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Author Topic: One weak hive, One strong and winter is coming.  (Read 1785 times)

Offline timdalyiii

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One weak hive, One strong and winter is coming.
« on: September 08, 2012, 04:54:27 PM »
The main thing I keep learning about beekeeping is that I don't know what I'm doing. 

I have two hives.  Hive #1 I've had for a few seasons.  Hive #2 I just got a couple of weeks ago from a beek who moved away.

Hive #1 is very weak.  Not a lot of bees.  Very calm.  Top deep has 10 frames with honey/nectar, but none capped.  Bottom deep has a couple speckled capped brood.  Can't see any eggs or larva.  A month ago there was larva and some capped brood, but not much.

Hive #2 is very strong.  Many, many bees.  More aggressive.  Top deep 9-10 frames of capped honey.  Bottom deep has larva and capped brood. 

Now hive #2 keeps robbing the crap out of hive #1.  I close up hive #1 for a day then open it.  Everything is fine for a couple of days and they start robbing again.

I'm not sure what to do.  I don't know if the queen in hive #1 is gone or just not laying.  Either way I'm concerned this hive will not make it through winter.  I don't think there is much of a flow in Camden County, NJ in the fall.  Especially after a very, very dry summer. 

Do I feed #1, but then robbing will be worse, correct?  Do I combine?  Any thoughts or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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Re: One weak hive, One strong and winter is coming.
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2012, 05:07:15 PM »
You could feed.Do you have a wooden entrance reducer on with the smallest opening exposed?
 If not,you need to reduce the area the bees need to guard.
If there are empty boxes on the weak hive remove them and tighten up the space the bees are occupying.
I would open feed some distance from the hives or feed inside the hive. Do not use a boardman feeder in the front door if the hive is weak.

Offline nella

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Re: One weak hive, One strong and winter is coming.
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2012, 05:32:21 PM »
Move the strong hive a few miles away if possible  and feed the weak hive inside the hive.

Offline sterling

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Re: One weak hive, One strong and winter is coming.
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 06:01:59 PM »
Or take a frame or two of the capped honey from the strong hive give to the weak hive put the uncapped frame in the strong hive and feed the strong hive. Keep doing this until both have enough for winter. Also you could take a frame of capped brood from the strong hive and give to the weak one. If you think they are queenless put a frame from the other hive with eggs or very young larva in and if they start to make queen cells get you a queen.

Offline asprince

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Re: One weak hive, One strong and winter is coming.
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 06:55:28 PM »
Define "not a lot of bees". How many frames will they cover? If it is a frame or less, I would combine. If more, I would do as sterling and buzzbee recommended. I would consider taking it a step further and swap places with them. The strong hive would quickly recover and the boost in forger bees would put the weak hive in high gear. Pack them down and feed feed feed.


Good Luck,

Steve   
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Offline Finski

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Re: One weak hive, One strong and winter is coming.
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 11:25:57 PM »
.
The week hive

you got it from friend?

Now too much space and it cannot protect the hive.

What about varroa? Did the friends make treatments?
Tat does not explaing  eggs missing

Queen may be sick for nosema.
Or does it have  virgin?

Take extra boxes and frames off.
Put a dummy board.
Treat mites.
Bye a new queen.

If the hive start again to leave, give 2 frames brood from bigger hive.

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Offline yelnifok

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Re: One weak hive, One strong and winter is coming.
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2012, 01:45:12 PM »
timdalyiii, 1st; this isn't the best time of the year up there to intro. a virgin queen -not enough drones around. That being said- you need a good healthy pop. to raise a new queen. Check hive 1 for a queen- look everywhere on every frame and be sure there is no queen. Next if you reverse the hive locations and make sure you have a frame of eggs(from hive 2) placed in hive 1 with a frame of emerging brood placed face/face. Do this after the 'morning rush'- the returning bee's from the strong hive are now returning to the same 'location' but to the weak hive -this will help to repopulate the weak hive as well as restore some of the robbed out stores. They will also gain the necessary right aged eggs to produce a new queen. If you still have drones around you might be able to buy a queen.
   lee...

Offline timdalyiii

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Re: One weak hive, One strong and winter is coming.
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2012, 02:02:20 PM »
Wow, I have a lot of work to do. Thank you all for sharing all your knowledge and experience.

Offline Finski

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Re: One weak hive, One strong and winter is coming.
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2012, 04:47:15 PM »
[quote author=yelnifok link=topic=38923.msg327046#msg327046 date=13472

Next if you reverse the hive locations and make sure you have a frame of eggs(from hive 2) placed in hive 1 with a frame of emerging brood placed face/face. Do this after the 'morning rush'- the returning bee's from the strong hive are now returning to the same 'location' but to the weak hive


 -this will help to repopulate the weak hive as well as restore some of the robbed out stores. They will also gain the necessary right aged eggs to produce a new queen. If you still have drones around you might be able to buy a queen.
   lee...
[/quote]


OH my godness!

We not not know why the weak hive is weak. The queen may be sick. It may have bad varroa load. It may have EFB (sporous brood area?)

who takes care of strong hive's brood if you donate most of workers to that weak hive.

The right operation is to give one frame of emerging bees to the weak hive, but queastion is, is it healthy at all.

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Offline timdalyiii

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Re: One weak hive, One strong and winter is coming.
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2012, 06:09:15 PM »
Oh boy.  I opened up the weak hive today and looked at every frame.  All the frames in the top deep are completely dry.  Nothing at all, except a moth that I killed.

The bottom deep was the same except a few frames had about a dozen cells of capped honey in the top corners.  Nothing else.  There was probably about 5 frames of bees total (spread out) in the hive.  I think most, if not all, were from the other colony.  This may sound weird, but the bees from the week hive were mostly yellow and the bees from the strong hive are mostly black. 

There were a bunch of dead bees in the bottom and a lot of chewed wax.  Most of the cells in the frames had chewed ragged tops to them also.

I'm thinking at this point in the year and the condition of the week colony that saving it is probably not going to happen.  I'm not ever sure doing a combine is worth anything, but I'll do it this weekend. 

In the spring I'll get a nuc to start a second colony again.

Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts.

Offline T Beek

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Re: One weak hive, One strong and winter is coming.
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2012, 10:37:09 AM »
Too bad, sounds like the robbing ended their world.  

Perhaps the simplest remedy now would be to open the victim colony all up, standing the boxes on end in front of the victor colony.  The remaining victims will hopefully/usually occupy the closest hive w/ little fanfare, though I'm not certain as I have no experience w/ keeping bees of differing varieties but have witnessed it w/ Italians and Buckfest bees.

On a positive note you now have some empty comb for starting out next year  :).

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Offline asprince

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Re: One weak hive, One strong and winter is coming.
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2012, 01:46:07 PM »
You need to freeze the empty frames or stack them with the top and bottom sealed with some moth balls.

Steve 
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