No stores!

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Stiffy 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 11, 2009
Messages
2,285
Reaction score
8
Location
Kernow
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
50+
I called out to look at a friend’s bees earlier this week as he said that he had no brood and the bees were really lethargic. This was a swarm I gave him in June to start bee keeping with and as his only colony it had been building really well, he was at one time talking about adding a super. Anyway after quizzing him it sounded as if they had swarmed and he was now left with a much depleted colony. I took a frame of brood and eggs with me thinking that a queen check would be all that is needed and a possible re-queen next week.
On checking his hive there was really no brood.....not a single cell was occupied. The hive didn’t have eggs and absolutely zero stores but has approximatly 3 frames of bees.
I was a little shocked as he lives and has this single hive in what appears to be a really good area on the outskirts of a small town were there should be plenty for the bees to gather from.

I put in the frame of brood and eggs I had taken with me and we put some syrup on and I told him to keep the feeder topped up.

He was gutted at my diagnosis and asked if the colony is doomed, I must say that my initial reaction is that they are stuffed but said I would try my best to remedy the situation.

I did think that maybe I could give him one of my smaller colonies and combine but if here really is a shortage of forage for the bees this may just be throwing away another colony.
Apart from taking some more brood from my hives and leaving mine short I am at a loss on what to try next?

Any thoughts more than welcome????
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,747
Reaction score
165
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
Sometimes there is little one can do except unite. Nothing really flying today at all, so those with a fair amount of brood will have consumed a fair amount of stores. Looks like more of the same tomorrow.

Question is :when did it swarm, if it did? At least 2 1/2 weeks ago, or more if no capped brood. There should be a queen coming into lay soon or maybe withe weather we are getting, she will never get mated!!

Bees are going to need stores, one way or another and I presume your's are 'in the same boat' as his, from that perspective.

So first thing is to find if there is a queen and go from there. That should not take long if they were not absolutely on the brink of pegging through starvation!

With a queen and some TLC, it should at least occupy a nuc and have a chance.

Nothing further to add until further info except that one of your smaller colonies might benefit from some more bees if the weather actually ever improves.

At least there were no wasps in there!

Regards, RAB
 

Cazza 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 28, 2010
Messages
2,519
Reaction score
0
Location
Suffolk/Norfolk border
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
5 ish
I did think that maybe I could give him one of my smaller colonies and combine but if here really is a shortage of forage for the bees this may just be throwing away another colony.
QUOTE]

RAB has as usual covered things nicely.

It's unlikely that there is a shortage of forage in the area, more likely the terrible weather conditions that have reduced the stores.


Cazza
 

Stiffy 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 11, 2009
Messages
2,285
Reaction score
8
Location
Kernow
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
50+
I checked through the hive and didn’t see any sign of swarming but also didn’t find a queen. Not that I could see any, I am reluctant to over them to one of my apiaries in case there is a disease problem.

Hopefully I missed the queen and by adding some feed she may come back into lay. I am re-queening some Carnie hives over the next few weeks and may try adding one of the queens I remove if needed. The way carnies make brood I may be looking at splitting by the end of September as part of an AS

My apiary sites are at least 30 miles away and with thankfully with no rain to speak off today I managed to look through them and all appear to be doing well.
 

Latest posts

Top