Placing new hives near old weak hive

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Max, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Max

    Max New Member

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    I have one hive and it did not winter well. I've been supplying it with sugar syrup and treating with Terramycin/powdered sugar dusting but it is not yet a strong, thriving hive. In two weeks, I'll be moving 10 more hives to the same farm. Would it do any good to separate the week hive from the new hives by a few hundred feet? What should I do with the frames in the weak hive that have discolored, brown wax? I was thinking of removing the frames, scraping off the brown wax, washing with mild detergent, and spraying them down with a diluted bleach solution before returning them to the hive. The frames are made of a black plastic, not wood… thought this could make a difference in how I handle the situation.
     
  2. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    Have you thought about adding a frame of brood and nurse bees?

    I don't see where that would make much difference. In a robbing situation, a few hundred feet isn't going to matter.

    All brood comb gets brown (then black) over time. It should be just fine.
     

  3. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    my first question is why are you treating with terramyacin?
    as indy said, the weak hive will be susceptible to being robbed. if there is no disease present, requeen and add frames of brood to strengthen it, divide it into a couple of nuc hives with new queens or join it with a stronger hive.

    i have never used terramyicin and beeks who have say that it’s use weakens their hives.

    your frames are fine unless they are very old, disease is present or if you have AFB, and if you do, you may as well kiss that equipment goodbye, and do not use any equipment from that hive and transfer to another.
     
  4. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Maybe this sounds a bit drastic, but personally if I had 10 new healthy hives coming and I had one weak hive at that location that 'might' have some disease, I'd actually eliminate the iffy hive. I'd kill the queen, shake out (or kill off) the bees, I'd throw out the 20 old plastic frames, and I'd scrub the boxes with bleach solution, rinse well, and then let them dry out empty in the sun to be used later in the season. Then I could sleep soundly at night. Why keep one poor sickly hive if you are getting ten healthy new ones? All you'd be doing is exposing the new hives to poor genes and possible illness.
    Or, are you able to move the weak hive to some isolated location a few miles away and leave them to fend for themselves? If they recover and survive on their own, you might wind up with a good strain of survivor bees.
    But I wouldn't expose the new hives to this one if it might have some illness or problem.
    And of course if there's any indication of FB you should burn the whole thing.
     
  5. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    omie.....
    "(or kill off) the bees"

    i can't imagine, coming from you omie, you would kill the bees?:grin:
     
  6. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    The big question is the present or past health of the weak hive. If you can get an experienced beekeeper to examine the hive and assure you that it has a clear bill of health, then stop with the terramycin, strengthen it with brood from the strongest of the other hives and, when convenient, replace the queen. Another alternative would be to divide the hive among the new hives.
    If past disease is a real possibility, go the "Omie way" and eliminate them, not letting them infect the new hives. But sterilize the hive boxes with a torch, not just bleach.
    Nothing new from me except this last point: If the hive is okay and you keep it, make sure to reduce the entrance to a size it can protect until it gets strong enough to handle a full opening. Remember though, during a honey flow robbing is rare. It's when the flowers turn off that you've got to be prepared for that eventuality.
     
  7. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Sounds awful, huh?
    But if I had a fish tank with a sickly fish in it, I would not bring home 10 new expensive healthy fish and put them in that tank while I was trying to cure the sick fish. I'd either isolate or kill the sickly fish and make sure the tank was not infected before I brought home the 10 new fish.
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Is "go the Omie way" a new way of saying eliminate them? :shock: Brutal. First Omie ships off poor Calico, and now this? :wink:
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If Perry doesn't quit picking on Omie, I'm thinking Omie may be giving him a first hand look at "Omie's way". :eek: :razz:
     
  10. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    lol! :hunter:
     
  11. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    iddee said:
    "If Perry doesn't quit picking on Omie, I'm thinking Omie may be giving him a first hand look at "Omie's way"

    perry, keep picking on omie, i'll be standing right behind you.....
    just one thing, how fast can you run?:lol:
     
