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Author Topic: 1 Year Old Hive Not Building Up  (Read 1475 times)
ARBeekeeper
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« on: May 30, 2006, 12:15:59 PM »

I purchased my first hive last Spring ('05 - Italians) and they did really well last year.  Both hive bodies are full of brood and honey.  We had a really dry summer last year in AR so I thought because they were a new colony and not real strong, that was the reason they did not build up into the shallow super I put on.  

This year, when things were really blooming, I put the shallow super on again and nothing.  Only a few bees went up and they seem to be eating or breaking down the foundation.  So, I thought I would switch foundation to see if that was the problem and again, they just eat at it or are chewing through it and not building it out.  I have a metal excluder that I am using and they seem to pass through fine but only a few.  

Can anyone give me some advice as to what may be going on?  The hive is really strong and everything seems to be in order in both the hive bodies.  Do I need to use a bigger super? Should I switch to a wood excluder?  Do I need to bait with honey?  Would love some adivce.
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Finsky
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2006, 12:39:39 PM »

Quote from: ARBeekeeper
I purchased my first hive last Spring ('05 - Italians) and they did really well last year.  Both hive bodies are full of brood and honey.
 ...  The hive is really strong and everything seems to be in order in both the hive bodies.  .


You live quite in south and summer is going on your place. We have just now the start of apple blossom.

To me 2 box hive is really small. My hives overwintered in 2 or one hive box.  To 2-box winterer I should now add fourth deep. They have 2 box full of brood.

If hive is full of bees and it need not your third box, it seem that you have not much honey in nature.

I cannot say nothing else but get a new queen and look what happens then. Or you split hive into two and get two queens.

If queen is several years old it is not able lay eggs any more. I change my queens every year.
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ARBeekeeper
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2006, 01:55:48 PM »

I have thought about getting a new queen, our summer is definatley here so I don't expect anything from my hive until the Fall when we have a nice little flow.  Thanks for the advice.
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Finsky
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2006, 02:40:22 PM »

Get that new queen quickly and you get big hive for late flow. It takes about  5-6 weeks when you have your 2-box hive in nice condition.
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Apis629
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2006, 03:07:35 PM »

Bees can be hesitant to go through excluders.  You may want to concider just putting it on there without an excluder and they may build it up faster.  Once it's good an built and has either ripening honey or brood, you can run the bees down with either smoke or repellant and put the excluder back in place.  That's how I got my bees to go through the excluder.

On the idea of requeening: How's the brood pattern?  If she's still laying well then don't bother replacing her.  If she has a real shotty brood pattern with many cells left empty and no real configuration, then concider requeening.
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Finsky
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2006, 04:14:55 PM »

Quote from: Apis629
On the idea of requeening: How's the brood pattern?  If she's still laying well .


If queen is not able to produce more han 2 boxes bees, it is really bad quality.  In that climate hive should have  4-5 langstroth boxes or more.

4-box hive is not able to catch honey.

ARBeekeeper tells that they have dry season after first flow. That means swarming to big hive. But you may split it in two and it avoids swarming and produces huge army for late flow.

This is only funny game how to play with hives. It is still hobby to me. I will become boded if I do the same years after years.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2006, 01:19:45 AM »

86 the excluder.
Their best and biggest asset (?) is in generating swarms.   I've known some hives to swarm time after time rather that move above an excluder.  If the super was the same size as the brood boxes I would suggest baiting by moving some of the frames from the brood boxes up into the super and alternate in a comb, foundation, comb, foundation, comb pattern.  The bees will then draw out the foundation to close up the hive in all boxes the pattern is used.
Access the brood pattern, that will tell you  more about the viability of the hive.  This time of year you should have 7-8 frames of brood in each brood box.  Each frame should have approxmately 75% brood in proportion to honey and pollen stores.  The hive should also be full of bees--i.e. live bees pretty  much uniform over all the frames.

It sounds to me that your hive is sustaining it self at the maximum capacity of the queen to produce.  She's probably operating just above what the collective hive will accept without supercedure.  This means requeen the hive.
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amymcg
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2006, 07:49:53 AM »

Requeen

If they aren't collecting honey and aren't growing, then they might have poor genetics.  Different queen should yield different results.
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