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Author Topic: 2 hives, 2 brood supers, should i check...  (Read 503 times)
TwoBigCats
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« on: June 10, 2009, 07:32:21 PM »

greetings,

i'm a 2nd year beek and am beginning to "settle in" with my hives - i feel as though i'm beginning to understand what's going on Smiley  but i've got a couple of questions and would appreciate your feedback. (sorry for the length of the post, but i want to get it right):

1) each hive has a fresh colony this year.
2) hive #1 was from last year and when i installed its new package of bees 2 months ago, i probably gave it more of the thawed comb frames that i'd kept in the freezer after the colony died / was abandoned).  each has 2 brood supers, the 2nd supers i installed 2 -3 weeks ago.
3) it has appeared to me for the past month or so that hive #1 is more densely populated than hive #2.

today's weekly inspection revealed:
hive #1 supe-2 is jam-packed with fresh larvae, capped brood, lots of pollen stores and tons of capped honey (and a fair amount of nectar being stored but not yet capped.)  today when i checked the hive, i didn't see the queen and didn't see any fresh eggs. (lots of fresh, healthy-appearing larvae, though).  i did not see the queen in the upper supe and did not remove the frames from the lower supe - because it was absolutely jammed packed and alive with activity.  it appears to me that i am just a few days away from installing this hive's 1st honey supe. (daily observation of this hive shows a bajillion bees coming in with pollen, btw)

hive #2 supe-2 has several centrally-located frames with fresh larvae, capped larvae, capped honey stores and some fresh nectar, but several frames barely have any fresh comb drawn on them.  the bottom supe was busy (but not nearly as packed / busy as hive #1's supe #1) and i didn't see the queen on this inspection (though i saw her last week and there are fresh larvae in some of supe 2's frames.)

my questions:
* should i always inspect the lower supe for the queen / etc or once i put the 2nd / subsequent supes on, should i leave that alone (all things being healthy / equal)?

* hive 2 is clearly lagging behind hive 1 in brood / everything production, should i transplant some of the capped larvae frames from hive 1 to 2 to bolster the colony?  (if i do this, should i delay installing hive 1's 1st honey supe until it's crowded with brood, honey, etc?)

* if i do need to swap some frames from 1 - 2, can i do it tomorrow or since i was in their today, should i give it a few days? (hive #1 is about to burst so it's either swap or a honey supe, i think)

* i see no evidence in either hive of mites or other parasites.

thx in advance for any / all feedback.  i visit these forums daily and learn so much from everyone's sharing and advice.

best,
hal

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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2009, 11:25:54 PM »

No 2 hives progress at the same rate.  Bees build comb under teir feet so if there is not enough bees to cover at least part of a frame they won't draw comb on it until there is.  If you want to even things out take a frame of brood from hive 1 and put it into hive 2.  Once that brood hatches out the hive will build more comb and the queen may become more productive with the additiion of another brood frame.
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TwoBigCats
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2009, 12:38:16 PM »

No 2 hives progress at the same rate.  Bees build comb under teir feet so if there is not enough bees to cover at least part of a frame they won't draw comb on it until there is.  If you want to even things out take a frame of brood from hive 1 and put it into hive 2.  Once that brood hatches out the hive will build more comb and the queen may become more productive with the additiion of another brood frame.
(sorry for the poor pun)

super, thx.
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