Ideas on what my challenged hives are doing?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by onehorse, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. onehorse

    onehorse New Member

    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Most of my hives are looking pretty good, good populations, good brood patterns, need some food for winter (working on that now), and being treating for mites for winter, etc. But I have 2 hives that apparently 2 - 4 weeks ago decided to stop drawing comb and thought that swarming was a much better idea (queen cells at the bottoms of a number of frames in both hives) even though they both had room to expand, both up and out. Now, we are in the middle of a pretty good dearth, the queens both have beautiful brood patterns with no indications of issues. One of these 2 hives already swarmed once before this, as I had put a marked queen in there, checked her a week after I did the paper combine and she was doing good (ie they hadn't killed her), but the mated queen that I split out of this hive, last week in attempt to prevent the swarm, was definitely not marked. So, for both of these hives I did small splits, removed the queens, a frame of brood, honey, and empty comb into nucs, so now I have 2 hives that are working on new queens(hopefully) and 2 nucs that are too small to make it through the winter.

    So, A) why are they doing this? and B) what do I do know?

    I've though about leaving them alone, with the hope that the new queens will be good and get to laying right way for winter, I thought about combining the 2 hives, thought about combining the 2 nucs. I really don't want to pinch either of these queens, as I think both of them are good and these hives are just being challenging.
     
  2. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A. Are they expanding onto bare foundation or drawn comb? I've had bees that would swarm on a poor flow rather than use it to draw foundation. Overall it sounds like you may have supercedure and not swarm impulse and it can be hard to tell the diferance sometimes. In my opinion sometimes the line is blury to the bees as well.

    B. Feed and walk away. you'll get the best out of all four of them by feeding pollen and light syrup and then in a few weeks when all the queens are mated and laying without distubance you can see what you have and combine back up to strong hives.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    what cow pollinator said...

    oftentime at the back side of a dearth a bit of feed and a bit of time answers a lot of maybees.