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Author Topic: How to decide when requeening is needed in a hive that has a queen  (Read 1372 times)
tillie
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« on: March 29, 2007, 11:48:07 PM »

I have one hive that made it through the winter - very weak and low in numbers.  However the queen is still working away.  Here is a picture of the brood pattern on Feb 28 this year:



One month later the bees have increased and the queen is obviously doing OK.  The picture below shows capped brood and at the bottom of the brood pattern, you can see brood in various stages of development (and there are eggs in the very bottom edge)



I just installed two new hives from two nucs.  However although the bees in this weak hive double every time I open it for inspection,
in this leftover weaker hive there are still 1/3 less bees than in the two new hives and the queen has brood in only the center three frames of a single medium box.
 
Maybe she is doing the right thing, given the lessened resources of the hive.  Maybe the speed of her build-up is related to the available worker bees to take care of the young.  The bees are flying every day and pollen is being delivered into the hive as regularly as in the other two hives.  Last week I removed the empty deep below the medium and the hive is now confined to one medium box.

I can see an obvious Varroa mite in one cell right on the larvae in the center of the picture below:



I'm confused by the slow growth.  Possibly the bees were weakened by Varroa over the winter.  All I did for treatment was to encourage the bees to groom off the Varroa mites using powdered sugar shakes in the fall.  This spring I have done a powdered sugar shake every 8 - 10 days for the past 3 inspections.  Perhaps cleaning off the sugar slowed their growth.

I do find the queen in this hive every time, and she is working - today I caught her in the act of laying. 

I have a friend who has two queens she ordered from Rossmans and does not need, so she is possibly willing to sell one of them to me, so if you all think I should requeen, a queen is arriving at Jennie's house in the next couple of days that I could use.

Is requeening a good idea or should I give the old girl a chance since she seems now to be picking up the pace?

Linda T
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Dan
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2007, 06:45:32 AM »

I don't think you need to requeen the brood pattern looks good. They might be slow to build up because of the lack of worker bees bring in stores. If the other hives have a lot of workers you could maybe swap a frame that has a lot of bees to give them a boost in the work force.
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Understudy
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2007, 06:50:50 AM »

You don't appear to need to replace the queen. I would give it some time to work itself back up. See what it looks like again in a week.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2007, 10:20:35 AM »

Linda, I am thinking that the workers only will allow the queen to lay as many eggs as what they are able to take care of.  That is why the slow build up.  Wait for responses from forum members that will provide a more exact answer.  For some reason, I thought that you had lost both your hives.  I was surprised when I see that you had one come through  huh  Best of the day.  Cindi
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tillie
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2007, 11:09:20 AM »

My one hive starved to death and I felt really guilty.  The other hive made it through, although very weak (my interpretation for low numbers of bees). 

I was reading a link that Finsky posted and maybe I should feel GREAT about these girls in my remaining hive because they have resistance to the Varroa.  When I opened this hive for the first time, I saw two bees with badly deformed wings and felt sure that the hive was infected with DWV, but now I only see bees with perfect wings - so maybe these little girls are like the little engine that could and are continuing to chug up the hill, at their own special pace.

Linda T
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2007, 01:31:00 PM »

i really don't understand the concept of one hive being able to grow immunity against varoa huh

ok..let's say 30% of bees are varoa resistent and they live, while the other 70% already died, now....this hive is doomed, there's no way it could grow larger. i mean...the queen IS the hive, and now if only 30% of her daughters survive they just can't grow larger. i mean..it just can't be that the queen could decide on whose sperm (of which drone) she could use so the daughters would be just of the right "cocktail", now can she??? huh


i said to myself that i'll try not to interfier with their life too much-they know when they need to requeen, but now that i've seen how a healthy hive looks (the 3 i got as a gift) and how chalk brood hives look like (the ones i bought!!!!!!!!god darn,., evil breeder!!!!) i am certainly going to requeen. it seems like the two are just stuck at certain number of bees period!
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