Two hives: Can 1 be hungry and other full?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by CarrollwoodBees, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. CarrollwoodBees

    CarrollwoodBees New Member

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    Hi All,

    Have 2 hives in NW Hillsborough County. One is 2 mediums together (2med) the other 2 deeps (2deep).

    2med started as a medium-framed nuc in March. It is overflowing with bees on the outside. Only checked top box, but they had pulled comb or honey in 7 of 10. I added another medium, and am feeding until I can tell if they need it or not.

    2deep requeened itself in March. (I was trying to get a split by using the 2 brood chambers, but the split failed.) It had some frames with honey, so I left it on so the bees would use the honey, but now I can't remove it because it still has capped honey. Couple of years ago I had a starving hive that had capped honey. I've read that's common even tho it makes no sense. Anyway, it is sucking 1:1 syrup like they've been starving. (1 pint in a day.) In addition to boardman feeder, I added a top with a hole to feed from top, too, when I opened the hive, saw lots of bees, but no loose honey. Saw a few bees with their heads deep in the comb (like pix I saw of starving bees). There is little activity on the outside of this hive.

    Both hives are in the same yard in a suburb.

    My question is if the busy hive is bringing in honey, why is the other hive hungry? I killed the pests, ants/SHBs/cane toad, so no predation. Now what? She's obviously laying, but are they not collecting?
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a queenless/broodless hive will tend to forage little and a starving hive may simply not have the energy to forage at all.

    actually no one can tell if a hive is or isn't bring in nectar simply by looking at the activity at the front door. a scaled hive or 'the splash test' is usually required to really know this particular detail.

    from reports of other central Florida beekeepers (Cracker bee for one) you have been in a dearth and those hive with queen problem and or little reserve you are lucky (or skilled) to bring them thru a dearth still alive.

    so I would guess (obviously don't absolutely know) that the difference you are seeing is between a well settle queen in a hive with significant stores vs a hive that has a list of issues. as I suggest previously if you brought this hive thru the dearth and still have a functioning queen in place then you have actually done a pretty good job.
     

  3. CarrollwoodBees

    CarrollwoodBees New Member

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    Thanks

    Thank you! I feel better now. This beekeeping thing has a long uphill learning curve. It's been 3 years, and I'm learning. I think if I can figure out when they're going to swarm, I'll finally get some honey.
     
  4. CarrollwoodBees

    CarrollwoodBees New Member

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    Good news, tecumseh, amazingly, you were right! ;>
    Now that the bees in the weak hive have been fed for a week, they are now all flying and active! Yeah! Maybe now they can pull in their own nectar. But I'll keep feeding til they don't take it anymore, probably til Sept. here in central florida.