combine with another hive, you need to assess the weaker hive is still viable and not sick.
Expensive is not the right word, but that frame is much needed in the strong hive too. This is a critical time where for any hive, and by taking a frame of brood to add to a weak hive...it better be worth it. The weaker hive will need bees to cover and look after that frame.
HS
 

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Our nectar flow hasnt started yet but I have been feeding them 1:1....
I would feed 2:1, I never feed 1:1. If they need feeding give them 2:1 and its less work to evaporate the excess moisture, especially this time of year.

should i add frame of honey in?
Yes, If you can spare it from another colony [don't weaken a strong colony to try to save a dead one].

I have a 4 frame nuc that made it through the winter...but upon inspection it seems that the queen is not laying anymore. Its the same queen from last year as she is marked.
Dearth or not, she should be laying some, by this time, if they have any stores at all. Eggs are hard to see. If, you can locate the queen in a strong colony, you might shake the bees from a frame of emerging brood [be sure not to shake the queen into this colony]. This will give the colony a quicker boost than a frame of brood. The colony may have been weakened to the point where they can't cover an area of brood [to keep it warm] to get some replacement bees raised. If that is the case, placing a frame of brood in this weak colony will only kill the frame of brood.

Just another consideration, if you have a strong colony with lots of young bees not flying, you might consider switching location with the nuc, or moving over just a few feet and replacing with the nuc. Some foragers will drift back to the original colony while others will go to the nuc. I would do this when the colony is very active during the middle of the day. Smoke the nuc real good to cover the queen phermone, otherwise the returning foragers may attack the nuc queen and kill her, especially since the colony is so weak and can't defend her. Give me a call and we can talk about it Eric.

Kindest regards
Danny
 
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