slow hive

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  • #2332

    Marvin Rathburn

    Good Day

    I have two hives. At first the # 1 hive seem to being doing very well and the # 2 hive seem to be slow until I added the second supper, At that time the # 1 hive seem to stop doing anything. There were bees going and coming but they did not start anything in the new supper. The # 1 hive had the new supper two weeks before the # 2 hive, When the new supper was put on the # 2 hive on the other hand they quickly moved into the new supper and started to store honey and there always seems to be more bees coming and going from # 2 hive.

    I believe that both hives have swarmed but I really have only seen one swarm so I am uncertain that they have both swarmed. These hives are new this spring I received them around the middle to the end of May. I am new and reading some of the post here it looks like I could be looking more in the lower chamber or brood box ( I assume this is the box on the bottom). My main question is why have the bees in Hive #1 not started to store honey in the second supper (one on top of bottom box)

    Profile photo of ThePath

    Hi Marvin welcome to the forum.

    Well firstly its getting quite late on in the summer (its been a fairly miserable August to be honest, if your in the UK) so I reckon they will be battening down the hatches ready for the oncoming Winter. They will still be foraging of course and storing pollen and making honey.

    It could be that hive #1 has swarmed and so they dont feel the need to expand. Are the frames in hive #1 full? If they arent then they wont feel the need to move up to the super.

    You will also have to check that both hives still have their queens! Have a good look inside the hives for the queens and queen cells.

    It does sound to me that hive #1 is the one that has swarmed especially if you say it isnt as busy. Hive #2 probably hasnt swarmed which is why its busier.

    If you feel hive#1 is struggling a bit then give them a feed. But a cant strees enough that you must find the queens to confirm the hives are not queenless.

    Let me know how you get on.


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    Marvin Rathburn

    Well I need to explain that I am not in the UK I am on the east coast of Canada in Saint John New Brunswick. Being new I do not know when I would being doing something wrong as of yet so I have not ventured into the bottom box. Does the Queen reside in the center of the box or will I have to go looking by pulling out frames untill I find her? Is there a chance that she could fly off when I expose her to the out doors? When I pull the frames and the structure made by the bees arround the frames is messed up does this create any problems? These are basic question that most people know so bear with me until I get through the learning curve. I have a book that came with the two hives in a starter kit but some of the information is not in this book.


    Profile photo of ThePath

    Hi Marvin,

    OK I would suggest you get in contact wn experienced local beekeeper and ask if they can show you the ropes. Do you have a local beekeepers association there? If so join it and start networking with the experienced beeks.

    You really should have been into the hive to check these things already as you could have prevented them swarming by taking proactive action but th best way to see if they will swarm is by looking for signs inside and outside the hive.

    The Queen can and sometimes will lay in every frame she has access too. She is sometimes difficult to spot as she will move a frame ahead of the one you pull out so you always miss her. She will hopefully be on one of them though and is a good deal larger, mostly longer but can be a good bit fatter too. I take it your queens were never marked or clipped?

    No she will not fly off when you lift the frames out.

    The bees have a tendency to propolise everything which is the structure you speak of. They like to seal up all the gaps etc with it. Dont worry about it. Just lift the lid and start lifting out the frames to find the queen. You will need a hive tool to break the propolis.

    Good luck and check out my recommended reading on:……tarted.php

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