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Author Topic: THIS ONE HAS ME CONFUSED...BIG TIME!  (Read 1031 times)
donm
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« on: June 05, 2009, 07:48:27 PM »

I've got a NUC that is about 8 weeks old.  The queen is laying a tight pattern and the 4-5 middle frames are relatively full.  Saw eggs today and her majesty about a week ago.  There is a lot of consistent activity in and out of the hive and I would describe it as a medium size hive population.  Two other NUCs I purchased about the same time..within 8-10 days, have 2 full and capped supers with a very recent addition of a third.  This one had a super added about 4 weeks ago (wired foundation) and they haven't even drawn it out yet.  In fact the 2 remaining brood frames that had not been drawn out are still blank foundation.  I'm making 1:1 as we speak to compensate for the lack of honey stores.  My plan is to re-queen ASAP.  Any idea what the heck is up or any other thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2009, 05:53:30 AM »

Are your two strong nucs robbing the weaker one?If you have feed on and no entrance reducer on you may be opening a free restaurant!
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donm
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2009, 01:13:28 PM »

No, I stopped feeding them all at the same time.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2009, 09:19:41 PM »

Quote
The queen is laying a tight pattern and the 4-5 middle frames are relatively full.  Saw eggs today and her majesty about a week ago.  There is a lot of consistent activity in and out of the hive and I would describe it as a medium size hive population.

I'm not sure how to interrept that.  I sounds as if you only have brood in 4th and 5th frames, if so what is the status of the other frames?  Filled with nectar/pollen?

If you  only have 2 brood frames in the hive you're pretty much at a standstill on development as the emerging bees and the dying bees are happening at pretty much the same rate.
Bees will only draw comb under their feet so as the population expands they drawn more comb.  As the population decreases the drawn comb is often filled and capped as stores do not require attendance or maintenence like building comb or brood does.
I kind of sounds like your hive is honey bound.  Take the 2 undrawn frames and put them between the brood frames so the bees have to cluster on them and the brood.  The bees will then draw comb on those frames as they are under foot.  Drawing the combs will give the queen more room to lay egss.  The population and the hive should then start to increase in 3 weeks after that as the more bees from the larger brood nest forces the bees off the drawn comb and onto empty frames.  They will then start drawing those frames.
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donm
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2009, 03:46:26 PM »

Sorry, my fault, Brian.  Four-5 frames have either brood with a fairly tight pattern or eggs.  Seems like she lets the brood space go unused for longer periods of time than the other hives...you know after the young bee emerges she doesn't lay in the empty cells right away.  The honey stores are very light, especially surprising since the other two hives have 2-3 filled supers.  A good bit of pollen but nothing I would consider excessive.  I have switched the 1 and 10 frame, currently undrawn, to the 3 and 7 position.  That was about 3 weeks ago or so.  The guy that sold me the NUC said it was a young queen and maybe the problem.  Also, because the flow here is Texas was so "starnge" this year.  Not sure I necessarily agree with that assessment or not.  Just my humble observation, but it's almost as if the hive has no motivation.  I haven't ordered a new queen yet.  Am I on the right track to do so or should I give her more time?  Never saw anything like it......     
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donm
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2009, 05:13:27 PM »

Let me add that this hive is situated in the middle of a row of 3 hives; about 3-4 feet apart.  Do any of you suppose the lower bee count and lack of stores in this hive be related to drifting.   
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kathyp
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2009, 05:17:30 PM »

could be, and you can help that by swapping places with a strong hive.  won't harm the strong one and will boost the weaker one.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2009, 09:47:09 PM »

The other option is to split the queen out to a nuc and let the bees replace her.  I think you'll find a replacement queen a better preformer.  If the induced supercedure doesn't work  you still have the queen to recombine with the hive.  Splitting her might force her to be more productive also, small chance but worth the learning experience.
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