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One of my hives seems to be in real trouble, I think the other 2 hives are using it as a storehouse. I placed staples on March 5th at which time (like the other 2) it had a full box of stores, Queen was still laying and all seemed well, checked again a fortnight later and did not detect any problems.

Yesterday however I spotted a wasp exiting the hive, which I killed, but I then found a carpet of dead bees on the HD baseP1010874.jpg.677908f0b341b779f13fd79aea19ad24.jpg

 

On further inspection there was no new brood or eggs and what was there looks unhealthy and no stores whatsoever

 

P1010878.jpg.14531d4e7f2a5e9c4baf330f1b534319.jpg

 

the bees were mostly clustered in one corner of the boxP1010875.jpg.5e4c597dcf68015adc78cb4bfaaa36aa.jpg

 

 

 

P1010887.jpg.dec76067fd1708a9f1e34d654962f2df.jpg

 

But I did spot the queen so am hoping all is not lost

I gave them 3 frames of honey which was all gone this morning though suspect it was robbed again

I have now made up some sugar syrup at 2:1 which I will give when it cools but was wondering if I should close the hive right up in order to make sure they get the benefit?

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Posted (edited)

You could close up two discs and reduce the other 

My hives are in a constant cloud of bees trying to get in 

Edited by kaihoka
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The Q 's a dud. You don't mention how many bees there are, the only hope you've got is requeen with a mated Q from somewhere, along with a frame of capped brood , feed them something or other (I'd use honey frames from one of your other hives ) and block the entrance down to about one bee width. And hope. 

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13 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

You could close up two discs and reduce the other 

My hives are in a constant cloud of bees trying to get in 

That was already the case, if you look at first pic the outer discs are closed and centre on minimum

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Posted (edited)

robbing is not the cause of the weak hive, the hive is being robbed because its weak.

 

make sure to find the cause the brood on the picture looks diseased. (looks like mites but might be not).

 

feeding of sugar only encourages the robbing. close the entrance to one beespace and find the reason.

Edited by Christi An
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15 minutes ago, yesbut said:

The Q 's a dud. You don't mention how many bees there are, the only hope you've got is requeen with a mated Q from somewhere, along with a frame of capped brood , feed them something or other (I'd use honey frames from one of your other hives ) and block the entrance down to about one bee width. And hope. 

Quite a few bees at the moment though I am expecting that to reduce quite quickly (they are very lethargic)

The Queen is from a swarm I caught last year so have no idea about her provenance, though I took a split from her this spring and that is thriving

4 minutes ago, Christi An said:

robbing is not the cause of the weak hive, the hive is being robbed because its weak.

 

make sure to find the cause the brood on the picture looks diseased. (might be mites might be not).

 

feeding of sugar only encourages the robbing. close the entrance to one beespace and find the reason.

Alcohol wash when staples went in showed 3% I will do another and see. No signs of DWS , I looked in some of the capped cells and found dead bees almost ready to emerge but no mites

 

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Probably only needed a part frame of honey.  Too small a hive to look after 3 frames of honey.  Not many dead bees (maybe more outside)- probably not a great hive when it got robbed. Maybe a failing queen... 

Too save the queen = cage queen, add one frame of brood and one of honey in this box.  Swap positions with the strongest hive you have.  Add honey to 'fixed' hive as it requires it.  

Probably not worth the effort.  

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If it were me....I'd move the hive to another spot preferably off-site but if not possible then at least 10 metres away and face the entrance in another direction....and reduce the entrance down to one bee width and definitely do not feed them syrup or give them honey.   You need to stop the robbing first.   Then, if that eases off try feeding them with a ziplock bag and some syrup in it and a pinhole in the bag that they can access.  That should help.  And then you really need to reassess the Queen, she could be stuffed and hence no fresh brood, or, they've come under sustained robbing pressure and she has stopped laying due to that.  When the bees are in this state then tend to bunch together around any brood and ignore the robbing chaos around them but do nothing.  Even given doing the above is it marginal whether they will get through, so if you are determined to get them through you could add some bees and brood from another hive once they've stabilised.  If you do add bees and brood, you may need to drop the Queen in a cage, unless the original bee numbers outweigh the new bee numbers, as the new bees may assassinate her otherwise.

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Honestly, I'd squeeze the queen, bang the bees out and put the brood in the freezer. 

 

You are far better off making a new split from something strong and quiet next November. 

 

Poke a match into that brood and see what you pull out . Does not look unhealthy to me, but rather  a victim of being robbed and the consequences 

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@DuncanCook I had a queen stop laying because the hive was under such robbing  pressure .

I put the hive I a small nuc with an internal feeder and took it a few kilm down the road where there were no bees and the hive came right .

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Posted (edited)

@DuncanCookat this time of the year preferably you do not make trails.

I will give the honey frames back to the donor hive and after I kill the weak hive's queen i will shake the bees off 10m or so from the hives. Do not put anything where this weak hive was. And I will do this midday if it is sunny out there. The bees will find a hive to join and if the brood is healthy I will spread it between the other hives.

You do not want to enter winter with a weak hive like that.

Edited by Kiwi Bee
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1 hour ago, M4tt said:

Honestly, I'd squeeze the queen, bang the bees out and put the brood in the freezer. 

 

You are far better off making a new split from something strong and quiet next November. 

 

Poke a match into that brood and see what you pull out . Does not look unhealthy to me, but rather  a victim of being robbed and the consequences 

That is pretty much what I had decided although I was just going to let the hive fade rather than preempt it.

Very first thing I did was the matchsticks, no roping whatsoever I am glad to say

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11 hours ago, DuncanCook said:

That is pretty much what I had decided although I was just going to let the hive fade rather than preempt it.

Very first thing I did was the matchsticks, no roping whatsoever I am glad to say

It’s better to cull the hive yourself than let it fade away and cause a robbing risk. 

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My job for tomorrow, not looking forward to it though

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1 hour ago, DuncanCook said:

My job for tomorrow, not looking forward to it though

You should be.  This has the potential to be one of your greatest learning seasons.

Remember to take lots of photos so we can help with the analysis.

 

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