Is this a good plan

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Yankee11, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    I have a swarm that I captured and it just has not been doing much. Not growing much. I've had it for about 2 1/2 to 3 months now and have been feeding if off and on. They have only about 5 deep frames filled out, they have just been stuck there. There is capped brood and it has been hatching. They just act like they are happy being that size. I'm thinking a week queen at this point.

    I did put a deep frame of brood in there Last night.

    I am worried they are not going to be big enough to survive the winter.

    Heres what I am thinking, continue feeding solid and see if this brood frame helps. If not growing by end of August, remove queen and set this deep on top of the next weekest hive to hopefully make one strong one going into winter.

    Comments on this plan?
     
  2. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Make your decision now. You've babied them for long enough. Why wait?
    Replace the queen as soon as you can. If you want to raise one yourself, she won't be laying for another month. If you buy one, you'll start building up your hive as soon as she is accepted by the family. And you'll have two hives going into winter. If you don't want to requeen and build up the family, unite now. One strong hive will collect more than two weak ones. Either way, by waiting, you are most likely to come out behind.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    I'm thinking a week queen at this point.

    tecumseh:
    the experience has evidently made you aware that all queens are not the same and some (no matter if you have one or a hundred) will invariable turn out just the way you describe. I would suggest (I think it is about the same message from efmesch???) you simply need to 'pull the trigger' on this decision. such decision are never easy although almost always necessary.
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    It would be easier to combine now and make a split from a stronger hive in the spring. Much easier on the mind (I wish I would have combined them last summer), than cleaning up a dead out come spring. I am already eyeballing a couple of slow hives now that are falling into this category.
     
  5. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Yeah, I think I'm learning. Still have long, long way to go.

    So to combine.

    Remove queen, take the deep and sit it on top of another deep with a piece of newspaper between the 2 deeps? Do I need any kind of top entrance or is the idea for them to get out they have to go through the newspaper and into the bottom deep?
     
  6. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Yeap, combine them...I have been combining week swarms all season with the good ole newspaper method...easy peasy japaneasy...
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Are the outer frames full of honey and/or pollen?

    If so, she will never expand. A new queen won't either. Move the storage frames out and put empties next to the brood. Then if they don't expand, replace her.
     
  8. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Yankee, I slit the newspaper in several places to give them a head start. It did not take long for them to combine. I have read some threads where folks skip the paper all together but the results of that are contested. I always tried to do my combines late evening because most foragers had returned for the day. Otherwise, I figure they would not find their old hive on top of another.
     
  9. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I like to give them a top entrance myself, it can get hot enough to roast the bugs and melt the wax. Prop up the inner cover with a stick, just enough to let the bees fly.
     
  10. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    there is still time to save them I agree with Iddee on moving the frames 1st before scrapping the hive, if you have any drawn comb put it in on either side of the brood frames and move the food frames out a bit, cause it sounds like the queen might not have any real laying room, if she is pinned between too many food frames it will slow there growth bigtime. and if in the next few weeks you dont see a jump in brood production you can always pinch and combine then.
     
  11. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    What is the mite load?
     
  12. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Havn't seen any mites. I can try switching the frames but whats wierd id they are not even drawing out all of the deep frames.

    They have the tops of the frames drawn but they stop about 2 or 3 inches from the bottom of the frames. The centers are filled with capped brood and the top corners are capped honey. I'll take some pictures of the frames before I do anything, probably Sunday night or Monday. I did add a whole frame of brood 5 days ago. As soon as these hatch she will have a whole frame of empty drawn comb. I don't remember the outside frames being capped honey.

    They just act like they are content on being that size.
     
  13. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I think, with my eyesight, there would be too many mites by the time I could see them on bees. When bee numbers are low there is a limit to the number of new eggs and brood that can be conditioned and fed. I think mite load percentage is more critical in a small hive than in a boomer.