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Discussion Starter #1
I have two hives which survived winter, however one was very apparently stronger than the other based on the visible activity and the early emergence of bees from the one hive. Both hives use two deeps as a brood chamber and both have significant activity collecting pollen the last three weeks, but always with the one far busier than the other. I opened the weaker one today and found the entire upper deep box full of capped honey. My question is -- should I requeen this hive or is the hive weaker due to lack of egg laying space? Should I extract the honey to expand the brood chamber? It has been a very early, warm, and dry winter here in central Washington with an early bloom. Thanks in advance for any and all help!
 

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To figure that one out, check the brood. If it looks good & is in every available space, then yes, she may simply be curtailed by lack of room.

In these circumstances you may need to remove some honey to free up some room for her, but on the other hand I know nothing of the 2 breeds of bee in the 2 hives. your climate, if the strong hive is too strong & will get wasted swarming, etc, you will have to figure some of those things out.

Also your post suggests you lost one or more hives over winter, why kill one of the survivor queens.
 

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To figure that one out, check the brood. If it looks good & is in every available space, then yes, she may simply be curtailed by lack of room.

In these circumstances you may need to remove some honey to free up some room for her, but on the other hand I know nothing of the 2 breeds of bee in the 2 hives. your climate, if the strong hive is too strong & will get wasted swarming, etc, you will have to figure some of those things out.

Also your post suggests you lost one or more hives over winter, why kill one of the survivor queens.
Thanks -- I will check the brood frames tomorrow. I only had two hives to start, so none were lost this winter. Breed is Italians. How can you tell if a hive is too strong? You have me worrying over the stronger hive now :)!
 

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How to tell if it's too strong depends on a few things, and if this is your first season this may be the experimental year to find out.

Ideally the hive should reach full strength as the main nectar flow starts, this varies in different locations so you need to keep notes to refer to in future years. If the hive gets too strong too early it will be hard to keep them from swarming.

Course if you want to make more hives then strong early is good cos you can split them.
 

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How to tell if it's too strong depends on a few things, and if this is your first season this may be the experimental year to find out.

Ideally the hive should reach full strength as the main nectar flow starts, this varies in different locations so you need to keep notes to refer to in future years. If the hive gets too strong too early it will be hard to keep them from swarming.

Course if you want to make more hives then strong early is good cos you can split them.

Well I inspected the lower brood box today and found roughly 5 frames with capped brood and empty cells (the rest of the frames have capped honey) -- no eggs or larvae that I could see. I did see one supercedure cell. I placed one frame of capped brood from the strong hive into this one. I am not and expert in finding the queen but I did not see her and based on the evidence suspect she may be dead. If I buy a new queen and have mistakenly missed finding the old queen will I fail in my requeening efforts?
 

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Yes if there is a queen & you put a bought one in they will kill the bought one.

So there are empty cells the queen could lay in, but they are empty? No unsealed larvae or eggs, Plus a queen cell? Sounds like the hive may have recently lost it's queen and is making a new one.
 

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Yes if there is a queen & you put a bought one in they will kill the bought one.

So there are empty cells the queen could lay in, but they are empty? No unsealed larvae or eggs, Plus a queen cell? Sounds like the hive may have recently lost it's queen and is making a new one.
Thanks! I will see what happens. This will provide an interesting learning experience (I like to believe the bees know better than me how to take care of the hive). I will let you know the results.
 
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