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We have two hives, both "new" last November .. Currently both with 3 x 3/4 boxes - 2 brood & 1 honey box separated by a queen excluder.

A check yesterday shows that Hive 1 [H1] has very little if any brood, and no larvae, in the brood boxes although lots of honey & pollen | nectar ..

 

Hive 2 [H2] has 7 frames of brood [with larvae] in the bottom box - I did not get to check the 2nd brood box and will need to wait for the weather to turn now ..

 

Comments please .. do I transfer brood or find a new queen ?

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Posted (edited)

If it was my issue I'd take the easy way & combine them for the winter.  Welcome to the forum !!

Edited by yesbut
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2 hours ago, dacahill said:

Comments please .. do I transfer brood or find a new queen ?

 

To know that we would need a photo of whatever brood is there, because there are several different things can cause this and each has to be dealt with differently, a brood pic will help with diagnosis.

 

Or, you could take Yesbuts advice and combine it but if you do ask here first, there are right and wrong ways of doing that. Worst case you could also lose the good queen so best to check everything out before doing it.

 

That's why beekeeping is so fascinating, so much to learn.

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Thank you - I also have another issue and the reason I stopped checking Hive 2 [H2] after the 1st | bottom box ..

 

Unfortunately I did not secure the top cover properly on the honey box I had moved, and only noticed it after half the local bees did.

 

I put the hive back together quickly, sprayed some water over it and put a wet sheet over the front ..

 

Lots of dead bees this morning - and the sheet is back as I think that the robbing is | was continuing ..

 

I'll hopefully look at H2 again later this week and take some photo's [all brood, some brood, ?] along with seeing what's in the top brood box ..

 

I suppose you'll also be after, perhaps more so, photo's of any brood on the Hive 1 that looks empty ?

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Most importantly, have you narrowed the entrance down on both hives - if not, that is a do now job, as you know you have robbing going on.

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Yes, don't worry about pics if robbing is happening, main priority is stopping the robbing.

 

As per Sailabee, reduce the entrance right down. A couple of inches wide maybe.

 

Have the hives been treated for varroa mites recently, and if so, how?

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No treatment since spring [which was bayvarol as provided with the bees | NUC]  ..

 

Last time I looked inside H1 was early Feb when it looked great [to me] ..

 

Main purpose in checking the hives over the weekend was to ascertain if there was honey spare and health-check of bees ..

 

######ed that up !

 

I have some Apitraz ready to pop in once the honey situation was addressed ..

 

Last Friday I was very happy - today, thinking I'd be better off collecting matchbooks!

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Don't worry the first year or two of beekeeping can be a rollercoaster. Mistakes, and learning.

 

I asked about mite treatment because a high load of mites can lead to the hive being robbed. A high load of mites can also lead to the other problems you see (little brood in one of the hives).

 

In NZ, bees need to be treated for mites spring, and autumn. Mine were treated last spring, then the last ones to be treated this autumn were treated just under a week ago, and they had very high mite loads indeed, near fatal levels. So it may be the same for you. I would prioritise putting the mite treatment in. Don't wait for good weather, just do it. The mites will do far more harm than opening the hive on a bad day.

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Understood, however I am concerned with the apparent lack of brood to care for .. ?

I think I caused the robbing via the open honey super [which was on the "other" hive - H2] ..

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About the brood or lack of, without seeing the hive or at the least a pic of the brood, we really got no idea what's up with that, or how to help.

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Understood - hopefully things settle down tomorrow [?!] .. never seen so many dead bees!

 

Once I can open the hives I'll take some pictures and post them up [?]

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6 hours ago, dacahill said:

Thank you - I also have another issue and the reason I stopped checking Hive 2 [H2] after the 1st | bottom box ..

 

Unfortunately I did not secure the top cover properly on the honey box I had moved, and only noticed it after half the local bees did.

 

I put the hive back together quickly, sprayed some water over it and put a wet sheet over the front ..

 

Lots of dead bees this morning - and the sheet is back as I think that the robbing is | was continuing ..

 

I'll hopefully look at H2 again later this week and take some photo's [all brood, some brood, ?] along with seeing what's in the top brood box ..

 

I suppose you'll also be after, perhaps more so, photo's of any brood on the Hive 1 that looks empty ?

where in wellington?

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39 minutes ago, dacahill said:

Understood - hopefully things settle down tomorrow [?!] .. never seen so many dead bees!

 

Once I can open the hives I'll take some pictures and post them up [?]

Make sure you keep the boxes covered when you pull the hive apart.

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Trevor makes a good point. In fact a cold miserable day with a light rain would be a better thing than a good day from a robbing point of view.

