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Author Topic: 1 hive doing poorly...  (Read 6557 times)
Hi-Tech
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« on: May 28, 2006, 12:08:38 AM »

A little background is needed to ask my question. I have 4 hives. Hive #1 is from a package of Italians Installed April 24. Hives #2 & #3 are also from Italian packages and were installed on May 13th. Hive #4 is from a package of Caucasians and was installed on May 20th.

OK… Hive #1 sucks. They either superseded the queen or she died the second week. They have not drawn much foundation and are constantly building queen cells. Today, there were a total of 5 swarm cells and it doesn’t even look like enough bees to keep a hive alive, much less swarm. My other hives are kicking butt and doing great. The only difference between the other hives is this hive did not have a sbb and did have quite a few more hive beetles.

I am not sure what to do with hive #1. I am thinking about just requeening.

Can I stop them from swarming?

Any suggestions?

By the way… The Caucasians rock! They are really coming on strong and seem to be very gentle!
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Apis629
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2006, 12:27:26 AM »

Have you seen eggs in hive #1?  I've never heard of a queen being superceaded before a month and a half or so.  She may have been mishandled.
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2006, 12:34:45 AM »

She was a marked queen and while i might have injured her, I dont think so. I saw her at the one week mark. I saw no queen at the 2 week mark and then found an unmarked queen at the 3 week mark. I did see eggs today but a very spotty brood pattern and I could not find the queen after a VERY good search.
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Finsky
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2006, 01:31:10 AM »

Quote from: Hi-Tech
I am not sure what to do with hive #1. I am thinking about just requeening.


Combine it with next to hive. You get double faster build up.

Take a bit from hive later and make nuc  when hive is strong.

.
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2006, 08:59:12 AM »

Are there any other options?
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Finsky
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2006, 09:20:32 AM »

Quote from: Hi-Tech
package of Italians Installed April 24.

OK… Hive #1 sucks. They either superseded the queen or she died the second week.


They have not drawn much foundation and are constantly building queen cells.

If they have no queen, where bees get larvae to raise queens?
I suppose that they have only worker eggs and bees try to raise queens from drone larvae.

Quote

Can I stop them from swarming?


It cannot swarm.

There is no use to give new queen to small package. It has perhaps 50% left it's bees and the rest ar in bad condition.  

You could give from other hives brood frames but those are so young that it only spoil those other's development.

Don't play poor. Join it to another hive and you get advantace from bees.  They do not live very long any more.
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2006, 09:24:07 AM »

Good point. What do you suppose caused this, a bad queen?
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Finsky
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2006, 09:43:32 AM »

Quote from: Hi-Tech
Good point. What do you suppose caused this, a bad queen?


If queen gets nosema. Something else can happen, but I have read that nosema is common with package bees.
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SherryL
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2006, 09:45:02 AM »

Finsky's right on the money.  

Just take a sheet of newspaper, cut some slits (doesn't matter how long or how many), just so the bees can get a start on chewing thru.  Open the hive you want to add these poor girls to and set the newspaper on top of the brood box, place your 'sickly' hive brood box on top of the newspaper and close the whole thing up.  Check back in a week and they should have combined themselves.

I did this about 2 weeks ago with a package I had installed at the end of April.  They had no eggs or larvae, I didn't have a spare queen and their numbers were so low I figured a join would be their best bet.  They're all happy campers at the moment.  I raise comb honey so when that hive builds to a nice strong 2 brood box family, I'll shake the majority down into the one box, put 4 or 5 frames worth of bees back into the 2nd box and set it (with a new queen) back onto it's old stand.  This will give me a good strong comb producing hive and a new 'nuc' that will still have plenty of time to build strength to get thru our winters.

sherry
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2006, 10:32:26 AM »

The most common cause of failed YOUNG queens probably used to be nosema.  Now its Checkmite and Fluvalinate contamination in the combs of the queen breeders hives (both drones and queens are affected) and in the beekeeper's hives.  That's where I'd put the odds nowdays.  Both chemicals are lipohpilic (love fat) and are absorbed by the wax and build up in the wax.  They cause sterility and shortened lives in both drones and queens.
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Finsky
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2006, 11:27:20 AM »

Quote from: Michael Bush
Now its Checkmite and Fluvalinate contamination in the combs of the queen breeders hives .



