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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started with two packages last spring, and both have made it through the winter. However one hive, has about 10 or 12 bees, out flying around it, while the other hive has hundreds out flying around it, and some are bringing in pollen,(here in southern MI) already.
Both hives were treated the same, and fed the same. No chemicals just powered sugar. My Question is how can I help my weak hive. I just mixed up a batch of the Tuscon diet for patty's, and I am feeding them granulated sugar.
I am worried sick, about the weak hive,but I cant sit out there, and rock the hive, and spoon feed them chicken soup.
Is there anything else I can do?
 

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If your strong hive gets really vigorous, you could take a frame of capped brood, and a frame of honey from it and put it in the weak hive.
 

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:applause:Congratulations for getting your hives through the winter. That's stuff to strut about. The best description of beekeeping I've encountered is "Experience the challenge on their terms." Bees do what they do with no concern for us.

I agree with Omie, move over some brood frames with fresh laid eggs, just be sure that you don't accidentally move the queen. That will help numbers until the queen gets busy. Also, if the queen is in trouble, the fresh eggs you provided may help the colony supersede her.

Either way, I'd check for eggs and young brood and stores on a warmer day. If you have all, the hive should build up fine for the honey flow. Or in other words, not to worry.

You did well by starting with two hives. Seeing differences between them accelerates the learning curve and helps avoid catastrophe by sharing resources between them.:thumbsup:
 

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Some hives seem to have bees that fly at lower temperatures than other hives. Check to see just how strong the hive is inside first.
 

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I agree with Kieck in terms of actually opening it up and looking inside. You didn't say that you actually opened them up and had a look. Therefore I would be concerned that the trickle of bees you see in the "weak" hive are actually robbers from the strong hive. If you have opened them up and did see a cluster, then disregard my post. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The weak hive has bees inside of the hive.I cant tell how many because I am stealing quick peeks. I don't want to smoke them, or leave the top off to long, it is still getting cold here at night. I am nervous about to much disturbance until the days and nights get warmer.
Is it to soon, to start feeding 1 two 1 sugar water ?
 

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With all due respect to Ian. Never switch hive spots (weak hive for a strong hive) unless you want the possibility of dead queens. The strong field force will return to a queen pheromone that they can't identify, she will be considered an intruder and they will ball (kill) the queen. The weak hive's population will not have enough defenders to prevent it. Much time is then lost requeening the hive. This doesn't "appear" to occur because the weak hive then has the strong field force of the formerly strong hive, however upon closer examination the lack of day old eggs will prove what they did to the "intruder" queen. OMTCW
 

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its how I equilize my yard strength every spring
works like a charm,

Mind you I am talking about equilizing hives that are 3-4 frames of brood strength
In my yards it boosts the small also
 

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With all due respect for Cedar Hill, sometimes it's more benefitial for the beekeeper to let those bees do away with the underperforming queens. Nothing is sillier than spending tons of effort and worry on trying to get a hive with a weak queen to thrive with that queen.
 

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With all due respect for Cedar Hill, sometimes it's more benefitial for the beekeeper to let those bees do away with the underperforming queens. Nothing is sillier than spending tons of effort and worry on trying to get a hive with a weak queen to thrive with that queen.
Then why do it in the first place? Both queens of both hives die most of the times. :doh: OMTCW
 

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With all due respect to Ian. Never switch hive spots (weak hive for a strong hive) unless you want the possibility of dead queens. The strong field force will return to a queen pheromone that they can't identify, she will be considered an intruder and they will ball (kill) the queen. The weak hive's population will not have enough defenders to prevent it. Much time is then lost requeening the hive. This doesn't "appear" to occur because the weak hive then has the strong field force of the formerly strong hive, however upon closer examination the lack of day old eggs will prove what they did to the "intruder" queen. OMTCW
Been switching locations for 3 years now. I haven't had much of a problem, and never lost a queen. I do know that the strong hive will have less foragers for a week or so. But it realy jump starts the weeker hive.
 

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Why would moving a hive a few feet, cause it to suddenly get stronger? I could understand that it could possibly be affected by shade / sunlight.
 

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Don't do the hive swap unless there is a flow going on. I did that last year after almonds and the bees were in WI before the dandelion flow. I ended up with a bunch of QL hives. also if you swap out a really strong hive with a really weak hive and it is still cold nights you will end up with a bunch of chilled brood. It is easiest to give the wk hive a frame of capped/hatching brood from a strong hive. Just make sure the wk can cover the brood you give them. When that brood hatches you should be able to give them another frame of capped/hatching brood. Make sure the wk hive is disease free before doing this so you don't end up with 2 wk/dead hives.
 

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Why would moving a hive a few feet, cause it to suddenly get stronger? I could understand that it could possibly be affected by shade / sunlight.
its not the few feet that helps, its the swiching of location. the field bees return to the location they left from. stronger hive, more field bees. good luckmike
 

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As already mentioned, it IS better to replace a weak queen instead of switching hive positions. Switching won't cure the basic problem of a weak queen. However, at this time of the year, it may be better to feed the weak hive just to see if the delay in brood rearing is due to some other factor such as the race of the queen or something else. Some races are slow in starting the spring build up ie. carniolans, russians, caucasians (here in MA) - in contrast to the much faster Italians. In any case a frame or two of brood would help as others have already mentioned. OMTCW
 

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When bees try to enter a different hive, the guard bees should not let them in, so I guess I still don't understand how moving will help the weak hive get strong.
 

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Drifting happens pretty often. If you watch bees entering a hive, bees simply walk in. Guards do not check over every returning bee to verify its identity. Only when bees seem to be causing a problem (such as taking nectar or honey, rather than bringing nectar or honey) will guard bees react usually.
 

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When bees try to enter a different hive, the guard bees should not let them in, so I guess I still don't understand how moving will help the weak hive get strong.
Bees carrying pollen and/or necter are allways welcom in a hive weather its there own home or not.
 

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When bees try to enter a different hive, the guard bees should not let them in, so I guess I still don't understand how moving will help the weak hive get strong.
they'll accept foreign bees bringing IN pollen or nectar.
 
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