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Author Topic: Stalled Hive; odd drawn comb; help?  (Read 2748 times)
FordGuy
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« on: March 31, 2005, 10:47:40 PM »

Hi - this is my first post - looks like I will begin with a question...

I have a one year old hive in south carolina.  package Italians.  

the colony stopped producing drawn comb late last summer.  Current status is bottom box full of drawn comb, brood, honey...one medium super with 9 frames with 4, 5, 6 drawn but 123 and 789 still with the foundation only.

I have fed them regularly.  They had a bout with varoa, hive beetles and tracheal mites, each of which was quickly caught, treated and defeated.

Now it is march 31, and i want to solve this riddle and help the hive become as productive as the others...any ideas?  thanks in advance, and thanks for this wonderful source of information you guys provide!
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FordGuy
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2005, 10:51:02 PM »

OH I forgot to add what I consider teh most perplexing part of the puzzle - the bees have started adding burr comb ridges/bridges between frames 456 as if they need more space!  help?
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2005, 11:09:22 PM »

Do you have a queen excluder? Get rid of it.

Is there a honey bridge between the top and bottom. A queen may not cross the honey to get to the top, and there fore running out of room. A swarm situation could develope. Move frames around. Perhaps take two center frames with brood to the top and insert a foundation in its place.
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FordGuy
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2005, 11:18:18 PM »

There is no queeen excluder.  My next step will probably move the center frames with drawn comb and honey/brood to the 2, 3, and 7 position.

My concern with this up to now has been a fear of disturbing core temperature.  It is warming up nicely here in SC now, but nights are still cool.
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2005, 04:10:43 AM »

Welcome aboard Fordguy:

That sure was a rough year to start out and be glad that hive is around this season to TRY and bring it up to par with other hives.

A few important things:

1) definitely no excluder
2) reduced entrance to help guard the hive
3) feeding of sugar water (even if was flow is good - this stimulates movement in the hive) increases pheromonal scent of the queen
4) Think about replacing the queen unless you see good egg patterns
5) Don't keep any more supers on the hive then which can be defended
6) Evaluate the morning sun and if the hive is getting as much sun as the others in the morning hours.
7) TELL US WHERE YOU ARE FROM IN YOUR PROFILE SO WE CAN BETTER HELP!!!

Start with Number 7 and then evaluate the others - but having invaders in your colony means (most of the time) you have created a hive that is NOT enforcable - it is being breeched by other insects. If you have/had hive beetle, wax moth isn't too far away.

If you post your location here, please include it in your profile - Eivindm tracks our membership in map format so we know what seasons you are in.

Also, PLEASE read the posts in the Admin Message Forum (top most forum) to help you setup your side of the forum to best interact with us all - it is really painless, I swear Smiley

Give you more hints as soon as we know where you are - location ESPECIALLY this month is EVERYTHING in deciding what to do with a hive - but you need a good number of bees, clean off all burr comb, make sure your frames fit tightly against each other and SERIOUSLY evaluate the QUEEN and also the movements of the bees - are they indeed doing PROPER bee duties!!!!

Peace!
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TVaughan
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2005, 07:29:30 AM »

Just to be a contrarian, I advise you to add a queen excluder, if you are certain that the queen hasn't climed up and has started laying. Then shuffle the top frames around as you plan. Then when the flow starts, take off the queen excluder, put another empty shallow on top, put the queen excluder on top, then put the partially full super on top of that.

That way, you will probably get an early harvest, and still wont cramp the queen.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2005, 08:18:10 AM »

I took it that the queen may already be cramped.
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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2005, 08:33:29 AM »

you might also want to spray your undrawn frames with sugar syrup (coated good on both sides, this could help them except the foundation better), just my 2 sents  wink
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2005, 09:11:41 AM »

Quote from: FordGuy
They had a bout with varoa, hive beetles and tracheal mites, each of which was quickly caught, treated and defeated.

How did you determine they had tracheal mites?
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FordGuy
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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2005, 12:47:52 PM »

on how I knew it was tracheal mites, how does anyone know?  A friend looked at symptoms (lethargic bees, young bees that can't get off teh ground) and gave it his best guess.  since he knows more than I do, I deferred to him.  Further, when we gave the menthol, symptoms went away.  The question within the question is a good point - since i can't ask bhe bees what gives, I really won't know...but back to asking how would ANYONE know they had the mites without a fancy microscope, all we have are the ability to observe the symptoms and to observe  the reaction to the treatment.
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2005, 01:54:40 PM »

Very true,  most people do not detect a tracheal mite problem until the hive is dead. Your friend saved your hive.  

More unfortunate are those that wrongly diagnose tracheal mites as starvation or normal winter kill.

As for your dilema, I would strongly suggest changing the queen.  A poor performing queen will bring the hive down as you discribed.

Lets face it,  she is going on at least 2 years old, has gone thru all the bouts and treatments you explained, so has not had an easy life.  Now a days,  queen longevity does not seem to be what it use to be.
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2005, 03:11:59 PM »

It sounds to me like the nectar flow ended, and they stopped making wax.  Typically, they would move up in the center, then expand horizontily.  Syrup isn't the only trigger for them to make wax.  You can see the excitement in the colony when the trees start budding and the pollen starts pouring in.  They know nectar will be coming soon, and they are ready to build. With syrup on them now, I would think they would get the wax drawn as they need it.  

I like TVaughns idea about the super up and pulled for an early harvest, unless it was on when you did your vorroa treatments.
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leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2005, 09:15:59 PM »

Also sounds likethe hive could be weaker, expecially after bouts of mites.  They just may not have the population to keep on growing.  Compare it to other colonies and equalize them ifthis one is weaker.
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justgojumpit
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« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2005, 12:13:49 AM »

You should also have ten frames in the super until the frames are drawn, then you can reduce to 8 or 9.  This will reduce the burr comb between the frames.

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