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jasper

NZBF What to feed a weak cut out hive with almost no stores?

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I have a very weak hive I cut out of a hollow punga log about 8 weeks ago.

I rubber banded the brood comb and honey stores into 3/4 frames and gave them some drawn 3/4 plastic frames to play with.

There was obvious varroa so they have had 1 treatment of apistan.

I had been feeding them heavy sugar syrup in a frame feeder.

They have moved off the old comb and are clustering on 3 frames.

They have only about a 1/4 of a frame of capped honey

They have brood and on warm days are bringing in pollen.

I have just got a Hive DR top feeder so I can feed them without disturbing the cluster on cold days.

My question is what should I be feeding such a weak hive? Heavy syrup or lighter to encourage laying?

Edited by jasper

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I'd put raw sugar directly on a bit of paper sitting on top of the frames

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What frazzledfozzle said - internal feeder would be better right now.  You could also try a supplement to boost brood and general health with Vitahive or Agrisea.

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. I like top feeders but weak hives often ignore them completely. Ideally you would give it a a few frames of honey from something else but failing that I would give a heavy syrup in an internal feeder but not too much and not too often. Remember that processing sugar ages bees and the bees you have need to last until spring. I am not a fan of dry sugar in any form. I'm not sure how a weak hive would go on fondant. Fondant is used extensively in other parts of the world but apart from in Queen cages you hardly see it here. I'm going to check out its use with some English beekeeping friends in a few weeks. One big advantage of fondant over syrup is that it doesn't encourage robbing. You could also invert your sugar syrup which is supposed to make life easier for the bees. I have tried some and to be honest couldn't see any difference but there are people that swear by it. Personally I wouldn't bother trying to cut out and save a wild hive as I just don't think it's worth it but good on you for trying and let us know how it goes.

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Opened up hive today and had good look through. No larvae. Small patch of eggs some cells with more than one egg. 

Sadly the hive looks like it isn't going to make it.

 

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have you seen the queen?

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1 hour ago, tom sayn said:

have you seen the queen?

No I have never seen her- but I know she was there before because she had previously laid worker brood in drawn out frames I gave  the  hive.

 

 

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you know about the possibility of laying workers developing in the absence of a queen , right? in rare cases it can happen very fast. 

the multiple eggs could be an indication. are the eggs dead center in the cells or irregular?

(oh, and sorry about the "funny face" comment earlier. was a mistake)

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11 hours ago, tom sayn said:

you know about the possibility of laying workers developing in the absence of a queen , right? in rare cases it can happen very fast. 

the multiple eggs could be an indication. are the eggs dead center in the cells or irregular?

(oh, and sorry about the "funny face" comment earlier. was a mistake)

Yes i do think it's a laying worker. If the weather fines up over the weekend I will try to get a photo. 

 

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