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therustler 

New Bee
Joined
Sep 11, 2009
Messages
5
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Location
Co Kilkenny Ireland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
18
Hi Guys, Im new to this forum and to bee-keeping, although my father kept bees when i was but a lad i find it to be a great place for hints and tips. I Acquired 2 x 8 frame nuclei last august/September. They were already fed on sugared water when i got them so maybe it was later in the year. I transferred them to National Brood Box after a few weeks,in the mean time i have discovered it was a mistake to do so. One Colony over wintered very well, the other one did badly, in earlier inspections there were no brood and very little bees, and no queens to be seen in either hive, although i knew there was a queen in 1 with the presence of brood,i was late feeding them, it was 2nd week in April,and at that i only fed the weak hive. Almost immediately after feeding them say a week or so, eggs and brood appeared , the other colony was doing its thing without any need for interference apart form the odd check. Later i added a frame of brood to the weaker colony from the strong colony and all the bees seem to have emerged from that frame and new brood has been laid . My questions.The strong Colony/ I added another Brood Box full of undrawn foundation / how do i encourage them to draw comb on these as their brood box is brimming over and i want to encourage the queen up into it to lay and multiply my bees. The weak colony/ Do i reduce the frames with dummy boards to help this colony along as well as feeding them to encourage more production,they still are only doing midling well or would i add more brood from the strong colony, any hints welcome.
 

weatherman1200 

New Bee
Joined
Dec 6, 2008
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Location
Paulton Banes
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
11
put 1 frame of brood in the new broodbox and put it on the strong hive give frames of brood to the weak hive
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
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15,628
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Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
If you have a completely full box you could increase by splitting that colony. Honey crop would be seriously affected, but seems fairly non-evident at present anyway.

You still need to help that small colony by the sounds of things, and the larger colony is not that strong for this time of the season. There may be an underlying health reason for this. Nosema, varroa all in control? They may also be a non-prolific strain.

Whenever a colony has too much empty space, it will slow brooding as it needs to keep the brood nest so much warmer and heat is lost to the remainder of the space(larger proportion of outside surface of brood nest the smaller it is). So reduce the space as much as practicality allows and add frames of foundation as and when required. As Weatherman says, moving some brood will encourage her to go up. More than one frame might be better, so as to shorten the nest downstairs and extend it above - remembering the heat flow problem. If they are collecting enough nectar and pollen for a surplus in and around the brood nest, they should not need further feeding, but....depending on strength and forage available that can change quickly.

You are learning that strong colonies are far better than weak ones. Move on from here and get them as strong as possible for the winter. If they take off, you may be able to split later in the year (as in - two queens will lay more brood than one, later in the year)with a view to re-uniting some before the winter, so as to take strong colonies into the winter.

Regards, RAB
 
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