Major Hive Issues

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by crazy8days, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Went over to get my bees somewhat ready for winter. checked my weak hives o see if the fall blooms are helping them store. This is what I found.

    Hive 1

    Top deep:
    Pollen stores
    no nectar
    no capped brood
    dead brood in larva stage-dried up or turning dark from death

    Bottom Deep:
    1 1/2 frames capped honey
    nectar
    open brood all stages
    few capped brood
    white pulpa (sp?) heads not capped
    at least 7 frames of bees

    Hive 2



    Top Deep:
    pollen stores
    capped brood
    frames with drawn cells with nothing in them
    drone cells
    no open brood

    Bottom Deep:capped brood
    pollen stores
    nectar
    few honey frames of honey
    at least 10 frames or more of bees

    Nothing in these 2 hives looked normal. No frames with brood then pollen and topped with honey.

    What the heck is going on?
     
  2. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

    Messages:
    469
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    sounds scary, how much are you feeding them?
     

  3. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

    Messages:
    3,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    crazy8,
    let's start with hive 1, aside from taking pics and posting them here, from your description: "dead brood in larva stage-dried up or turning dark from death"
    go to this link and look at the photographs and description, does this look like or describe what you see? scroll down to page 36, i think, on EFB:

    a field guide to honey bees and their maladies
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I suspect what pistolpete is suggesting is that both hives sound to be critically short of enough provisions to make it thru the winter. and there is a connection between this and what appears to be breaks in the brood cycle which will result in both hives going into the winter with a limited number of bees and the bees that you do have being somewhat old. the combination of these two things does not give either hive a good potential to make the winter.
     
  6. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I went through this last year. http://www.beekeepingforums.com/threads/4465-Sugar-syrup

    This is what I did:

    1) Fed the bees 2-1 syrup. Checked back in 2 weeks after doing this and had nice brood patterns.
    2) When the hives are heavy enough with syrup, stop feeding.
    3) December 22 started putting on homeade bee candy; (I had to or else the kids would eat it all) check supply monthly on decent weather days.
    4) Mid March I opened up the entrances, removed all feed and let the bees forage for themselves. (Maples were blooming and pollen was coming in all winter)

    Good luck Crazy! Keep us posted.

    P.S. BEE careful! I set off a robbing frenzy when I fed syrup!

    Edit: I had the dead/brown brood thing too. Everything turned out ok for me once the queen got back in gear. http://www.beekeepingforums.com/threads/6296-Laying-Workers/page2 post/pic 29
     
  7. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    You didn't mention seeing or not seeing queens (or eggs). ???
    You could be in bad trouble. Follow riverbee's advice about checking for brood disease. If needed, feed with medicine in the syrup.
    Consider the advisability of combining the two hives and their stores. After they are united, reorganize the brood and stores of honey for the winter.
     
  8. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

    Messages:
    3,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    i think we would all agree that the 2 hives are critically short of winter feed, but i suspect there is more to the story, then placing feed on will cure, and i hope i am wrong. if there is a brood disease, and hives are queenless would dictate a course of action for both hives. my concern was for the description of the larvae that crazy8 described in his post for hive 1.
     
  9. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm going back out right now. Will bring the camera. Hope I can hold the camera and frame and not shake all over the place. I did put 2:1 syrup on the really bad hive. Will feed the other tonight. Will do the toothpick test to see if they are stringy. Also, I did not find the queen but I really stink trying to find her. One member of my club said I could possibly buy a queen and get her in. But I'm guessing idf it a disease no since of getting 1 or 2. Off I go. Will be back on in a couple hours or so.
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It didn't sound like hive 1 was queenless. "Open brood all stages". The absence of capped brood tells me there was an interruption of brood rearing.
    Hive 2 sounds like it has recently gone queenless, capped brood but no open brood.
    In the absence of disease these 2 hives could be combined.
    I guess a few hours will tell the story.
     
