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Author Topic: Question regarding a weak hive  (Read 903 times)

Offline WhipCityBeeMan

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Question regarding a weak hive
« on: July 21, 2008, 03:51:24 PM »
I have 7 hives.  There is one that is significantly less strong than the others.  As of July 21the bees have yet to build enough comb to fill the brood chamber.  They have completed about 7-8 frames.  There is plenty of honey and pollen in the brood chamber but not very much brood.  There is a queen as I just saw her today.  There are not a lot of bees either.  Less than you would expect to find in a five frame nuc. These bees were started from a 4lb package in the spring.

I am assuming I have a weak queen.  What should I do?
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Offline randydrivesabus

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Re: Question regarding a weak hive
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2008, 05:28:59 PM »
you could off the queen and combine it with your second weakest colony.

Offline WhipCityBeeMan

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Re: Question regarding a weak hive
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2008, 05:55:08 PM »
Would there be any advantage to adding more bees? 
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Question regarding a weak hive
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2008, 06:21:51 PM »
Would there be any advantage to adding more bees? 

Do you have more than one hive?  If so try this: Take a frame of brood from the other colony plus move any undrawn frames into the center of the problem colony.  The undrawn frames will be drawn out as worker brood cells and the queen should be stimulated to lay with the insert of the brood frame.  I've stimulated lots of queens to lay using that method.  The last time was 2 weeks ago, I added a frame with 2 silver dollar (Eihsenhower) sized 50 cents pieces and the rest mostly open cells.  The queen began laying in the remaining cells and then started on the adjacent frames as the comb was drawn.  Saturday I saw both sides of a partially drawn frame mostly filled with eggs, the bees still needed to finish drawing the cells out to length.  I went from a nectar bound hive to a productive hive that I'll be supering later this week.

Also, don't worry about the worker bees on the frame you take from the other hive...just make sure it doesn't have the queen so a frame from the side of the brood chamber works best.  Bees on the frames inside the hive belong in the hive and they won't fight (Brother Adam has written about this but Some people miss understand what he meant).
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Offline TwT

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Re: Question regarding a weak hive
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2008, 10:47:59 PM »
I have 7 hives.  There is one that is significantly less strong than the others.  As of July 21the bees have yet to build enough comb to fill the brood chamber.  They have completed about 7-8 frames.  There is plenty of honey and pollen in the brood chamber but not very much brood.  There is a queen as I just saw her today.  There are not a lot of bees either.  Less than you would expect to find in a five frame nuc. These bees were started from a 4lb package in the spring.

I am assuming I have a weak queen.  What should I do?

try this if other attempts fail, move a frame of capped brood from 2 other hives and place into the weak hive along with a frame or 2 of foundation but don't stop there, get the weak hive and trade places with a strong hive, the returning foragers from the strong hive will help add to the population and create more resources for the weak hive if there is any kind of flow going on. this mainly helps when people start new hives close together and they have a drifting problem.
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