Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hive inspection

   I moved my bees out to a farm/ranch nearby in a small valley that is much cooler and greener than my house. My neighbors were actually upset and several have asked us where the bees are. They missed them.
   The weather has been so dry, I was worried about them starving here. Now I am worried about them starving out there as well. My small hive isn't doing well at all. There seem to be a lot more bees than when we got them, but the brood pattern is very spotty and they have absolutely NO pollen or honey stored in the hive at all. I think it might be time to requeen them and bring them home so I can feed them.
   I know there is food available, they are on the edge of three alfalfa/clover fields that are in bloom. The big hive has honey and pollen stored. Not as much as I had hoped, but they still have some. I might not get any honey again this year. *sigh* So far the bees have only been an expense and I am getting frustrated. I am not about to give up on them, I just wish they would start to give back a little.
 This darn heat is really messing with everything this summer. I have not been able to plant much of a garden and much of what I did plant never came up. We are going to be out of town quite a bit this summer and it just wasn't worth replanting.
   Hope everyone else is having a better summer than we are.


  1. Darn. I'm sorry to hear that. Bees are so important. I'd actually like to get some myself one day.

  2. Is the larger hive robbing the weaker one? I have rotten luck with robbing especially when a weak hive is near one of my boomer hives. This was suppose to be my Summer when I began to see some real honey production but now due to this drought I am afraid to take what little the girls have put into surplus until I know they will be able to get the stores back up.

    Indeed this heat and drought just sucks.

  3. 45er, most of the time beekeeping is not so worrisome. It's actually pretty fun.

    PP, I was wondering if there was some robbing going on as well, but that still wouldn't explain the very poor brood pattern, would it? Once we get the new queen, we are going to move the little hive back home so if there is any robbing going on, that should cure the problem.

  4. Gracie - Sure it would because the queen would be constantly dodging robbers. Robber bees come in and kill anything that tries to stop them and sometimes will just kill anything that gets close. They also tear off the cappings and remove pollen as well and without pollen they have nothing to feed any emerging brood.

    I noticed today my strong hives are attacking the weaker ones. I have had very bad luck preventing robbing no matter what I try once it gets started. My only option maybe to move the weak nucs somewhere safe.

  5. Hrmmm. Interesting. I didn't know robbing could affect the brood pattern. I have already ordered a new queen. Maybe what I will do is put the new queen in the nuc with three or so frames of brood and honey from the strong hive and move the weak hive back home. Worst case scenario, I put in a queen excluder this fall and add both colonies to one hive for the winter. Or find out that my current queen really is a problem and we pinch her and remove the excluder. Thoughts?

  6. As I understand the two colony thing you can't use just an excluder because the forager bees will still fight each other. You need a double screen that keeps both colony of bees apart and outside of stinging range.


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