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Author Topic: Input needed on a lazy hive, please.  (Read 2407 times)
AliciaH
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« on: August 11, 2010, 02:38:39 PM »

Out of the 10 nucs I purchased this spring, two never thrived.  Neither one ever spanded past their original four nuc frames and even though I have been feeding them constantly since hiving them in April, they've never stored a gosh-darned thing!

The first hive I took care of several weeks ago.  I went ahead and squished the queen and combined the bees and brood with a stronger hive.  But I still have this other one I need to deal with.  There is no way they are going to survive the winter like this.

I hate to squish another queen and had an idea, but need a bit of input on whether it's really too late, or since the other option is squishing, give it a try.

My idea is find the queen (which won't be hard), pull the other three original nuc frames and replace with built out comb and try to force the bees to work something new?  Don't know why I didn't think about this before, but do you think it might work?  Or should I just squish and combine?

Or, does anyone have another idea?
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2010, 02:49:59 PM »

As bad as I hate to do it myself, I would go ahead and squish her as well, and combine the remainder with another one of your strong hives.
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D Coates
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 02:58:04 PM »

Failure to thrive around hives that are doing well is grounds for allowing the queen to seek alternative employment elsewhere.  A bad queen is exactly that.  Squish and move on.  I learned this the hard way.  No matter how hard I tried to get a respective queen going, lagging behind the others no matter how much I fed.  Unless there's and obvious reason for her difficulties (dearth, pesticide application, disease, weather, etc) I squish them.  It's not fun to pull the trigger (unless she's mean  evil) but she is going to fail either way.  The question is, are you willing to fail with her?
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AliciaH
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2010, 04:41:00 PM »

Thanks for the input.  That's the conclusion I came to earlier with the first hive, too, but so sad.  Obviously, my brain just won't let the problem go and I'm still grasping at straws!

Alright, out to the apiary I go....I do have a weaker split that could use a temporary population boost!  At least they can benefit from a few extra workers for awhile!

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slacker361
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 04:59:35 PM »

does a squished queen give off a pheromone that causes them to attack
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leechmann
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2010, 05:06:07 PM »

Slacker, I squished my first queen a few days ago. I had a small swarm  that wasn't doing well, so I reluctantly squished her. The other bees cover her right away and then carried her off. It was sad.
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slacker361
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2010, 05:07:18 PM »

I wonder if you listen close enough , if you can hear a little be playing taps
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AliciaH
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2010, 05:09:27 PM »

Slacker, I squished my first queen a few days ago. I had a small swarm  that wasn't doing well, so I reluctantly squished her. The other bees cover her right away and then carried her off. It was sad.

That is really sad.  If the bees in the first hive had done that, I don't think I could consider it again.  As it was, they didn't even turn around and look.  I think that's even sadder!  If I didn't have other hives to compare to, I'd have to wonder what kind of crowd these bees were hanging out with an night!
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CountryBee
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2010, 05:11:21 PM »

You should send her to washington with the rest of the lazies! evil
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AliciaH
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2010, 05:12:37 PM »

I wonder if you listen close enough , if you can hear a little be playing taps

You bet!  "Flight of the Bumblebee" would be considered sacrilege!
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CountryBee
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2010, 05:15:25 PM »

 lau
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vermmy35
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2010, 07:21:27 PM »

I wonder if you listen close enough , if you can hear a little be playing taps

Either that or Ding, Dong the wicked Witch is Dead. evil
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slacker361
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2010, 07:31:20 PM »

vermmy35, i just watched your video , your poor wife really doesnt like bees
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vermmy35
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2010, 11:38:37 PM »

 grin LOL, yeah she has a real bad phobia.  She was real upset with me when I brought a couple of hitch hikers in the house the last time I did a hive check.  I just wished I would have had my camera with me. evil
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2010, 08:39:42 AM »

Alright, out to the apiary I go....I do have a weaker split that could use a temporary population boost!  At least they can benefit from a few extra workers for awhile!
I try not to wax too anthropomorphic over the queen.  Really, she's just one bug who happens to lay eggs.  grin  The long term assets of the hive are the drawn comb, honey and pollen stores, and worker bees.  Good genes are an important asset too, but the eggs carry the genes.  One queen, more or less, does not make much difference.
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2010, 08:43:09 AM »

Alright, out to the apiary I go....I do have a weaker split that could use a temporary population boost!  At least they can benefit from a few extra workers for awhile!
I try not to wax too anthropomorphic over the queen.  Really, she's just one bug who happens to lay eggs.  grin  The long term assets of the hive are the drawn comb, honey and pollen stores, and worker bees.