  12. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    Well this brings a morbid question, at least it's morbid for the bees. I had a swarm last year that was my hottest hive. I was worried that they would become too aggressive and I would have to do something with them. My thought was a barrel liner around the hive that was as air tight as I could get it. Then place dry ice on the inner cover and button up the liner. So far this Spring they are no different than any of the others, so they are safe. This would be a last resort after trying to requeen first.
    My question is would the dry ice work?
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    you gonna' freeze them to death Jim?

    it is my understanding that CO2 will knock out bees but will not kill them. hydrogen sulfide (created by burning sulfur) is one method I use to use to kill bees. it is easy cheap and doesn't contaminate any equipment.
     
  14. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Having tried to nurse a weak nuc swarm along, and watching both my cutout hive and the bee tree hive waste their time trying to rob it out, I finally hid it in a top box above the bee tree and let nature take its course. I think they lived longer that way, actually. I didn't have a 25 mile away from any bees safe place, and they were so weakened, even with trying to get them to collect strong bees by switching hive spots, they just didn't stand a chance.

    Can't count the number of fish tanks I've crashed trying to save one weak fish. Can tell you I've learned to put sicky in a 10 gallon and deal with him alone, much cheaper.

    Gypsi
     
  15. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    I'm with Omie on this.

    I wouldn't waste time and effort on a doubtful hive ---- save these efforts for the good hives.

    This Brutal Brit would close up the dodgy hive at the end of the day then give them a present of a cup of petrol/gas through the hole in the inner cover. No need to light it. By the following day the hive will be dead.

    The hive can be cleaned up and sterilized or destroyed .

    .
     
  16. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    The idea of the ice was to suffocate them. I don't like the idea of gas, because I would want to reuse the hive equipment. The burning sulfur sounds good. I have read that was the way some beeks dealt with hives they didn't want to overwinter.
     
  17. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I think that there can be two diferent approaches to this problem.
    1. A beekeeper interested in bees for the sake of bees as a hobby--learning about bees, how to handle them, their ways of responding to varied situations, etc., should make every reasonable effort to get the weak hive up to par (treat with medicines, add brood, change queens, etc). It's a learning experience.
    2. Professional beekeepers, who's main interest is in using bees for a livelihood (selling honey, raising queens, selling bees, etc.), should eliminate any "doubtful" hives that might infect their other hives or affect them negatively. "Messing around" with problematic hives isn't an educational experience for them but instead a loss of time and money.
     
  18. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Slipped up.

    Last sentence should read "aired, cleaned up and sterilized or destroyed."

    Nit picking ---- don't you get sulphur dioxide when you burn sulphur ? Hydrogen sulphide is the 'bad eggs' chemical. I think I read somewhere that skeps (for the honey harvest) were placed over a burning sulphur pit. I think it was --- "kill the weakest and the strongest and over-winter the mediums--". The alternative was 'driving' .

    .
     
  19. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Having said all this stuff and shocking everyone, I would emphasize that if I didn't see any signs of serious disease (like rampant FB or raging nosema), I wouldn't kill off a whole hive of bees! First and foremost, I'd re-queen any hive where I thought the queen was not doing ok. And that's only after they didn't bounce back once I gave them a whole frame of brood from a strong hive.
    I hope I never have to kill a whole hive of bees. The most I did last year was simply shake out a few hundred remaining (healthy) bees from a dwindling nuc that had gone queenless too long and had a laying worker. I assume some of those bees found their way into the neighboring hives. I shook them out on the ground rather than combine them into another hive (and thus introducing a laying worker to that hive) because unlike the nurse/forager bees, the laying worker likely wouldn't be able to fly into another hive.
     
  20. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    Reading this makes me realise that I don't think I would ever be able to kill off a hive of bees, I would try my very best to try and save them, be it one hive or a hundred I would try the same, sorry I am not the killing kind of any living thing except snakes or anything trying to kill others.

    kebee