That is true, Michael.  I have used Apistan -fluvinate in 2-frame mating nucs and queens have damaged. It is easy to find out.
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ctsoth
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2006, 02:02:01 PM »

There was just an article or study about comb contamination in either Bee Culture or ABJ, I can not recall which...
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2006, 02:33:47 PM »

Good reasons to concentrate on non-chemical methods of developing resistance.  
Also a good incentive to raise your own queens.  Buying packages or queens where the bees are going to immediately go to supercedure mode seems a waste of money.  
From the threads of comments within the various topics, I'd have to say that superceding new queens is becoming a rather common occurance.
I think it's time to find out if the apiary you're buying your queens from is using chemicals or not and avoid those that are.  It won't take long before the queen and package producers get the message.
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2006, 03:14:46 PM »

I do not use any chemicals but since I am new to this, I do make lots of other mistakes. I have no intentions of using any chemicals but the place where I bought my bees probably used lots. This package was installed in a deep with all new foundation so they had to draw it all out.

I like the idea of merging them with a stronger hive but here are my questions.

I am not 100% sure that there is no queen in the poor hive. If I set that hive body on the other hive will I be taking a chance of getting my good queen killed?

The poor hive has swarm cells on several hives. Should I keep those frames in the hive? If so, will they still swarm and take bees from my good hive with them?

What about the capped brood in the poor hive? Should I leave it until it all hatches out.

As you can see, I like this idea but I am a little unsure exactly how to do it..

Thanks all!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2006, 03:29:08 PM »

>but the place where I bought my bees probably used lots.

Precisely.
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Finsky
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« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2006, 04:04:10 PM »

Quote from: Hi-Tech

I am not 100% sure that there is no queen in the poor hive.


May be she is. That explains why they have queen cells. And if you see some open larvae it has a queen.

Quote
If I set that hive body on the other hive will I be taking a chance of getting my good queen killed?


It is possible.


One way is to to this if you do not find a queen.


Take a frame from poor hive and put it in new hivebox and shake all bees to the hive.  Let bees go in.  Take all but one  of brood frames, shake them clean and give them to good hive where you are joining bees.

Move your poor hive  30 feet to some direction.

Put a new hive to poor hives old site. Now bees fly them selves to new hive and if hive has queen, it stays in old hive.

Bees in old hive will be very nervous because they have not queen or brood. They run here and there. These nervous bees you may put in good hive in the morning. They feel  deeply queenless. You may put your good queen insice cage, if you are afraid that bees attach on her.

Then  you have one frame and bees some amount. You shoud find a queen if it is there.
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SherryL
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2006, 04:13:38 PM »

Hi-tech,

What do the bees in the weak hive sound like when you open the hive?  A little aggitated?  Is their 'buzz' a little more high-pitched?

The queenless hive I had a couple of weeks ago was not a happy hive.  When I would open them up they tended to fly up more, try to 'bing' me.  Their buzz was a little more 'intense' a pitch than it should have been.  

Sometimes we just put clues together and come up with the most likely answer.  I didn't have eggs or larvae, fewer bees, unhappy bees = no queen.  Solution - I joined them with another hive.

sherry
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2006, 09:37:29 PM »

One way of testing for the queen is to put a frame of brood in the hive in question.  If it has a queen this should motivate her to lay, if no queen you should see supercedure cells originate.  
The swarm cells mentioned my be supercedure cells as well as swarm cells, Remove all but one.  Then if the hive swarms you know it has a queen.  In which case I would opt for the virgin queen over the other as she is evidently doing her job.
I use to be able to get a good handle on disease within a hive by how it smelled and the Humm it gave.  But after a police patrol car accident (I was not the driver) I sustained head injuries and can no longer smell or taste.  I also have to use hearing aids so I'm pretty much dependant on failing eye sight.
I'm also teaching my nephew and some other people so as I get more decrepit they can do what I no longer can do.

