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I have a total of 16 hives and I have 3 or 4 that are not producing well. I have a queen in each but she is only laying on two or three frames while the rest of my hives are full in the brood box. I am thinking of re queening the weak hives. I run single deeps as my brood boxes. The weak hives also seem not to be putting up a lot of stores. Should I re queen the weak hives or hope they begin to build up? Thanks everyone.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Requeening sometimes changes things dramatically. But also keep in mind it takes bees to make bees. Sometimes the hive just hadn't hit that critical mass where there are enough bees to keep up with what the queen can do.
 

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Michael B is right on this for sure. If your bees haven't expanded the brood nest yet it is because they don't feel they can keep the brood warm enough. Meaning they haven't hit that critical mass that is able to do so. If they haven't much for stores you may want to do a close inspection and make sure as well that they haven't put honey frames right next to the brood nest but instead they are to the outside of the box. Queens don't like to cross honey to get to brood comb.
 

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All true, but if 3 or 4 aren't productive when the rest of the apiary is…then you must ask yourself why? Does it really matter if you know exactly why they haven't got enough bees to expand their broodnest? The fact is that they don't when the rest do. Yes you can blame an inadequate cluster, but remember that cluster came from the performance of the queen. So, I think you should blame the queen and get on with it.

Re-queen them.
 

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Hi Mr. Palmer; check your email, please. Been waiting for a reply from you on a separate unrelated topic several weeks now. I'm beginning to wonder if I got lost in your spam or your trash box? Lol. Please check.
 

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This double nuc had been a mating nuc last summer with a failed virgin return and it developed laying workers before I caught it. I gave it a queen call and it was queenright in no time. But just never did a thing all summer. Late summer I just decided to sock the feed to it and get them to fill frames to distrubute to other hives come fall. Low and behold it grabed a gear and turned into this. This is a January photo. Feeder you see is empty..just taking up space. And is in 3 deeps right now needing another soon. Glad I didn't cull this queen because of non performance.

They say for livestock, before calling the vet..try feeding.
I say that for colonies as well. Not just feed but look at the supporting bees to that queen. Sometimes it IS the queen, but not always. Your stronger hives may also be Italian types and your slower hives a Carniolan type. You might be surprised at the different traits when it comes to build up. Remember, if you DO requeen, queens reared/mated around June are the best. Before days get shorter and flow is in full swing.

Your fall preperations (Or lack of) may have allowed these colonies to go into winter with less stores and /or less young bees-and be effecting their ability to build up now. There is a multitude of things it could be other than the queen. You are the one that knows the history behind the colonies.

 

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This is one of the very good reasons to raise queens. When you have a bunch of queens in nucs available, it really doesn't cost you anything to requeen. When you have to buy a queen it gets complicated and expensive and may not resolve the problem...
 
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