  11. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The more I looked hive #2 looks to have a queen. Saw brood of all stages. Capped and uncapped. No 1. looks like what Perry said about bad dearth. When this hive was at home I fed all the time. When I moved them out in the country I stopped feeding thinking they fill find nectar. I did find all staged of death. From eggs on up.
     

    Attached Files:

    • 001.JPG
      001.JPG
      File size:
      155.9 KB
      Views:
      94
    • 002.JPG
      002.JPG
      File size:
      155.1 KB
      Views:
      86
    • 003.JPG
      003.JPG
      File size:
      163.3 KB
      Views:
      94
    • 004.JPG
      004.JPG
      File size:
      151.2 KB
      Views:
      87
    • 005.JPG
      005.JPG
      File size:
      153.6 KB
      Views:
      89
    • 006.JPG
      006.JPG
      File size:
      145.5 KB
      Views:
      87
    • 007.JPG
      007.JPG
      File size:
      149 KB
      Views:
      87
    • 008.JPG
      008.JPG
      File size:
      159.4 KB
      Views:
      93
    • 009.JPG
      009.JPG
      File size:
      160.1 KB
      Views:
      87
    • 010.JPG
      010.JPG
      File size:
      161.7 KB
      Views:
      100
  12. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Looks like starvation to me. Get some pollen sub on it along with the sugar water.
     
  13. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    011.JPG 012.JPG this is hive no.2 both deeps were full of bees. The other shows that there are a lot of open cells with nothing in them. But more I dug around I found more. Just not as much as I though. This is the bottom deep which is light. Top deep was quite heavy. Capped honey . I'm thinking I should have kept feeding. Now, if that is the case should I combined or maybe see if I can buy a queen for hive No.1?
     
  14. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think both have queens, but #1 has no pollen. Pollen is used by brood more than honey. With no pollen, the bees are eating the brood.
     
  15. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What do you recommend for pollen?
    This hive has been slow from the start. You think I should keep this queen?
     
  16. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

    Messages:
    2,056
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  17. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

    Messages:
    3,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    great photos crazy8, i am very happy for you, to be wrong about a brood disease. from your original description, i thought maybe your hive had EFB, not AFB, but your photos tell the story. you took this out to the country, stopped feeding, and the bees starved as iddee has already said, the bees had nothing to feed the brood or themselves but the larvae. also, some lines of queens will slow or stop laying completely if there is nothing coming in the front door of the hive to rear the brood with.

    hive 1 is very weak with older bees, even if you feed a pollen sub and syrup, it will take some time for new bees to be born, for them to build up for winter in your area. i think i would consider perry's and ef's suggestion to combine hive 1 with hive 2, (pinch queen from hive 1) hive 2 is stronger. reorganize and combine stores, and i would feed if necessary, and if you think your pollen stores are low in hive 2, i would add a pollen sub to it as well.

    pollen subs, as dave pointed are available from any beekeeping supplier.

    keep us posted.
     
  18. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Just got back to this thread--a lot went on while I slept the night through over here---Those pictures really paint a clear picture of starvation. Instead of floating on a drop of food, the larvae are all in dry cells. It hurts to see them starving that way. As riverbee says, at least it's not brood disease.
    You've received your advice. I would encourage uniting the two hives in addition to the urgent feeding of pollen (substitute) and syrup.
     
  19. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks everyone for their advice. I am glad it is not a disease. I'm not glad it is starvation. That was the reason I brought them out there! My swarm was doing so well! There is a lake across the street, 1/4 mile down the road is a plant nursery. Many fields of clover and alfalfa. I'm feeling pretty bad for letting them get to this point. I will combined and will order pollen sub. 2:1 is all ready on them. When combining them do I have to combined to fill just two deeps or if I have more can I add to a third box, even if the third box doesn't have the full 10 frames.
     
  20. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    asking this again. Need to know before going out to do it. my swarm still has a honey super. Ok to leave on as well? or is it better on the hive to break down to the 2 deeps.