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2 hours ago, dacahill said:

Understood - hopefully things settle down tomorrow [?!] .. never seen so many dead bees!

 

Once I can open the hives I'll take some pictures and post them up [?]

A screaming wind is another good day to open hives if they are subject to robbing .

Bees are inside the hives sulking .

They can be pretty towie with all the wind but they are pretty towie with robbing anyway and a full suit with gloves is a good idea .

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, tommy dave said:

where in wellington?

Karori

1 hour ago, kaihoka said:

A screaming wind is another good day to open hives if they are subject to robbing .

Bees are inside the hives sulking .

They can be pretty towie with all the wind but they are pretty towie with robbing anyway and a full suit with gloves is a good idea .

I would have thought so - that was Wellington on Sunday .. but them bees did not seem too bothered by it.

.. maybe I just had my bees grumpy, and a lot more as well.

Things still seems a little busy although there are [or seem to be] fewer dead bees .. top entrance is blocked and lower is around 10 -20 mm .. Leave them to deal with it or .. ? 100_1439.thumb.JPG.49caffac3ee8592f7c12d242b8012d3c.JPG

Edited by dacahill
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Back again ..

 

I popped open the "robbed" hive [H2] and looked at [& took photos of] the frames in the lower box ..

 

The freeloaders were starting to reappear so I'll look at the top [2nd] brood box tomorrow ..

 

https://dclcomputerservices-my.sharepoint.com/:f:/g/personal/info_service_co_nz/Euq9V_AoSjxNmhW15H4ZB-wBxWhiaJIF2l2wo7r9XUWIFg?e=aDOO10


 

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Someone who knows more than me will be along soon, but to me there may well be a queen, but her ability to lay will be suppressed because of the lack of honey near the brood.

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Excellent pics Dacahill.

 

Some of the pics show young brood, and even eggs. So even though you did not see her, somewhere in there is a queen, laying eggs.

 

There was little obvious evidence of varroa mites, I just saw one damaged bee, so although treatment should be given this autumn, it is not absolutely urgent.

 

Just restrict the entrance to a size they can easily guard, and all will be well.

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Thank you ..

 

Those photos are of the hive that I thought was okay [H2] - not the "queen-less" one ..

 

I will take some more photos tomorrow of the 2nd brood box [in H2] and then, time permitting, photos of the 1st & 2nd boxes in the [possible] queen-less hive [H1] ..

 

I've blocked of the top entrances and have the honey-super well covered this time so hopefully they'll all settle down quickly ..

 

Nice to know I didn't kill they off .. !!

More photos - these are of the 2nd brood box on the 2nd hive ..

 

https://dclcomputerservices-my.sharepoint.com/:f:/g/personal/info_service_co_nz/EkOgjXCOjNZIrnOJTluRDnMBbsVMU_kRuCb8tJfmuRoNeQ?e=GC23fV

 

I'll look at taking photos of the hive I think is "queenless" over the weekend ..

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A small number of photos of the lower brood box on the 1st hive [that I though was queenless] ..

 

https://dclcomputerservices-my.sharepoint.com/:f:/g/personal/info_service_co_nz/EqoNld8aRRxNm9aNUGY9XX4BKgRGhufgWL_GRlSEB1jFKQ?e=xwNF9D

 

I stopped taking photos with the "next" frame as there were grubs .. meaning a queen was hanging around roughly 3 - 4 days ago ? ..

 

My thoughts now are to put in apitraz, remove the queen excluder, and leave the bees to winter over in the 2 brood boxes with the honey super up top ..

 

I would do the same with the 2nd hive [photos already provided] ..

 

Thoughts, comments .. all welcome ..

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Sorry, not enough definition to be able to tell.

 

However have a look at the eggs, if there is just one per cell, and it's bottom middle of each cell, you have a laying queen rather than laying workers.

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1 minute ago, Alastair said:

Sorry, not enough definition to be able to tell.

 

However have a look at the eggs, if there is just one per cell, and it's bottom middle of each cell, you have a laying queen rather than laying workers.

 

So, back in to the hive and more photos would be best .. ? ..

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Not needed, just have a look at the eggs and see if there is one per cell in the middle of the bottom of the cell, in which case you will know you have a laying queen. If there are many eggs per cell there are laying workers instead of a queen.

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8 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Not needed, just have a look at the eggs and see if there is one per cell in the middle of the bottom of the cell, in which case you will know you have a laying queen. If there are many eggs per cell there are laying workers instead of a queen.

 

Do "laying workers" eggs become single grubs ? .. [i.e. 1 will hatch & grow] ?

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