Huge Monstrous hive overpowering its 6 counterpart hives

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by CentralPAGuy, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. CentralPAGuy

    CentralPAGuy New Member

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    Here is a crazy question.

    I have a yard of 7 hives, but one hive is monstrous with huge amounts of bees, probably two or three times the quantity that is found in any of the other 6 hives. Today, it hit about 55-60 and the girls were flying and roaring with their buzz.

    I am sure that these girls are robbing the other 6 hives and I have entrance reducers on all of them. They are bringing in Pollen or something like Pollin. Some of the bees look like that fell into a bin as they are brightly colored in orange/yellow dust.

    Within this hive, they are still in a loose Cluster mass and have now reached the spare sugar that I placed onto their frames. I am reluctant to split them but I am concerned enough that they might even swarm on me. Will they swarm if there is no nectar flow and what temperature should I split them?
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    We all would like to have those kinds of problems. I doubt you have any robbing going on this time of year. You can split anytime you have capped drone cells.
     

  3. rast

    rast New Member

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    and they will rarely swarm with no flow. They may abscond from a hive if they deem it necessary to survive. They swarm to reproduce and part of that instinct is knowing that there is enough flow to build new comb elsewhere.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    at this time of the year in Pa the hive might abscond due to starvation but I have large doubts that they would swarm.

    is there some reason the hive has maintained this quantity of bees throughout the winter months. sounds extremely odd to me.
     
  5. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Have you looked into the monstrous hive? I had one last year like that, and like tec. said i thought it odd. :confused: It was, because it was the one being robbed. I didn't see any fighting just alot of bees coming and going which made me think it was a strong hive, when the weather got warm enough i found it was a deadout and had been robbed out. I hope this isn't your case. :thumbsup: Jack
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    other folks should just be about at the point in the season where drone laying queens begin to show up here and there in an apairy. as the situation (in the hive) becomes progressively more hopeless absconding by individual bees and robbing soon follow.
     
  7. CentralPAGuy

    CentralPAGuy New Member

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    I had combined a weaker hive with a strong hive last fall. I didn't see the queen in the weaker hive when I combined. I am even suspicious that I may have inadvertantly created a two queen colony for that amount of bees to be flying. I can't imagine that two unrelated queens would have made it thru winter.

    These bees have always had a hotter streak in them than my others and I am wondering if they did a better job at mite removal. On Sunday, it was like looking at a really busy airport. I usually don't see this many bees until July/August timeframe.
    I have kept honey/sugar resources on them thruout the winter.

    Large quantities of bees are bringing pollen back into the hive. I don't see any signs of fighting occurring with this hive.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    stranger things have been known to happen. let us know how it comes out after you get the opportunity to look on the inside of the hive. you got my curious cat thing a goin' now CentralPAGuy.

    it could be just a random chain of events that has created this monster... like feeding a bit that kicks off late season brood rearing. typically the higher producing queens (one that lay so heavily that they can produce extremely large hive) will typically deplete their feed supply and starve early in the winter.

    I have inadvertently created two queen hives here via combination and usually there is a flat of solid capped honey that keeps the two queens apart at least for a while.
     
  9. CentralPAGuy

    CentralPAGuy New Member

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    I did a brief check into the monstrous hive as I was shifting food resources around. The cluster had broken and the bees were all over two deeps and two shallows. I did not take the frames out to take a look, but the one deep was still heavy with honey. This hive had considerable food resource going into winter as I had put another shallow super of honey on it and as a safety precaution, I put about 5 pounds of sugar on top of the frames.

    Then on another large hive that went into Winter in a different beeyard, I found that half of the bees had died and there was honey all around it, yet some of these bees starved.





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