three hives in a row/ middle one weak

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by adamant, May 10, 2012.

  1. adamant

    adamant Member

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    the middle hive is very weak! to the point that its very light. the rest has drawn out comd this one nothing in the honey super. should i re queen? if so whats the process?
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    My first instinct would be to find out why it's weak.
    You can certainly give it a boost with a frame of capped brood from each of your other strong hives, or switch hive positions during the middle of the day with one of your strongest hives.
    I would begin by doing a thorough inspection to determine why it is lagging the others.
     

  3. adamant

    adamant Member

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    Perry thank you. Give me somethings you would look for? Eggs?brood? Queen?
     
  4. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    adamant.....
    it would help us if you describe in detail why you think it's weak, your setup, how old is the queen, was this hive a package or nuc from this year or a previous year? what is the hive's temperament? perry's right though about an thorough inspection, and yes you need to look for eggs, larvae, and a nice brood pattern on your frames to start.
     
  5. adamant

    adamant Member

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    Hive was bought off a guy last season. Not sure on how old the queen is. I over wintered them in two deeps and fed them all summer into the fall. There just does not seem like there is many bees in there un like the other two hives.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    and tell how you are doing things... like have you been feeding... how often have you been doing inspections... that kind of thing.
     
  7. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    okay, hive purchased last season, unsure of the age of the queen, fed all summer into fall and overwintered, that's a start.
    as tec said how you are doing things, and inspections, help us 'see through your eyes' :?:
    a little more detail.:grin:
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Brood pattern, start with that. It may be something as simple as the queen is winding down in her career, in which case the bees will replace her, or you may wish to do so by purchasing one. If the brood pattern is good, look at something else. Mite count, any idea how heavy the mite load is on this hive? Uncap a few drone cells in various spots, any mites on the white drone pupae? Is there something that is preventing the queen from access to empty comb to lay in, a pollen barrier (tec term) so to speak?
     
  9. adamant

    adamant Member

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    thankswill
    do a total inspection saturday
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    do tell us what you see...

    at this point I would suspect a failing queen (no real evidence but just a guess)... when you do the inspection pay close attention to what kind of pattern the current queen is laying.

    during the inspection if you sense the hive is very weak adding a frame of brood gives them enough of a boost so they can survive a bit longer until some remedy is decided upon.
     
  11. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    After checking the brood pattern as already indicated, keep in mind drifting. Bees have a tendency to drift to the outermost hives. If you have a good brood pattern, I would do as was suggested by Perry--switch hive positions.
     
  12. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    in general 3 primary reasons for a weak hive (one, a combination, or all of the below):
    1>beekeep 'error' (and we all make errors:grin:)
    2>queen
    3>disease and pests

    i am guessing with tecumseh, a failing queen. the frames you will be looking at saturday will tell you what's going on, and also as perry suggested check for mites. while you are in there poking around, look to see if the bees have constructed any queen cells, and where these are located.

    hope this helps you, post back, describe your frames as we have said and tell us "what you see".
    don't worry, and have a great weekend!