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Author Topic: Strengthening a Weak Colony  (Read 4584 times)

Offline Cass Cohenour

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Strengthening a Weak Colony
« on: February 27, 2008, 03:32:30 PM »
I had a few colonies with low populations and I feared that they may not have survived the rest of the winter without my intervention. Here is a link to a post on my blog about strengthening the weak colonies. It may not have much to do with rapidly expanding your numbers but it does have a lot to do with not rapidly losing your numbers.

http://wvbeekeeper.blogspot.com/2008/02/strengthening-weak-colony.html

Offline Cindi

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Re: Strengthening a Weak Colony
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2008, 11:05:37 AM »
Cass, wow!!!  Job well done.  Your explanation of strengthening the colony was a great one.  Yeah!!  I wanted to click on one of the google ads, but there was none to be seen.  I think I have to go into your actual blog site that I have bookmarked to do that, which I will do in the next action on my laptop.  Have a wonderful and awesomely beautiful day, keep up that good work in your blog, my hat off to you.  Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Strengthening a Weak Colony
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2008, 06:03:13 PM »
I must agree, very well done and explained. 
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!

Offline rdy-b

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Re: Strengthening a Weak Colony
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2008, 04:39:59 PM »
very cool cass keep up the goopd work -check this out- there is much to support this thinking -that old bees can and do make bee milk if the need arises -may want to retune the first paragraph -or not   8-)                                                                        http://listserv.albany.edu:8080/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0802c&L=bee-l&T=0&P=7395     8-) RDY-B                                               http://www.bushfarms.com/beesbetterqueens.htm#Old%20Bees%20Good%20Nurses

Offline Cass Cohenour

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Re: Strengthening a Weak Colony
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2008, 02:28:01 AM »
I'm sure at some point in a bees life that it will lose the ability to produce jelly. The bees in this colony were over 3 months old. The colony did not have any brood in it from the last of November until I put some in it. A week after giving the colony a pollen patty I still did not see eggs. The queen was one of last years queens and shouldn't have already failed. Why would this one colony have no brood or eggs when almost all my other ones did? The colony that I took the brood and bees from has a sister to the queen in the weak colony. It's mind boggling to me. If I really had to guess I would say that there was a protein deficiency in the colony which caused the older overwintered bees to miss their window of opportunity before their time of being productive broodrearers expired. I've read that bees which are preparing to overwinter will gorge themselves on pollen and store the protein as fat in their bodies. They will later use these reserves when raising brood when it is too cold to leave the cluster. A protein deficiency from last autumn cold be a factor as to why the colony had not started back up. Without the young bees at the proper time, I estimate some of my other colonies were up to a month ahead of this one, the old bees had became too old to make the jelly once they were given the pollen patties. I am talking about 3 month old overwintered bees (at the youngest), not a bee which had been foraging and forced back into raising brood at three or four weeks of age like Jay Smith was speaking of. Anyhow, I want this colony to make it. If it isn't the older bees, what do you think it is? The queen? Think she has failed? I'll be looking in the hive today to see if I have eggs. If I have eggs I am blaming the older bees. If I don't have eggs I'll look again next week. If I don't have eggs by then I'll blame the queen. The good thing is that if the queen has failed I will be able to get a queen before too much longer. If need be, I'll be able to introduce a new queen when the youngest bees in the colony are two weeks old, or the first of April (seeing how I gave the weak colony a frame of open brood in all stages which included eggs). There are enough bees for them to make it until then if they have to.

Offline rdy-b

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Re: Strengthening a Weak Colony
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2008, 02:53:53 AM »
sometimes it is better to let it go -but if you want to save it what you did with the brood is good -then you can switch its location with a stronger colony and pick up there field force -more bees more heat and so on -now that we understand that field bees will feed larvae it gets essayer because they dont have to be exclusively young nurse bees -anyway after the switch give them some thin syrup (remember everything is temp dependent when it comes to them taking the syrup) give them pollen patty with real pollen as a ingredient-now there should be lots of bees -the queen will get a jump start - the paragraph in your blog is what people are going to get diverted with there use to be a time when everybody thought old bees cant make royal jelly -but that is not what is really going on -anyway this is the reason i try to go into winter with big bees but that also has its own problems at times - 8-) RDY-B

Offline Cass Cohenour

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Re: Strengthening a Weak Colony
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2008, 03:20:49 AM »
>-now that we understand that field bees will feed larvae it gets essayer because they dont have to be exclusively young nurse bees -

Would an overwintered bee that never actually had the chance to forage be considered a field bee? To me it seems that their primary function is to survive long enough to raise the next generation of foragers and may be in a class of their own. They even change their physiological chemistry in order to do this.

Offline rdy-b

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Re: Strengthening a Weak Colony
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2008, 03:55:21 AM »
they will go back to producing royaljelly-IF you do the switch you will be picking up bees from the field force that are not the winter bees as well as winterbees that are up to 120 days old -you already know the more frames of bees the more brood you will have -insuficent bees no brood -the old bees can and will do it if you let them there just has to be a large enough mass to care for the new and up coming population-RDY-B

Offline Cass Cohenour

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Re: Strengthening a Weak Colony
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2008, 10:54:56 AM »
rdy-b, I modified the paragraph like you suggested, take a look and tell me what you think.

Offline rdy-b

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Re: Strengthening a Weak Colony
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2008, 01:19:32 PM »
yes it is going in a different direction from the original -my point only is that old bees will return to nurse bee duties -talking about protein deficient bees is still another bridge to cross :) your blog will benefit many especially the newbee must remember that they generally take things very literally as if they are carved in stone both sides of the coin explained is another way for them to understand -but it is a blog and its your blog I think it is just fine - pm me with detals of payment for ten deep swarm frames to 94517  :lol: hope you have some left -RDY-B

Offline Cass Cohenour

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Re: Strengthening a Weak Colony
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2008, 03:56:22 PM »
I just got back in from checking the colony, and I got eggs :). The queen if much fatter than she was last week. I took some pics and will try to get them on the blog today.

rdy-b, I sent you a pm.

Offline Cindi

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Re: Strengthening a Weak Colony
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2008, 12:29:17 AM »
Cass, ooooh happy day!!!  YOu must be very happy for surely.  Have a beautiful and awesome day, lovin' this life.  Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline Sid at Rebecca Creek

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Re: Strengthening a Weak Colony
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2008, 12:31:24 AM »
Hello Cass:

If I read the blog correctly, you are going to requeen from feral hives. That's really cool. Is that something I should avoid though in South Texas where Africanized bees exist???

 

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