Dying Hive

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Jim Jenkins, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Jim Jenkins

    Jim Jenkins New Member

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    I'm really new to Beekeeping. I started with three hives in the Spring of 2008. Two of the hives have been very active, the other hive has been not so active. I bought a new queen this summer. I found the old queen and killed her. At that time there was very little capped brood and only about half the foundation had been drawn out in the single brood chamber. I installed the new queen. In a few days I found that the queen had been released, but there were no eggs in the drawn comb. The new queen was marked but I was unable to find her. A week later I found no eggs and was unable to located the new queen. I can only think that she had been killed. I found no evidence of a laying worker.
    I have decided to allow the hive to die out and but a new 3# package and marked queen this coming Spring.
    Does anybody think I'm doing the right thing or the wrong thing? I would appreciate any advise anyone could give me. Thanks for being out there.

    Jim
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    since I am TOTALLY uncertain as to your location (north, south, east or west???) the answer may be yes and the answer may be no.

    sometime certainly the season and circumstance dictates that you let a hive pass on. you can dwiddle away alot of time on a hive that will return you absolutely nothing. such hives are first and foremost a real misallocation of time... I recall one commerical beekeeper commenting that he spent 90% of his time on 10% of his hives. come next spring you can always recycle the equipment with a new start. if your time is worth anything letting a hive die is often times the reasonable path to follow.

    the new queen you installed was likely murder because the hive though they had another queen or the making of a new queen (in the form of some kind of cell). replacing a queen sounds easy but like a lot of stuff the devil is in the detail. if a hive has been queenless for some period of time sticking in a frame of green (meaning very young larvae and eggs) brood at the same time I install the queen cage makes the transition go a bit smoother.

    best of luck with that new package...
     

  3. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Why not combine the dwindling/queenless hive with one of the others? Give the other hive the benefit of the bees' labor, rather than just letting them die.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    As Tec says.... Put your location in your profile and we can give you much better answers. All beekeeping is local.

    As Hobie says...... Combine them with another hive, so they can assist it in building for the winter.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Use the resources of what the dwindling hive has to offer, bees, drawn comb, honey stores, etc. and combine with one of the other hives.

    Would be a shame to just let them die out, wax moth and SHB will make a big mess out of everything.

    If you do not know how to do a combine just ask we are willing to help.

    G3
     
  6. Charles

    Charles New Member

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    Welcome back Jim, if that weak hive isn't having any other problems I'll cast another vote for utilizing the bees, comb and honey in one of your stronger hives.

    If you go your user control panel and click profile you'll see where the location box is, the natives get restless when they don't know your location :club: :D
     
  7. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    I'll cast my vote for letting them die.

    A strong colony doesn't need the help of a weak colony to make it through the winter, and combining a weak colony with a strong colony only endangers the strong colony by risking passing any diseases or pests over to the strong colony. Whether you combine or not, you're going to lose the weak colony, so even in the best case scenario for combining with a strong colony, you're only in the same spot you'd be in if they just died out.

    Now if you have 2 weak colonies, then go ahead and combine them. You might end up getting 1 strong colony, or you might end up losing everything, but it doesn't matter because you would have lost the weak colonies anyway.

    That's my philosophy anyway. There are a million philosophies out there, and most of them differ from mine. I only hope is that reading my philosophy and thoughts might help you better define or refine your own philosophy on this issue.
     
  8. Jim Jenkins

    Jim Jenkins New Member

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    I really appreciate all the suggestions as to how I should handle a Dying Hive. I think it is clear how I might combine a weak and strong hive. Thanks for responding. I edited my profile so y'all might consider my location when you respond to the next question that I throw out there. Thanks again.


    Jim Jenkins
     
  9. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I've had great success with the "newspaper combine" method, and highly recommend it.
     
  10. dogsoldier13

    dogsoldier13 New Member

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