Oh I agree with 100%, but the way I see it , I'm not just killing a bug but I'm ripping the head off a $20 bill. Thats what sucks.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2010, 08:57:57 AM »


Oh I agree with 100%, but the way I see it , I'm not just killing a bug but I'm ripping the head off a $20 bill. Thats what sucks.
Great reason to raise your own queens.
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slacker361
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« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2010, 09:54:35 AM »

r there any good vids or books on raising your own queens
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2010, 10:22:51 AM »

r there any good vids or books on raising your own queens
There's a ton of info on queen grafting etc.  But if you are just wanting queens for a few hives, you don't have to do much.  a single hive will replace a squished queen as long as there were eggs at the time of Her Majesty's unfortunate demise.  If you want more queens, just take some of the queen cells from the hive that is making a new queen.

The problem with this of course is that you may not want to keep the genes of the queen you just squished, since she may not have had the best genes.  In that case, you can pull some frames of eggs along with nurse bees and some honey/pollen from a hive with a good queen. Put them in a separate nuc or hive box and let them raise some queen cells.  Then spread those to the hives where you have squished the not-so-good queens.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 12:04:46 PM by FRAMEshift » Logged

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AliciaH
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« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2010, 11:46:47 PM »

Could you split a hive that you like the genetics of like a false swarm?  Take the old queen and some bees and put them in a nuc, and then leave the original hive with the majority of eggs and brood hoping they will make a new queen?

The reason I ask is because of the previous postings along with the fact that I finished my round of inspections today and even though I have to go over my notes and records to confirm this, I think 7 out of the 8 queens I bought this spring are toast.

I know this really falls under another category, but it seems like we're on a really nice role here!
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2010, 08:50:37 AM »

Could you split a hive that you like the genetics of like a false swarm?  Take the old queen and some bees and put them in a nuc, and then leave the original hive with the majority of eggs and brood hoping they will make a new queen?

The reason I ask is because of the previous postings along with the fact that I finished my round of inspections today and even though I have to go over my notes and records to confirm this, I think 7 out of the 8 queens I bought this spring are toast.

I know this really falls under another category, but it seems like we're on a really nice role here!
Of course you can do a split as you suggest.  In that case, I would move the old queen, 3 frames of brood, and two frames of honey/pollen into a new hive box.  You could use a standard 10 frame box and just start a new hive.  The old hive will have all the foragers and will, with any luck, raise a new queen.  But that way you only get one new queen. You would also want to check that there are still drones flying where you are.

 If you are wanting to replace 7 queens, you will need to take some of the queen cells produced in the old hive that has good genes and spread them around to hives where you squish the queens. I would squish the queen in each hive and then add the queen cell within one day.  That way, the hive won't kill the new queen cell and the queen cell you add will have a head start on any of the eggs in the hive.

But it's late in the year to do any of this unless you have a strong fall flow and are willing to feed sugar,
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2010, 09:46:24 AM »

Yup, thats how I did it. That way you retain the genetics of both the old hive and your nuc.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm#split

Beat you to it Michael!
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slacker361
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« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2010, 10:58:04 AM »

Alright, out to the apiary I go....I do have a weaker split that could use a temporary population boost!  At least they can benefit from a few extra workers for awhile!
I try not to wax too anthropomorphic over the queen.  Really, she's just one bug who happens to lay eggs.  grin  The long term assets of the hive are the drawn comb, honey and pollen stores, and worker bees.  Good genes are an important asset too, but the eggs carry the genes.  One queen, more or less, does not make much difference.

wow anthropomorphic, you didn't hurt yourself on that one did you?

 lau lau
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2010, 12:34:33 PM »

wow anthropomorphic, you didn't hurt yourself on that one did you?

Not at all.  I trust you didn't injure yourself in your haste to look it up.   grin     
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slacker361
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« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2010, 01:20:03 PM »

Touche        evil
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