Three hives only one "good" one.

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

Susan1

House Bee
Joined
Jul 3, 2010
Messages
267
Reaction score
49
Location
Co Antrim
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
3
As the title says I have three hives two in their third year, one bought last year. One of the hives in its third year is thriving. Queen laying well, brood and eggs present and has loads of bees - actually keeping an eye on it as although I see no queen cells they could maybe be needing more space soon. I have three supers on it and there are still frames with space for laying.
The other two hives have queens who are laying - I have seen one of the queens but not the other one but there are eggs. However they do not seem to be building up so well and I am not sure why. They were not massive after winter and they have grown but not to the same extent as the large hive. I am thinking it may just be this horrible weather affecting them but why then not the "good" hive?
I had noticed chalk brood in the younger hive but changes the brood box and it seems to have disappeared almost.
I am tempted to re-queen both or just one to see if it helps, but another part of me says do not mess about with them and give it another week or so. Also should I just add another brood box to the good hive or maybe think of splitting it.
I definitely need to re-join the Beekeeping association as I lost contact with work, covid etc. I am a member of the BBKA and read everything but sometimes you just need someone to actually talk to about bees.
 

Murox

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
3,939
Reaction score
2,022
Location
Campbeltown Scotland
Have you tested for varroa - sugar roll / alcohol wash. Did you treat for varroa last autumn/winter? you said they have not developed well since winter.
Hives do vary of course though as you identified you need to find the reason why - chalk brood can be transient.
The horrible weather will contribute to the number of bees in the hive doing very little, if you split there's no guarantee of getting a good mated queen if you go that route I would buy in a mated queen and make up a nucleus (don't loose your honey to a swarm!)

If the health of your hive is questionable invite a SBI to come and take a look.
 

Nannysbees

Field Bee
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
986
Reaction score
726
Location
Barry
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
2
As the title says I have three hives two in their third year, one bought last year. One of the hives in its third year is thriving. Queen laying well, brood and eggs present and has loads of bees - actually keeping an eye on it as although I see no queen cells they could maybe be needing more space soon. I have three supers on it and there are still frames with space for laying.
The other two hives have queens who are laying - I have seen one of the queens but not the other one but there are eggs. However they do not seem to be building up so well and I am not sure why. They were not massive after winter and they have grown but not to the same extent as the large hive. I am thinking it may just be this horrible weather affecting them but why then not the "good" hive?
I had noticed chalk brood in the younger hive but changes the brood box and it seems to have disappeared almost.
I am tempted to re-queen both or just one to see if it helps, but another part of me says do not mess about with them and give it another week or so. Also should I just add another brood box to the good hive or maybe think of splitting it.
I definitely need to re-join the Beekeeping association as I lost contact with work, covid etc. I am a member of the BBKA and read everything but sometimes you just need someone to actually talk to about bees.
Same with us we have a"golden hive" incredible, had a few different queens in residence and each one has had super calm workers, no swarm prep and produced the most honey out of the four hives. Lost a queen out of the other hive, bought a new one which didn't survive, so let them raise their own, which knocked them back. The other hive had to split as we caught them just before they were going to do a bunk, waiting for them to requeen so that knocked that hive back. The fourth catching up now, had chalkbrood, still some evidence, but better, so we have hope with that one for some honey. All different, that's what makes beekeeping so interesting 🐝🐝🐝🐝
 

Erichalfbee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
28,888
Reaction score
10,152
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
9
As the title says I have three hives two in their third year, one bought last year. One of the hives in its third year is thriving. Queen laying well, brood and eggs present and has loads of bees - actually keeping an eye on it as although I see no queen cells they could maybe be needing more space soon. I have three supers on it and there are still frames with space for laying.
The other two hives have queens who are laying - I have seen one of the queens but not the other one but there are eggs. However they do not seem to be building up so well and I am not sure why. They were not massive after winter and they have grown but not to the same extent as the large hive. I am thinking it may just be this horrible weather affecting them but why then not the "good" hive?
I had noticed chalk brood in the younger hive but changes the brood box and it seems to have disappeared almost.
I am tempted to re-queen both or just one to see if it helps, but another part of me says do not mess about with them and give it another week or so. Also should I just add another brood box to the good hive or maybe think of splitting it.
I definitely need to re-join the Beekeeping association as I lost contact with work, covid etc. I am a member of the BBKA and read everything but sometimes you just need someone to actually talk to about bees.
It's July. Queens are likely slowing down now so those colonies are not going to build up any more.
I would test them for nosema.
It's a very quick test with a microscope (along with a refractometer every beekeeper should have one. A simple one is not expensive)
 

Gilberdyke John

Queen Bee
Joined
May 5, 2013
Messages
4,717
Reaction score
1,015
Location
HU15 East Yorkshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
10
It's July. Queens are likely slowing down now so those colonies are not going to build up any more.
I would test them for nosema.
It's a very quick test with a microscope (along with a refractometer every beekeeper should have one. A simple one is not expensive)
To add to Dani's comment about cheap microscopes. I bought one at a car boot sale for under a tenner.
I spent more buying a box of glass slides and cover slips.
 

Attachments

  • 20220707_083249.jpg
    20220707_083249.jpg
    948.4 KB · Views: 6

enrico

Queen Bee
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
10,773
Reaction score
1,980
Location
Somerset levels
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
5
The rule of thumb is three hives equals one good, one medium and one poor! ( Speaking about honey production)
Always seems close to that for me!
 

Susan1

House Bee
Joined
Jul 3, 2010
Messages
267
Reaction score
49
Location
Co Antrim
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
3
Thank you for all the replies. I have checked for varroa and they are fine. I did treat in winter. I can get a microscope and can check for Nosema. May just give them another week and see how they get on. The large hive I have decided to leave well alone as they still have space and I see no signs of swarming. I have in the past messed about to much with hives and ended up doing no good. I am not saying I will ignore them just watch and wait for another week.
 

drex

Queen Bee
***
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
3,415
Reaction score
973
Location
N.E. Essex
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
16
Nosema is endemic. If you test enough bees in any hive you will find Nosema.
It is not simply a matter of squashing bees guts, and looking at a slide. You need a bit of experience to determine how heavy any infection may be.
 

Erichalfbee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
28,888
Reaction score
10,152
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
9
Nosema is endemic. If you test enough bees in any hive you will find Nosema.
It is not simply a matter of squashing bees guts, and looking at a slide. You need a bit of experience to determine how heavy any infection may be.
Yes but if you have every bee on your “quick squash” slide awash with nosema and a hive not thriving I think you can make some assumptions
 

Latest posts

Top