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Author Topic: How to strengthen a weak hive  (Read 705 times)

Offline baa15

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How to strengthen a weak hive
« on: June 14, 2013, 08:42:51 PM »
Hi,

I am a new beekeeper living in Montreal with only one rooftop hive. I installed my 4-frame nucleus about 17 days ago. Since then, I have checked the hive twice.The second time I checked, on day 14, there were still no new frames being built up. I spotted the queen, and there is larvae, but I was surprised that they had not started building more frames. The weather over the last few weeks has been half sunny and mild and half raining.

Is this normal? How can I strengthen the hive when I don't have another hive to combine it with? Should I feed them sugar water?

Thanks for an advice!

Online kathyp

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Re: How to strengthen a weak hive
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2013, 08:45:34 PM »
with only one hive, your options are a little limited.  you didn't say what the stores look like.  they build comb as they need it either to store food or for brood.  is there a nectar flow in your area right now?
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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Offline millipede

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Re: How to strengthen a weak hive
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2013, 08:48:17 PM »
I would feed them syrup and see how they take it. They should start building comb. How does your brood look?

Offline Finski

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Re: How to strengthen a weak hive
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2013, 09:33:27 AM »
I would feed them syrup and see how they take it.

That is last what you should do. They get from nature what they need. Fededing fills their valuable combs and it gives no help.

Of course it is important to decrease the hive room as small as bees cover the frames.
But it is better to start with good colony.

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Offline beek1951

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Re: How to strengthen a weak hive
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2013, 07:41:41 PM »
Check your brood. Only new bees draw comb. There is a
lag time in brood hatches where the comb will fall behind.

Offline beek1951

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Re: How to strengthen a weak hive
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2013, 07:44:28 PM »
I should have said "Drawing comb is mostly the job of new house bees"
as it is obvious that hiving a swarm, all the bees pitch in to draw comb.
Old-age and a quick trigger finger strike again.

Offline 10framer

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Re: How to strengthen a weak hive
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2013, 10:09:30 PM »
I should have said "Drawing comb is mostly the job of new house bees"
as it is obvious that hiving a swarm, all the bees pitch in to draw comb.
Old-age and a quick trigger finger strike again.

yeah i was scratching my head on that one. 

if you just installed the nuc and you've had rain off and on they may not have had much to work with.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: How to strengthen a weak hive
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2013, 12:28:38 PM »
If you only have one hive, there is nectar coming in, the best thing you can do is leave them alone.

"There are a few rules of thumb that are useful guides. One is that when you are confronted with some problem in the apiary and you do not know what to do, then do nothing. Matters are seldom made worse by doing nothing and are often made much worse by inept intervention." --The How-To-Do-It book of Beekeeping, Richard Taylor

Now if you had another hive, you have a lot of options.  You could give the weak hive some emerging brood.  You could swap positions with a stronger hive...
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline derekm

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Re: How to strengthen a weak hive
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 01:31:02 PM »
make a styrofoam box that fits over the top the hive that almosts reaches the bottom entrance... small colonies need to conserve energy... Montreal nights are not that warm
If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?

 

anything