Author Topic: 9yo large hive cut out - all honey no brood whatsoever???  (Read 275 times)

Rojodiablo

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Re: 9yo large hive cut out - all honey no brood whatsoever???
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2020, 09:14:46 PM »
Seems you are about a month out from leaning toward spring. Since you moved the bees to a slightly warmer area,and the distress of losing all their former stores and combs to build up on, they have ramped up laying to keep the hive alive and going.
I would feed a bit of 1:1 sugar water; they will use it fast. f you add 2 tablespoons of pollen to a gallon of sugar water, it has helped me power up the brood.
My thoughts on the hostility; they are not real comfortable just yet, they have less resources, a less insulated place, disruption galore....... since you know they are doing well and rebounding, I would feed lightly, add a pollen patty soon, within a month, and leave them be for a few weeks, and see how they do.
It's winter; they live longer. There will be more, and more guard bees as the next two months go. They aren't flying, so they aren't dying. That means more defensive bees than mid-summer. And, they know the perils of being exposed to the cold, so they will fight more over that.
I'd only feed them at most for the next month and let them do their thing. If they stay mean in two months..... sack the queen and replace when the weather starts to warm, before the swarms start forming.

gazzalin

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Re: 9yo large hive cut out - all honey no brood whatsoever???
« Reply #16 on: Today at 03:19:05 AM »
Thanks for the replies. I have a bad situation ATM due to covid lock downs. I am currently in central NSW at my country property and if I go back to my home in Victoria I will be under curfew and locked down. I have a bee hive up here that is still struggling to fill their 10 frame brood box but are bringing in pollen 20-40 times a minute and lots of nectar. I have been feeding them 50/50 sugar syrup also and they are building new comb slowly in the 3 empty frames they had. I see quite a bit of capped honey and there was a fair amount of capped brood on last inspection. This is the hive I mentioned earlier that was from a mid Autumn cutout which sadly 2/3 of the bees died during the 400KM journey up here. They have slowly been building their numbers despite it being winter here as there is plenty of pollen and nectar available.

My problem is when I go back to my home in Victoria (where my wife is locked down now) I may not be able to return until January (which is our mid summer) and therefore will not be able to add the honey super and miss the River Red Gum and Black Box Eucalyptus flow. The bees are clustering in one corner only which is where the brood is concentrated and we have many more cold nights left. Temps here range between 0C to 19C this time of year. I have made a insulating wrap for the single box hive out of sizalation (silver roofing foil sheet) to help retain their warmth.

Do you think before I leave I should fit the honey super to allow for their expansion and flow while I am not there? Could I leave the top cover between the bottom and top box to help them retain their warmth at night? Or should I leave them in their single box? Your advice would be most welcome.

Second part of this question is back in Vic I have the other cutout hive waiting for the fitting of the honey super. This colony had filled the 10 frame deep hive before I left to come up here. They had filled the one frame of empty comb with brood and the other 9 frames were all capped honey (see original few posts). the question I have for this hive is if I drag it out up here for a few more weeks do you think the bees in that hive will swarm? It is cooler down there but they were still bringing in pollen the last time I saw them 5 weeks ago. When I get home I will not be able to get to this hive due to a 5KM travel restriction. Melbourne is under an 8AM to 5PM curfew and people can only leave their home for work, food shopping or exercise. They are getting between 400 - 600 cases a day and they want to eradicate the virus.

Sorry about the multiple questions but I sort of need to get a plan together to work out what to do.

vadentwin

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Re: 9yo large hive cut out - all honey no brood whatsoever???
« Reply #17 on: Today at 06:04:58 AM »
No matter what you decide... Hind site is 20/20. Ask 5 beekeepers a question and you'll get 6 answers. My opinion below.

For the hive where you are now, If the bees are clustering in a corner I am assuming there aren't that many bees. That said, numbers could explode when your spring flow starts. Your choices seem to be risky either way.

Leave them as they are: they will be able to cluster and maintain warmth better, but may run out of room mid flow. Warmth is not affected by space as much as you would think. Bees heat the cluster not the air in the box. But the more air in the box the less insulating.
Add a super: They will have room to grow but wont have the numbers currently to defend and maintain the comb.

If it were my hive, I would leave them as they are. If they swarm, its not that big of a deal.  I wouldn't add a super unless they are currently able to cover 7-8 frames.