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I need advice as my bees are so quiet


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Bit more info would be useful. If you have a nuc or hive that was picked up during the day time, this is normal. The bulk of your bees will be nurse bees and will not fly for a week or three. The flight bees would all have been out when the hive was picked up.

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Bit more info would be useful. If you have a nuc or hive that was picked up during the day time, this is normal. The bulk of your bees will be nurse bees and will not fly for a week or three. The flight bees would all have been out when the hive was picked up.

 

I picked up the hive with bees at night time some six weeks ago

the comb inside has not increased since then and the bees look healthy enough as far as i can tell

had a bit of bother with wasps in the hive but I moved the hive and made the entrance hole smaller but the bees dont seem to be gaurding the entrance ?

 

I have a top bar hive

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Is that all the bees? Looks like they are seriously under populated. They wont survive like that because there are not enough foragers to get food and not enough house bees to keep the brood warm, etc. What you need is to quickly introduce a whole lot more bees from another hive, BUT

 

it also looks queenless to me. No sign of any brood in those photos

 

Where did you get them from, a beekeeper?

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To me it seems a very small number of bees and no honey. Is there any stored honey or nectar? If not and they are not foraging, you urgently need to feed them.

Have you seen a queen?

Edit: Luvbees beat me to it. I agree. More bees required asap.

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Just to give you some idea, a normal nuc, or starter hive, consists of a queen and five langstroth frames covered in bees with 2 or 3 frames of brood and the rest as food for them, ie honey or pollen. The point is , that is the minimum number of bees. Looks like yours may be a queenless swarm that has moved into your topbar, with less than one frame of bees

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As above, too small Im afraid. Hope you didn't pay much for the bees. To add, the comb is not built in line with the top bars, making it impossible to inspect. It's kinda almost too late to be starting a new hive anyway. If you can get a strong nuc in there you might be okay but to be honest Id just let em dwindle and start again in spring. Sorry mate.... One bonus though is now that you have had bees in there it will smell quite enticing for any swarms that pass by next spring. However I would scrape off that comb and have a look at putting starter strips in there.

Also, top bars really do need side bars and bottom bars to comply with legal requirements. Im pretty sure there is another thread around here about that but Ive never read it as I dont have a TBH.

See if you can sell the empty hive and start again with a couple of langstroth hives in spring.

Just my opinion, others may disagree....

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i would check to see if there is a queen. if there isn't kill it or let it die.

if there is a queen, putting some bees into it and some feed could save it.

 

also i would be inclined to inspect the comb closely and check for any dead brood.

i don't think someones stripped all the comb, it looks like someone has had a failed attempt to get it going. two failures in a row could mean a disease problem.

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My thanks to you all for your imput

 

this hive was populated last year and the bees never made it over winter

I picked this tb hive up and bought a queen in a wee box and a box full of bees and put them in but there are less bees everyweek

I think now I will let them run their course and begin again next year if they dont make it as suggested

I will build frames to acheive legal requirements.

But

If I got a queen and some more bees what would I feed them ? should I put put them in and close off the entrance and give them food and water for a few days

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My thanks to you all for your imput

 

this hive was populated last year and the bees never made it over winter

I picked this tb hive up and bought a queen in a wee box and a box full of bees and put them in but there are less bees everyweek

I think now I will let them run their course and begin again next year if they dont make it as suggested

I will build frames to acheive legal requirements.

But

If I got a queen and some more bees what would I feed them ? should I put put them in and close off the entrance and give them food and water for a few days

Can I suggest before you have "another go" you find either a club to join or a mentor, I'm not being rude but speaking from experience, the TBH and being barefoot does not make a beekeeper.

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Can I suggest before you have "another go" you find either a club to join or a mentor, I'm not being rude but speaking from experience, the TBH and being barefoot does not make a beekeeper.

I have to agree , I have tried to get help from the local bee club here but as soon as i mention a topbar hive they go quiet, When I tried to get help from the Christchurch bee people thet were not interested in haveing anything to do with topbar hives and instead offfered to sell me and set me up with the langstroth system.

 

I have no intention of makeing money or collecting honey (well maybe a wee bit of honey) and was impressed by all I have seen and heard about the TBH and its suitability for a backgarden hive to keeps bees to polinate etc

 

So I have been left on my own and the internet and a book ( the barefoot beekeeper)

 

If I could find someone to help me with this onsite that would be great but have had no joy.

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As you have discovered its not that easy, i think you have a combination of problems here a bad top bar set up with no starter strip/ frame, you shifted them way not far enough though night was the right idea if you had done it in small steps that would have been better. Did you do any varroa control last season?,

There is plenty of info on here for you on TBH, but personaly if i where you i would start with the lang then move to your top bar.

Have you registered your hive?

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I would suggest you have come to the right place for advice here. There are plenty of people keeping TBH here and loads of reading material on the forum. Don't give up because you are obviously keen. You just need the right direction. It has been said before, but I would suggest getting hold of 'Practical Beekeeping in New Zealand' and reading it. You will find it referred to on this website quite a bit, because it tells you what you need to know for beekeeping in NZ. Once you have your head around that, there are a couple more publications to move on to, but you will have a better knowledge and confidence to then move onto getting a strong nuc or an existing hive.

 

Beekeeping requires quite a bit of time and dedication

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As you have discovered its not that easy, i think you have a combination of problems here a bad top bar set up with no starter strip/ frame, you shifted them way not far enough though night was the right idea if you had done it in small steps that would have been better. Did you do any varroa control last season?,

There is plenty of info on here for you on TBH, but personaly if i where you i would start with the lang then move to your top bar.

Have you registered your hive?

 

never had it last season to do varroa control

 

info is great on websites but now i will just let it go it route and make a plan for next year frames and starter strips and a window

as for registering it I will do that next spring

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