Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had a hive die from Nosema 2nd week of February with about 30lbs of stores still in top deep - pretty badly splattered with dark stuff and a lot of dead bees. Had a hive next 2 it, 2 deep setup where the cluster was on the top bars of the top deep. As I assumed they were probably on the point of starvation I moved the top deep over on to the top of the live hive figuring it would probably get them through to Spring
Did it ever!! Spring came a little early here in NE MA. Much pollen been pulled in since week 1 of March. Finally decided today the time had come to pull the presumably empty deep from the bottom and reverse the other 2. Slight problem is that there are bees in every one of the deeps. The top 2 weigh about 40 odd pounds each and the bottom is probably only about 10. Around that point in the investigation as I was being a little casual and using a little spray and no smoke a couple of them decided to join me inside the veil, after removing them and their stings decided to put it back together and work out what I should do. Got the heaviest box, which was the top to the bottom, the middle stayed where it was and the lightest, was bottom is now on top. There is definitely brood in the the bottom 2 boxes and possible some in the top also was some in the burr comb theyd's built between the boxes and between the old top box and the inner cover. I assume I should seriously consider splitting this. Any advice on how to proceed. never had to split anything this far North in the first week in April.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Forgive a newbee question. If the top deep was splattered with dark stuff and dead bees, weren't you afraid of spreading nosomea to the other hive? Obviously, it didn't, but how did you know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Of course.
Howver it's kind of Hobson's choice. Give then potentially contaminated supplies and they might make it. Give them nothing and they'll almost certainly die.
New England is a kind of iffy area, need to go into winter with lots of stores and need to start checking how things are doing come the end of January when there are still days on end when it never gets above freezing.
Anyway, never confirmed Nosema, certainly confirmed dysentery.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,176 Posts
Well, let's start with the split. Yes, it's early to split here. The weather...rain aside...is warm now but unseasonably so. The issue here is that you have a booming hive (which is not uncommon right now) and you're worried about swarming. You have few options, assuming that the bees haven't already made up their mind. First, you can proceed as you've been doing and that's creating space for the bees. To your point, the hive is full so making space overhead is important. You could also order a queen and split pretty quick. Ordering a queen now would get you a queenright split colony next week. I don't know about you but I'm not seeing drone brood in my colonies yet. I expect to soon however so a mated queen is probably your best bet. If it were me, I'd be ordering a queen today and planning on splitting at the earliest opportunity.

Now about the Nosema. I'm not a fan of sharing frames from suspect hives with healthy ones. The fact is that we probably do it all the time when there's not obvious signs like you described. So, I'd be feeding Fumagillin to help control the problem. It doesn't solve anything but it does help control it. You'll want to do this to both hives for a while.

Of course, if the bees are deciding to swarm then the splitting may not work but dandelions are right around the corner so split / swarm season is pretty close at this point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There was a lot of drone brood in the burr comb they had built between the top two boxes. There is a miller feeder on the hive with Fumagilin in it but they are not taking any feed from that - guess there is way to much stuff available in the field.
Could probably get a queen up in Tyngsboro from Rick Reault, I'll give him a buzz today and see what he has to say.
Guess it's going to be an interesting week as I'm hiving packages next Saturday - looks like hiving in the rain again.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,176 Posts
Feed them even if they're not taking it. Don't know if Rick has queens but there are a few suppliers that can ship right away. Hiving in the rain isn't really a bad thing! Just not a lot of fun.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top