Couple of questions;
I live in Citrus County. Have 4 hives in the backyard. Because of the hurricanes (it stripped all the flowers off everything) and then the cold weather I have been feeding for a few months. Open the hives today for the fist time in quite a while. Three of the hives are doing great. Full of bees, saw lots of brood, saw stores, pollen, etc. The fourth wasnâ€™t doing to good.
1. In all 4 hives the outer frames on each side were not fully drawn out and the next one in on both sides were only partially drawn. Starting with the 3rd frame in there was stores and brood. Question â€“ should I move these outer frames into the middle and move some of the more middle frames to the outside.
It is not wise to change the order at spring. Bees have so big brood area as they can. Pollen must bee very near the brood. When hive enlarge, they eat food away and move it to sides when they are ready for that. If you do that , they must destroy larvas from sides, because they do are able to keep them warm.
If there is too much food capped food, take it away and give it back later.
2. The 4th hive was very weak but there were a couple partial frames of brood. So I took one of the frames from the strongest hive with brood and bees and exchanged it with one of the weak hives empty frames.
Check if brood area is healty. No cell caps, which have hole in cap and brown stuff inside = American foulbrood. Also iff tehre is white like snow, it is chalk brood.
Tighten the hive space with middle board that bees need not warm up empty part off hive. When your big hives are big enough, take from each one frame brood which are just hatching. DONT TAKE bees with it.
From 3 frames it will be hatched one box full of bees. So it starts normal living. If not, queen is violated or sick.
I checked and donâ€™t think the queen was on the frame I moved. Sprayed the frame and bees I put in with sugar water solution. Question â€“ was that the thing to do?
Not very wise. Bees turn back ther original hive. Before that they may kill the strange queen. When those bees return to their own hive, they may have nabours odor, and they will be killed. You should move only brood.
Spraying sugar on week hive may cause attach of robbers. I did the same last summer and that happened.
Now you just wait how hives expand and you give them more space.