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Author Topic: Weak Hive  (Read 310 times)

Offline Waveeater

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Weak Hive
« on: July 07, 2016, 05:18:17 PM »
 I had a hive get punished by wax moth so i was forced to push the remaining bees into one medium supper with clean frames. (NO Moths). I introduced a new mated queen and she has laid some eggs but spotty and not nearly enough.  Just after she was introduced i found them acting very sluggish and some had died. I think this was due to a lack of food. I gave them another frame of capped brood and some stores and this seemed to pick them up however there are currently only enough bees in the hive to cover a couple of frames. This is my first time dealing with this type of situation so i am curious as towhat some of you more experienced beekeepers think.

Do you think this is a problem with the queen not being properly mated?
Not enough nurse and worker bees in the hive so she has slowed down?
Normal for this time of year due to lack of Flow?
Damaged her due to almost starving?

Thank you for any advice

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Weak Hive
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2016, 07:07:17 PM »
Hard to help when we have no idea where you are located. This site includes members from all over the globe. What is happening where I am is totally different from you if you are in Australia.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Waveeater

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Re: Weak Hive
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2016, 11:19:25 PM »
That certainly would help wouldn't it. I'm in the piedmont area of North Carolina.

Offline GSF

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Re: Weak Hive
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2016, 08:32:49 AM »
Waveeater. first all - Welcome.

Wax moths are usually the secondary problem. A strong robust hive can handle wax moths. I believe you've seen the answer but don't recognize it. The first issue I see is your population became weak for some reason. How old is this hive? What do you do you do to manage mites? Bees will gear down when there's no flow on. Introducing a new queen may have been a good idea, adding brood like you did will help as well. Sometimes new queens will spit, sputter, and misfire before they get it right. If there's no flow on I'd suggest feeding (no entrance feeders) therefore giving them the resources to bounce back. It could be that you've had a drift from one hive to another if they're side by side. If that's the case then swap hive locations in the middle of the day. Hope this helps, keep shooting us questions when you come across an issue.
If the time has come to bury your guns, then the time has come to use your guns.

Offline Waveeater

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Re: Weak Hive
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2016, 10:05:54 AM »
First off thank you for the reply.

You are correct in that the hive became weak. I have had this hive since the spring of 2015. They were my best hive as far as bee numbers and honey production last year but they were so aggressive that i re-queened them late last spring. I made a split from them this spring and i still believe they may have swarmed due to me catching a swarm in a trap in the same general area. They looked weak soon after. The wax moths took over in less than a week. The hive was 5 boxes high with plenty of bees and several boxes of capped honey. When i returned in about a week all and I do mean all the honey was gone along with 90% of the bees. I removed all the boxes except 1 and made sure it had good frames of pollen, honey and open cells for the new queen. When I returned in about 5 days they were practically starving. Many dead bees in the hive and the rest walking around like zombies with some not moving at all. After giving them more stores and brood they seemed to get back to normal but the queen just is not doing much and they are still weak.

Offline GSF

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Re: Weak Hive
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2016, 04:04:09 PM »
A queen will only lay what the nurse bees can handle/cover. Also she has been faced with a dearth/lack of stores so she ain't going to lay egg just to have them starve. In addition she may still be trying to get it together as a layer.

If you have the resources you may want to consider adding another frame of capped brood and nurse bees. Also feed.
If the time has come to bury your guns, then the time has come to use your guns.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Weak Hive
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2016, 03:02:50 PM »
Nothing succeeds like success.  Nothing fails like failure.  To put it in Biblical terms:

?For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.?--Matthew 13:12

A colony that has a lot of bees can make a lot more bees.  A colony that has few bees struggles for everything.  Success leads to more success.  Anytime you have wax moth problems you have space problems...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesspace.htm
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Waveeater

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Re: Weak Hive
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2016, 11:50:27 PM »
Well, I learned a valuable lesson. I checked that box today and the moths had gotten back in and finished them off. The queen was missing and there were only a handful of bees. I shook them out and put the box in the freezer. In hindsight, I believe I should have put the new queen and the remaining bees in a Nuc. I think this would have given them a better chance. Live and learn. 

Offline GSF

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Re: Weak Hive
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2016, 05:03:23 PM »
Sorry to hear about that waveeater. If it's any consolation a new queen probably wouldn't have helped if the numbers vs the real estate was too far out of whack.
If the time has come to bury your guns, then the time has come to use your guns.