>The poor hive has swarm cells on several hives. Should I keep those frames in the hive? If so, will they still swarm and take bees from my good hive with them?

Keep 1.  Bees will not take workers from another hive with them when they swarm.  Some foragers from another hive might join in but I've never known it to happen.  How could you tell if it did?
I've had hives swarm where the total swarm was the size of a softball.  In those few times it was in a weak hive as an after swarm from supercedure.
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Finsky
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« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2006, 11:57:32 PM »

Quote from: Brian D. Bray
One way of testing for the queen is to put a frame of brood in the hive in question.  If it has a queen this should motivate her to lay, if no queen you should see supercedure cells originate.  .


This was 1,5 month old package wrhere queen has stoped egg laying.

How many frames brood?

I suppose that queen has nosema and it has ceased to lay eggs or it does only some.  But high should look closely, does he have some larvae in the bottom of cells and does hive have queen. Hive should be so small that looking is not a problem.
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2006, 12:05:15 AM »

I am going back into that hive in the morning. I will either find the queen or determine there is not one. I will make good notes and maybe even take some pics and post back here before lunch. Thanks everyone for all of your help....
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2006, 12:16:02 AM »

I went into the hive very early this morning so I could get an idea of how many bees were in that hive. There were more than I had thought. I still could not find a queen or eggs, only capped brood. There are still several swarm or superseder cells so I just decided to let them do their thing. I closed everything back up and will just watch and see what they do. If nothing else, it will be educational...
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Finsky
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« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2006, 01:03:36 AM »

OK, don't wait any more. Join it to another hive or bye laying queen. It is not worth to wait own queens.
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honeybeekeeper
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« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2006, 12:07:00 PM »

I vote for the educational. You'll learn more by this than you would otherwise in a month of Sundays. However, use this one hive as the experiment, omit any test tubes. But take detailed notes and pictures that you can refer back to. However, remember this, this colony may not build up to full strength by fall. If say by September they are still low in number, consider combining at that time. And check your CMOS battery.
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2006, 08:40:35 PM »

Hello Honeybeekeeper and welcome to Beemaster... Cheesy

I think I am going to just watch and learn....

By the way... CMOS batteries on old motherboards are the same battery I use in my crossbow red dot scope...  Too funny... huh?
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« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2006, 11:03:35 PM »

I agree with Finsky-- combine the poor hive with another.Most times the cheapest losses are your first losses. You can try to requeen but from my experience the combo works much better. The newspaper method has always been a winner with me.
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Hi-Tech
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« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2006, 11:23:35 PM »

update.....   lots of bees, some capped brood...no queen....no eggs..

OK..I should requeen or combine hives but i'm not going to. i put in a frame with new eggs from another hive to see what they will do. This is a learning year for me so I will see what I can learn....

I will keep everyone posted...

Anyone got any guesses as to what will happen?
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« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2006, 09:47:27 AM »

I'm going in on Monday to see if the new superseded queen in Hive 2 (from a package installed April 29) is laying yet. If she's not then I'm going to start thinking about combining 1 (which is doing great) and 2.

My question is when you combine you obviously go in to Hive 2, find the qeeen and destroy her, right?

If I do this, then in a few more weeks it will be time to add a super.

Quint
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2006, 09:50:50 AM »

If you don't get supercedure cells this time around (assuming there were eggs or very early larva) I would just combine it.  I mean: no eggs, no brood, and they're not trying to raise in new queen they need their heads examined.  It would be fruitless to continue on.
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« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2006, 10:01:08 AM »

He nods his head in anticipated glee. "We are creating life!" he screams over the thunder. "Igor, throw the switch and let's bring this new queen to life!" "Maybe she won't suck like the last two! bahahahahaha"
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« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2006, 11:15:17 PM »

I broke down and combined the hives...All is well now...
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