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Author Topic: Help w/ weak hive  (Read 1030 times)
Wes Sapp
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« on: March 14, 2008, 03:37:45 PM »

I have 2 hives one strong we’ll call #1 and one very weak we‘ll call #2. I’m trying to change over to all medium supers. When I checked them a little over a week ago #1 had a deep with no eggs or brood and a med on top that was full of eggs and brood capped and uncapped so I put another med on top. #2 had a deep with no eggs or brood and the med above it was full of honey and what few cells that were open had capped brood. At that time I only had one med that wasn’t being used so I took the deep off #2 and put the med in it’s place and checker boarded the two med’s with frames of honey and frames of foundation. While waiting on new med’s to come I took the best looking comb from the deep I took off and cut it down to fit in a med frame and put this in the bottom of #2. I’ve been feeding both hives a 1:1 sugar to water mix. Yesterday I had my new med’s ready to go. I opened #1 they had completely drawn out the new med and there were eggs brood capped/uncapped  even in the bottom deep. I moved the deep up and put a queen excluder under it to let the brood in it hatch out then I can take it off and I also put a new med on top. Now the disappointment. I opened #2 there was no new drawn comb in the upper med and the comb I put in the bottom had very few eggs laid in them. I called Purvis today and they said it would be August before I could get a queen from them. Rossman’s website states they are booking for the end of May. What do you guys think I should do? Should I wait until I can get a new queen or try to cage the old queen until all brood is capped then kill her and  put a frame from #1 in so as to get some good genetics or what?
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Wes Sapp
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 03:48:18 PM »

How is the population of hive #2.  A queen will only lay as much as the population can care for.  If the population is low,  it may be just a slow start and not a queen issue.   You could try to give them a few frames of capped brood from hive #1 to boost their population if that is the issue.
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drobbins
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2008, 04:26:10 PM »

I tried what Robo suggests in a hive with just a double handful of bees, no brood  and a pretty queen
2 weeks later the old brood had emerged and they had a frame full of new brood Smiley
I think they had just gotten below some "critical mass"

Dave
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Wes Sapp
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2008, 08:48:09 PM »

The population in #2 is low so I'll give it a try tomorrow. Thanks
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Wes Sapp
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2008, 11:03:56 PM »

I would have balanced out the hives taking a frame or 2 of brood from Hive #1 and Honey from hive #2 and swaping.  That way the 2nd hive would either get it in gear as to laying eggs or supercede the queen with the brood from hive #1.  Hive #1 would have been boosted from the extra stores.  Adding a super to Hive #1 was good.  The way it is now Hive #1 will be going strong and Hive #2 may dwindle out. 

There is still time to rectify the problem.  Take frames of brood from each side of the brood chamber of Hive #1 and place into the center of Hive #2 along with any brood frames it has now.  Replace the brood frames in Hive #1 with undrawn frames--this will open the brood nest and quell the swarming instinct.  Hive #2 will start to produce brood if the queen is well and good, otherwise you'll see supercedure cells develop.  For the remainder of the spring build up both hives with the goal of having the center 4 frames in each of 3 supers dedicated to brood.  Fill empty spaces with undrawn frames at the edges of the brood chamber of each hive in each super.   Doing it this way will stop the hives from swarming as they will be constantly building and enlarging the brood nest.  Once they have 3 supers of brood you can split the hive if you like.  By that time you will also have at least 1 honey super on each hive.
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tngold
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2008, 12:33:04 AM »

This works very well. I did this last year. I took a big lose last winter 06-07. Lost 20 out of 28. So I built up my survivers and made splits. Then started adding mostley capped brood.  I belive capped brood is better for a weaker hive because they dont use as much energy to get up the population past that critical mass stage. It works like magic. So far this year all my bees have made it . Trust  the bees if they start sup cells your queen has a problem.  Im back up to 27 hives again hoping this year i can make some honey and a few more splits. last year was a learning exsperiance i want forget. Many thanks to the bee forums.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2008, 01:06:01 AM »

As an add on to my other post. 

I am planning on have a side by side nuc set up to hold queens as an emergency.  Those nucs will also be used to boost the other hives by pulling frames of bees, honey, or brood.  This is my first year trying this approach but my experience says it will work.  Pulling the frames to boost the other hives keeps the nucs down to 2 boxes each and keeps them working building comb on the empty frames that replaced the full frames that were pulled.

For the other hives the ability to add brood and bees to a weak hive or population to a strong hive, making it even stronger, should impact those hives in over wintering ability and production of a harvestable crop.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Wes Sapp
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2008, 12:21:16 PM »

Thanks for the detailed info Brain D. some one should really take you up on the mentoring thing you would be a great one to learn from. I haven't done anything yet, we had some pretty bad storms roll thru here yesterday and today it's in the low 60's right now. Weather permitting, tomorrow I'll do what you guys are suggesting or if warms up I'll do it today. TNgold do you know Guy Phillips aka "pop" he's from Crossville too?
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Wes Sapp
tngold
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2008, 10:28:10 PM »

Wes I dont think i know guy. I will try to ask about him at the next bee meeting .
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