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Author Topic: Small hive  (Read 535 times)
New Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 39

Location: Brooklyn, NY

« on: August 03, 2011, 11:58:29 AM »

Any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated...
Started a hive this spring with a nuc; it was roof top placement (hive raised up on bricks) since I live in NYC. I've left the outer lid propped up to help with airflow.

The queen didn't survive the trip and she was replaced with a new one by the supplier within two weeks of the establishment of the hive. They have a water source near by and lots of flowering plants.

Everytime I check I see larvae, etc so I know the queen's laying eggs. I supplement the hive once a week with a sugar and honey mix, which they really clean up. They are out foraging everyday, and I see capped honey.

The problem is, the hive is not growing. I don't see dead bees or anything that indicates some massive disease, etc. But, I haven't had to put a second super on and they haven't built out the foundations I put in in the spring. Its still a five frame hive. There's some burr comb, but not a lot. No propolis.  It seems that they are content to be a small hive. I wasn't planning on taking any honey this year, but now I am concerned that they may not be in a position to survive a winter.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
Super Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 1647

Location: Southeast Tennessee

Gamecock fan in UT land.

« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2011, 01:34:52 PM »

Any possibility that your hive is honeybound and that the original queen may have swarmed on you?
House Bee
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Posts: 375

Location: Palm Bay, FL

« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2011, 01:38:59 PM »

If they're not growing then they're weak! No such thing as a hive that's content to stay small. You may not have enough bees to raise and care for brood. You could have the world's best laying queen and still have a weak hive because the bees remove larva that they can't care for. If you have other hives transfer a frame or 2 of capped/emerging brood with the adhering bees into the hive to give them a boost of nurse bees. If you don't have other hives you'll need to buy or somehow get some additional bees/capped brood into that hive or else kiss it goodbye.
House Bee
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Posts: 174

Location: Lowgap NC

« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2011, 01:43:40 PM »

I don't have alot of experience, so take it for what it's worth... If you've fed them pretty much non-stop since you got them I'd lean towards honeybound as well.

Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another. ~
Ernest Hemingway
Super Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 2282

Location: Ludington, Michigan

« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2011, 03:25:07 PM »

Couple of things jump out at me here
1st  When you started this nuc in the 10 frame box and put 5 frames of foundation in you should have started feeding 1-1 syrup which will help them produce wax.  When 8 of the 10 frames are drawn out rotate the undrawn frames in a spot or 2 and add a 2nd brood chamber.  Asuming you have no drawn comb I imagine you would use 10 frames of foundation in the 2nd box. Keep feeding until 7 or 8 of these are drawn out. 

2nd thing is where are you getting the honey that you are feeding and why would you add sugar to it.  Sugar syrup is all they need with no chance of disease

3rd you say that they have alot of flowers to forage on but alot of flowers have no value.   I'm sure they are finding something somewhere in the 5 mile radius but just maybe its not enough or to far away
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