Recent split. Drought. Add box?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by ScoobyDoBee, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. ScoobyDoBee

    ScoobyDoBee New Member

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    Hi all. I split my heavily populated hive 2 weeks ago tomorrow. I was told to wait 3 weeks before going in to either one, since we didn't know where the queen was. Both had all the necessities. I added a box to the "daughter" (8-frame deep) right away and have been feeding that one. The parent is 3 boxes of 8-frame mediums. Had lots of brood. It seems to be quite crowded now. Should I add another box even though there is no nectar flow right now - which sounds like I would have to feed. Or should I wait till the fall flow and add it then? Will they still consider swarming?

    Side note, both boxes have acted quite "normal" even though one had to be queenless. Is two weeks too soon for them to be irritable, or does that probably mean the queenless one is just busy making a queen?
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    First, you were told wrong. You should have checked 5 to 8 days after the split. One would have had eggs, the other should have had capped queen cells. Then you would have known where she was.

    Secondly, check now. One has eggs, the other may or may not have. Check for stores and feed or add a box only if needed. There should be no problem with swarming this late on a split.

    If only one has eggs, check the eggless one weekly. If it doesn't have eggs in three more weeks, "total 6 weeks", requeen it or add a frame of brood with eggs.
     

  3. ScoobyDoBee

    ScoobyDoBee New Member

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    Iddee, I was getting a bit of a sinking feeling that maybe I should be checking....Thanks for the directives. So.... makes no sense to add a hive body till I know if they are truly expanding, vs. just hatching out existing brood? Thanks again!
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    no great harm although you would have more information if you had checked earlier and then you would have known which hive to pay closer attention too. I don't think '5 to 8 days later' you would had capped queen cells.. although certainly by then any queen cells would have been quite obvious.

    if the hives are large and well stocked with resources it makes little sense to just keep pouring the syrup to a hive with no real purpose or end in sight. you really want to give syrup to those hives that are coming up short in provisions or to encourage the drawing of comb. to 'know this' you do need to practice tipping or hefting the hive and/or looking inside. except in extreme situation most folks should think 'dribble' rather than 'pour' when it comes to the syrup. without recognizing the boundaries defined by what you are trying to accomplish you can (folks have) generated their own set of problems by just pouring the syrup to a hive <this is quite easy to see in small 5 frame nucleus boxes where it is quite easy to back fill the brood nest by over feeding.. which then leads to the queen having no where to lay... which then leads to ????.

    the three week 'rational' was probably so as not to destroy new queen cells. if the hive is highly populated then even this 'rational' is a bit weak since it would almost be impossible to destroy all the queen cells inadvertently (most times if you look and look and look you will quite often miss one or two).

    space inside those little boxes is a concern and does need to be managed. if the hive appears crowded and there is little room inside then I would add another box just to see if I could get the comb drawn. again this is defined by a set of boundaries (defined by bears).... not too little and not too much, but just right.

    although you are beyond the 'prime' swarm season the data tells us there are two peaks in swarming. one in the spring and one in the fall.

    good luck...
     
  5. ScoobyDoBee

    ScoobyDoBee New Member

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    Thanks Tecumeh. :goodpost: Great reminders and input. I have learned a lot in the previous year, but there is so much more to learn and much I need to refine.

    My concern (goal) for the parent hive is they say around here 2 deeps to last thru winter. She's got 3 mediums - one medium short of what is needed for winter stores. PLUS I know the fall nectar flow is meager and I wonder if that is enough to fill 8 med frames with comb and honey. But the girls are bearding pretty heavily compared to the other hives, though those do have an additional box more than this parent hive. I will check for space and queen cell or queen or... And then add another box if that seems right.

    In the "daughter," trying to get her up to 4 boxes for winter... Feeding pretty mandatory, yes???

    --- Correct.

    . Bear Boundaries - I love it! Basically said the same thing to someone the other day, but didn't define it as such. I will now! :)

    So...what I think you are saying is if they are crowded, add another box. DON'T feed, let them try to draw comb (even in a nectar dearth??). In the fall, if they aren't drawn out or a little short, I could supplement. Yes?

    The other looming question here though is what will an empty box sitting for possibly 2 months during a nectar dearth do for SHB??

    Did not know about the fall swarm!

    Thanks again for the input. Hope my additional questions aren't too redundant!
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    redundant no and yes I would add a box. prior too tip the hive from one end and see how that feels. if you have anything going on at all then perhaps feed at half the rate and see how that works out.

    the best to ya'....
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Tecumseh wrote:
    "although you are beyond the 'prime' swarm season the data tells us there are two peaks in swarming. one in the spring and one in the fall."

    Now this is news to me as well. I wondered at times why some hives decided to have a what I considered a mental lapse and swarm so late that their survival was extremely doubtful. Are you saying Tec that this is a seasonal (normal) occurence?
    I have not heard of this before.
    Interesting, any idea why?
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    This is news to me, too. I have seen fall absconds, but never a known swarm. The ball of bees I have found in the fall were either "origin unknown" or there was not a bee left in the hive. That is an abscond. A swarm leaves queen cells and bees.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Perrybee writes:
    Are you saying Tec that this is a seasonal (normal) occurence?
    I have not heard of this before.

    tecumseh:
    since I have relegated all my books to our bee club's library I will have to make a 'stab' at the proper reference here. I think Wilson's Honey Bee Biology is the proper reference and yes there are two distinct peaks in the 'seasonal' distribution of swarms.. one in the early spring and another late in 'the summer months' (August I think). I seem to recall the author even made some similar comment to your own about how these 'swarms' were unlikely to survive till the next spring time. So yes the evolutionary reasoning for this odd behavior is difficult to understand.
     
  10. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Once I had a hive abscond---they were heavily infested with varroa. Though it doesn't really cure them or eliminate the mites already on the bees, it leaves behind a heavy load on useless, infested larvae. Maybe that's the evolutionary logic for such an absconding. Maybe their instincts tell them to start the hive over from scratch.
    Too bad it's not likely to solve their problem. :frustrated:
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    efmesch writes:
    Once I had a hive abscond---they were heavily infested with varroa. Though it doesn't really cure them or eliminate the mites already on the bees, it leaves behind a heavy load on useless, infested larvae. Maybe that's the evolutionary logic for such an absconding. Maybe their instincts tell them to start the hive over from scratch.

    tecumseh:
    very interesting. the hive associate some problem with the nest itself and leaves that location for some location that may be better. constant predation (by bears or such) you would think might generate the same response?

    it is also interesting efmesch in that I was wondering if very early collapse of swarms (there seem to have been a recent post here???) might fall into the same category of problem??? I do know that one of my 'experienced' clients here reported to me that he had picked up at least one swarm with a very significant varroa infestation. He pretty quickly caught on to the need to 'delouse' small swarms at the time he placed them in a box.
     
  12. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    That is probably the best time to do it--before there is any brood, where the new generation of mites can develop, hidden and protected, on a developing new generation of bees.

    Did he say what method he used for the "delousing" and how effective it was?
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    he didn't tell me the product he used but I don't think it was anything you might classify as 'organic'. I assume he obtained the product from Dadant. he did say that after treatment the bees took right off to growing.