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Problem Number 2. Please help

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keithgrimes 

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Neither the ten week course I took or the books I have read have tackled this scenario, so please be patient. On June 27 my only colony swarmed. It was a five frame nuc that I had hived six days before. I caught the swarm and hived it on the same site. Thst was probably my big mistake, but in my defence I had an experienced beekeeper with me that day. I inspected yesterday and both colonies are doing poorly. The donor colony has an opened QC but I haven't seen the queen. No sign of eggs/larvae. Only three frames of bees. The swarm hive has only two frames of bees, Queen seen but only a dozen or so uncapped larvae and some sealed brood, only a little comb drawn and next to no stores. Dead bees on the hive floor that have not been thrown out. Its almost like the colony has given up. Over the last couple of weeks I have seen a lot more activity outside the donor hive than the swarm hive. I am surmising that a lot of the flying bees have returned to the original hive, although at the time I thought the queen would have kept them with her. I am of a mind to re-unite the colonies.
Should I -
1. Re-unite now (assuming I can find the new queen and despatch her)
2. Wait and see what happens
3. Give up beekeeping
 

kazmcc 

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Aw, Keith, I hope this doesn't make you give up bee keeping :( You sound really down about this. I don't know what you would do yet, but is there not someone with loads of experience who could guide you through this first hurdle? We all have to learn, some of us have a steeper learning curve than others. I am sure you will get lots of advice here, and I hope it works out :)
 

terryme 

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:( your predicament sounds a lot like the problems we are having so we can sympathise :) DON'T GIVE UP. It may not seem like it but the bees need you. We will surely look back and maybe not laugh but at least we may have pity for our poor inexperienced selves. Can you contact the person who tutored the course you did? I sometimes feel like I must be a nuisance 'baby' pestering our 'grown-up' bee keeper but they are always so kind. The only stupid question is the one you don't ask, so bee brave! :)
:grouphug:
 
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Silly Bee 

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From my limited knowledge.

The doner hive may have a new queen that has yet to start laying, assuming she has been mated.

Swarmed on 27 June, she still has time to get into gear.

The swarm hive with a queen might be a bit tired, and could account for why she was replaced.

You have larva, do you have any eggs?

I'd be tempted to sweep out the dead bees, and make sure you don't have any wasps raiding what little honey you may have.

I'd also put on a feeder on both hives and try and let them build a bit of stores.
 

mark s 

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as a complete and utter 1st year beek id re-unite but thats most probably the wrong thing to do,but there will be more experienced beeks along soon to give you the right advice,keep your pecker up m8:)
 

Onge 

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Looks like you got a crap nuc.

Hiving a swarm on the same sight is fine.

Go with option 2 and see what happens, I've had queens take just over a month to see eggs.

Stay with beekeeping its great and It can only get getter from here. :)
 

milkermel 

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sit tight, its the weekend and all the full time beekers are out playing with their hives. I had a panic in may and the first thing to do is DONT PANIC!!. can you not contact your friend who helped?? My queens took 3 weeks to start laying so may be hope yet. Like i said there will be someone along soon who willhave loads more knowledge then me and they always are willing to help.
 

Midland Beek 

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First, it is difficult to give good advice without seeing your bees.

I am inclined to think that if you are sure you have a queenright stock - with eggs, larvae and capped brood - then it is wise to nurse it, ie. feed it to try and get it up to strength.

As for the broodless one, I would just be inclined to await the outcome. If you get eggs and worker brood and all seems okay, then i would start feeding that one as well.

I would not be quick to unite these two colonies.
 

Rosti 

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Keith, I go with Onge's rec (2). It may take some time to resolve/confirm, but you have a good month before you need to consider a re-unite.
Most beeks operate from one site, most beeks who are lucky enough to catch their own swarm house it the only place they can - same site it came from, nothing wrong there.
 

oliver90owner 

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The biggest threat at this time of year is wasps.

Both those colonies are wasp fodder.

I didn't realise (much earlier) how small these colonies are.

IF they are that small, I would have united them long ago. All nuclei sized colonies should be able to repel wasps but smaller than that is very risky IMO.

Regards, RAB
 

beebreeder 

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Totally agree with RAB on this one, wasps are a real nuisance around my bees this year, have entance blocks in on full stocks and that is early ( Last year mid august before i saw many wasps) feed at dusk and keep minimal entance for the bees to defend after uniting.
kev
 

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