I posted this on another list without much response:
I have four hives. I call them the garden hive, the swarm hive, the little hive
and the creek hive.
The creek hive is my oldest. It was created from a split in 09. I made the
little hive from this one last summer because it was getting so big. It has had
an ongoing SHB problem that seems better this year than ever before. It is not
building up well this summer. There is some brood but just very slow and not
much activity around the entrance. I even saw some roaches in there; something I
have never seen before. (Using all 8 frame mediums)had 6 boxes over the winter
and am now down to 3. Why?
The garden hive was started with a nuc spring of 10. It has always been lively.
I happened to be working nearby when it swarmed this spring and caught the swarm
(my first, very cool experience.)This hive is still booming. Lots of activity
and storing of honey. 6 boxes on this one.
The little hive was made late last summer, live and learn. I split it from the
creek hive June 15th and then we had a drought and I had to feed it all summer.
I fed the others too, bad dry summer here in GA.
After an unusually cold snowy winter I was thrilled to see them alive and making
a vigorous start this spring. They were not eating the syrup and seemed to be
building up normally. Now they are eating syrup and dry sugar. I gave them some
honey from the swarm hive on Saturday. Little activity around the entrance, some
brood and some stores. Just don't seem to be enough bees. How can you tell if
there are robbers? At one point it seemed like a lot of drones (anyway, big
bees)were going in the entrance.
The swarm hive is from the garden hive mentioned above. Up to 4 boxes since
April when I started it. I was late adding the 4th box they are multiplying so
fast. Huge amount of bees in there. They are making lots of drones too. Should I
be concerned about that? Is it because I let the m run out of room and they
were/are preparing to swarm again??
So what are some things to look for with my slow hives. I want to help them
catch up to the others.
Since then in my research I have decided to put a frame of brood and bees from each of the strong hives into the weak hives. I am terrified I will transfer the queen since I can never spot her.
Also I read that bees just starting on foundationless frames will often make more drones.
What do you think? And do you have anymore opinions/suggestions/experience with the other stuff in the post above?? I am here to learn!!!