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Author Topic: Newbie question - strange problems with hive, no queen?  (Read 690 times)
thevoice
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« on: December 23, 2008, 07:54:10 PM »

I'm very new to beekeeping and I've got a couple of questions about my hive.

I got a hive from a new swarm a few months ago in early spring (I'm in Australia, we've just hit summer.) and it grew rapidly for about a month.  At that point I put another box of frames on top of the old one and have seen next to no growth since.  There does appear to be a decent amount of brood, but much of it appears to be producing drones (larger cells all through the brood).  The last couple of times I have opened the box there have been very few bees in the top box, perhaps only 20.  I'm still a bit hazy on what bee is what but I think there are few workers in the hive.

I would have thought that this time of year is very productive for bees, but perhaps I'm wrong.

Any advice on whether to worry or not would be appreciated.
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JP
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2008, 08:47:29 PM »

Its not uncommon to get an older failing queen with a swarm or even a young queen that's just a dud, you just never know with swarms. Overall, I've had mostly good luck with swarms but some don't pan out.

Its a good idea to keep a watchful eye on colonies that started with a swarm. If they aren't really gettin' at it, I would re queen, but consider first whether  resources are good in your area that could also have a bearing on colony growth.


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thevoice
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2008, 09:10:12 PM »

Cheers, thanks for the reply.

I'd say resources are good around here at the moment, we had a lot of rain recently and I live in an urban area with a lot of gardens.

Generally, how fast would it be expected that a new hive expands in the spring/summer season?  I assume that by really getting at it you mean they should be building up the comb in the top frame and start laying in honey quite quickly?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2008, 11:10:05 PM »

Do a search on this forum about baiting supers.  Taking a couple of frames from the llower box into the upper box.  That and possibly requeen if the current queen is not producing adequately.  You have time downunder to do a supercedure type of replacement if you don't want to spend the money for a new queen.
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