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Author Topic: weak hives  (Read 1526 times)

Offline tincan

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weak hives
« on: July 08, 2012, 02:35:50 PM »
I have 4 hives 2 that are just maintaining there own and 2 that are just staying small 1000 bees or so but not really growing I think because not enough nurse bees to keep queen laying is there any way to boost hives .other 2 hives are not strong enough to switch hives or frames of brood .if it was early enough in year where i could still get bees i would add a package to them. thanks

Offline Finski

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Re: weak hives
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 02:49:56 PM »
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Only way is to get more bees

- swarms
- package bees
- join the tiny colonies.


Then keep the hive in warm box. No mesh floor.

When the colony occupyes one box, then it begins to grow in normal speed.
When the colony has one box of brood, it takes one month that you may add second box.
After next month you have 4-5 boxes. So it goes.

One langstroth box of bees weights 2 kg. The best is 4 kg swarm, which occupyes 2 boxes.


Nuc has such advantage that it is full of brood. It grows rapidly.







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Offline tincan

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Re: weak hives
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 03:13:13 PM »
dont think there is anywhere to get packages this late even without queens unless someone on here knows of place . as for swarms im 48 and have never seen swarm and spend most of my time  outside  in  woods fields  maybe just not lucky or maybe not many swarms . so I might be down to combining 2 hives .thanks

Offline tincan

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Re: weak hives
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 03:15:44 PM »
forgot to ask if I combine 2 hives do I pinch one queen

Offline Finski

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Re: weak hives
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2012, 05:23:05 PM »
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It is better to binch.

Then restrict the hive room to frame number what they can occupye.
It helps a lot.

I have just now 20 mating nucs. They have 3 frames. When the queen starts to lay, it lays quite quickly those frames full. After 3 weeks frames start to emerge and the colony gets from those brood one whole box of bees. If you count, it takes time 6 weeks= 1.5 months. After 2 weeks again. the box is full of brood.

But note that it takes 2 months time. Very essential is insulation of nucs. Nucs have 3 cm thick styrofoam walls and cover. I have had wooden nucs and the differece is big.


 
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Offline MTWIBadger

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Re: weak hives
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2012, 05:28:36 PM »
Most of us that collect swarms are notified by a landowner after seeing one. Get the word out that you have bees and will pick up swarms.
Bees can also be collected from trees if you can find them. I have identified 17 bee trees over the last two years and 6 are set up for a trapout whenever I need
more bees to add to a small hive. They are  a great source for free bees and several trapout methods can be used.

You said you are out in the woods a lot. Set out some swarm traps in areas where you are seeing honey bees.  I haven't had any success with the ones I put up but there are plenty of members of this forum who have.

Try bee lining while you are out in the woods. I found a bee tree on my land which I'm sure came from my hives originally. I watched a bee fly off after some open feeding and saw the direction it went. I located the bee tree on my land 300 yards away.

Talk to a local tree service and ask them to notify you if they have a tree with bees in it

I use all of these ways to get free bees so I don't have to buy another package of bees.

Offline Joe D

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Re: weak hives
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2012, 07:28:26 PM »
If your a member of a local club someone that may would give you a few from a shake out.  There is a commerical beek in our club that will on occasion for another member.  Good luck with your bees


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Offline tincan

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Re: weak hives
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 06:17:02 PM »
thanks for all ideas one of my better hives came to life today dont know why but its busy

Offline beek1951

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Re: weak hives
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 06:55:06 PM »
Instead of pinching, I would put one queen in a NUC with two frames of brood as a backup and if you don't need an
emergency queen, you'll have a nice small brood colonynext Spring.

Offline Finski

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Re: weak hives
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 12:56:42 AM »
Instead of pinching, I would put one queen in a NUC with two frames of brood as a backup and if you don't need an
emergency queen, you'll have a nice small brood colonynext Spring.

First he should get the hives grow. 2-frame nuc makes things not better.
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Offline Finski

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Re: weak hives
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 01:10:30 AM »
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Basic problems when hives do not grow


There is some systematic problem in hive keeping if the colony does not grow.

Lets look my mating nuc system. I have problem that they grow too fast:

- my nucs are 3 frame polystyrene boxes. Roof is piece of polystyrene board.
- entrance is  2 cm x 2 cm . (good heavens, not mesh floor.

- The nuc must be warm that queen may lay 3 frames full.

I profound the nuc with one frame of bees. 10 days later the queen starts to lay.
Then I add one frame of emerging bees from bigger hives.

I have now 20 mating nucs and to get 20 frames of emerging brood farmes is much.
I milk big hives.


Now with those 3 frames nucs are with their own. I take care that bees do not fill the hive with honey and I take frames off if the queen have not room to lay. I give Brod back to big hive.

When those 3 brood frames start to emerge the nuc needs soon 6 frames and 8 frames. Now after 4 weeks laying the nuc fills a whole box.
If not, I add from bigger hive a brood frame.



So, in 5 weeks I have one box full of bees and brood.



What is wrong if colony does not grow? Too much space and too cold. Bees cannot control the brood environment.
Or they cannot control the heat in hot climate. Too much to cool.

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Offline Vance G

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Re: weak hives
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 01:49:57 PM »
Finski may have hit the nail on the head with his remark about mesh floor or screened bottom board.  They may have their uses but none of them coincide with growing a small colony. 

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: weak hives
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2012, 02:50:29 PM »
Finski may have hit the nail on the head with his remark about mesh floor or screened bottom board.  They may have their uses but none of them coincide with growing a small colony. 

Especially up north.
Jim
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Offline D Coates

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Re: weak hives
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2012, 03:26:37 PM »
The last 3 swarms I've caught (end of June) were the size of a softball and baseball combined.  None of them seemed vigorous.  One of the queens was a virgin but she couldn't fly (I kept finding her outside the hive trying to fly) so I pinched her and combined her with the seemingly stronger swarm.  The other swarm apparently lost their queen as they began making queen cells out of the open brood frame immediately.  I put this combined swarm in a 5 frame closed bottom nuc with one feeder frame, one blocker frame and 3 drawn frames of open brood and honey.  The queen was there and laying but the brood pattern was poor and the hive appeared lethargic with no drive to survive.  Long story short the I pinched that queen Sunday and combined the 3 frame nuc with a full strength nuc.

Sometimes they don't make it.  I've gotten better at recognizing and pulling the plug on failing queens though I could always be better.
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