Hive check

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by crazy8days, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    Today went out to check the hives. Now i know what everyone is saying about the smell of Goldenrod. Wow, or maybe pew:shock:

    checked my mite boards on the 2 small hives. Count on the stronger of the 2 counted 100+ mites on the sticky board. Opened up a few drone cells and mites were in there. The other hive. Is a very weak hive. Only 2 frames of the second deep has been drawn. Very little brood or anything really in the second deep. Did not check the first deep. Mite count was low. 50 or so. This hive I can't see making it through the winter. Hate to think that but, if this is all they are going to do, whats the point. The other has a chance. Funny these were bought nucs and both are doing poorly. Did a power sugar treatment on them.

    The 3rd hive. (my swarm) Still has a super on it but they wont have anything ready to pull in time. Should I pull the queen excluder and keep it on for the winter stores? Also, I made new bottom boards and wanted to try it on this hive first. same SBB but tad taller with a slide out oil pan for SHB control. Had to break the hive down. Super had weight to it. Second brood box was heavy but the first brood box was light. Why would that be? I have not checked this hive yet for mites. Should I?

    Being it is getting close to the end of the season, I stressing what to do with these 3 hives.
     
  2. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    well, looks like you have 2 choices, feed the 2 weak hives and pray or combine the 2 week hives and feed just that 1, as for the strong hive I would leave the super on and pull the excluder.
     

  3. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    You don't say how long your mite count was for- 100 mites on the board, but over what time period was the count done?
    You should have looked in the lower deep of the weak hive to see if in fact you even have a laying queen, and to see what's going on.
    If your weak hive has only two drawn frames on top with the rest is bare foundation, then I would go through the whole hive, put all the fullest frames in the lower box and remove the empty top box for the winter.

    You don't say much about your other nuc hive.

    As Zoo says, take out the excluder in the 3rd hive and leave them the honey super for the winter.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    Super had weight to it. Second brood box was heavy but the first brood box was light. Why would that be?

    tecumseh:
    could the bottom box be essentially empty?

    as to the other two hives.... it sounds to me like you need to employ some kind of varroa treatment on both of these and then feed consistently until winter arrives. if either of these was very weak I would likely kill the queen in the weakest and combine what remains with the stronger of the two.
     
  5. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    Last week I sugared, gave them a couple hours and both were in the hundred range on the board. Cleaned board, oiled and left it for a week. Checked today and the strongest of the two had roughly 100 mites. I opened up several drone cells and found mites.

    Weakest hive had around 50. I checked the top deep and there was only a few frames drawn. I dusted both with sugar today.

    Last week I checked both hives for the queen. Did not find her. I stink at finding them. BUT, there were all stages of brood.
     
  6. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    The third hive which I call my strongest or my swarm hive. I'm not sure if the bottom deep is empty. I have yet to check the bottom super. When I broke it down today to put on my SBB with the oil pan. when I removed the second deep the bees went crazy!!! They stung me three times, bouncing off me so I went into "Oh, Sh*T" mode and got them closed up. 3 hours later they were still after me. One got me in the head 50 ft. away. I have had issues with SHB so they were the first ones I put on the oil pan. Because of the super I have not dusted with powder sugar to check for mites. Was thinking after I remove the super I would. Thinking now I should have sooner to see. I can remove the oil pan and put in a sticky board.

    Employ some kind of varroa treatment. What one? I'm trying to stay chem free. But, don't want to lose my hives. Sounds like killing the queen in the weakest hive is my best bet. They from the get go have been a dud.

    Starting to think I really suck at beekeeping.
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hang in there, it gets better. I dusted the bees with powdered sugar weekly, super or no, and beat them back around here last year - but sugar works by causing a brood break. Maybe not the best thing going into winter. My swarm and cutout hives had brood breaks earlier, mainly beekeeper errors, but all the same varroa seems to be low.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    Employ some kind of varroa treatment. What one? I'm trying to stay chem free. But, don't want to lose my hives. Sounds like killing the queen in the weakest hive is my best bet. They from the get go have been a dud.

    tecumseh...
    of course Gypsi suggest one of the best non chemical approaches which is to simply disrupt brood rearing via caging the queen. everything else including powdered sugar is in reality and without the hyperbole a chemical treatment. powdered sugar, sucromid or oxalic are all consider soft treatment for varroa (which is to suggest they don't kill quite so well but they also don't assist in growing a bigger and badder varroa or taint the comb).

    sucromid is a good and often overlooked option. as a choice it is not so doable for commercial application but is quite handy and fairly inexpensive relative to some of the other 'off the shelf' type treatments.

    another snip...
    Starting to think I really suck at beekeeping.

    tecumseh:
    no one said it was easy and actually I am glad it is that way. over the years I have decided that the constant and changing challenge is mate motivates me as a beekeeper. tomorrow all the challenges will be different... so I always have something to look forward too.

    hang in there and good luck...
     
  9. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "Starting to think I really suck at beekeeping."

    crazy8, you don't suck at beekeeping, it is just part of the learning curve, we all face these issues and we all make mistakes and the "what was i thinking" thing...., and sometimes we just fly by the seat of our pants, er coveralls...:lol:

    as tecumseh said:
    "no one said it was easy and actually I am glad it is that way. over the years I have decided that the constant and changing challenge is mate motivates me as a beekeeper. tomorrow all the challenges will be different... so I always have something to look forward too."

    for varroa, try the sucrocide tecumseh mentioned, or apiguard. i don't treat either unless absolutely a necessity, and use the apiguard.

    don't stress, and hang in there!
     
  10. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    "Starting to think I really suck at beekeeping."

    When I have real doubts about doing something to 'correct' or 'help' my bees, I have found that letting the bees figure it out has worked well for me on many occasions. As I learn more each year, I realize that probably some of the things I've done to 'fix' my bees did more harm than good, especially in the first year.

    Don't get me wrong, there are things we should all do in certain circumstances. It's just that as a new BK I tended to interfere with the bees too much, causing unnecessary and likely harmful disruption. I now do a lot less when I get that old urge to 'help' or 'correct' the bees. :)
     
  11. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    A hundred mites over 7 days isn't that bad (14.3 per day)

    My hives are at 37 over 3 days forthe August count; not that it matters lol it's just fun to watch the trend fluctuate up and down.

    All my hives had a brood break this season.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    eddy honey writes....
    All my hives had a brood break this season.

    tecumseh:
    and a most excellent point....

    that is in many places very dry or drought conditions likely did 'natually' promote some break in the brood rearing. and actually some Carnolian stock has been well documented to do this on a very predictable time line.