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two out of three

 
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SethVermont
New Bee


Joined: 02 Jun 2014
Posts: 2
Location: USA, Vermont

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:04 pm    Post subject: two out of three Reply with quote

I live in Vermont and I just got three packages of Italian bees that I installed in the top-bar hives I built on Saturday. On Sunday, one hive appeared fine, one was mostly empty except for the queen and few bees coming and going, and one looked as if all the bees from two hives, minus the queen joined up. Is there anything I can do? Or do I just accept that two out of three ain't bad, and see what happens? Thanks for any input.
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stevecook172001
Site Admin


Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 443
Location: Loftus, Cleveland

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Seth, it does rather sound like they voted with their feet! I'm afraid I'm too much of a novice myself to give you any specific advice with any real confidence. That said, I'll give it anyway - minus the confidence!

It sounds to me like the queen they've gone to has something about her they like. It may be nothing more than close genetic relatedness to them as compared to the queen they were placed with when the package was put together. But that may be enough I guess. In any event, whatever the underlying reason, they've clearly indicated a preference.

If it helps, as a novice and following my gut, my inclination might be to leave well alone, allow the abandoned queen to die, allow the now strengthened hive to grow still stronger and then force an artificial swarm at some point and so get the missing bees back that way, except with a new queen of their own making which will be less likely to be abandoned.

Experienced HTBH natural bee-keepers (I'm a novice VTBH man) will likely come along shortly to tell you the above is total cobblers, in which case:

a) Take their advice, for goodness sake, cos it will be cobblers!

b) Please accept my apologies in advance!
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Merinos
Foraging Bee


Joined: 12 Sep 2011
Posts: 163
Location: Brussels, Belgium

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once the bees have moves from one package to an other... they are gone from the first one. It is just a fact.

So lets look at them one by one:

1) the first is doing well: great, let them go.

2) one box with nearly no bees but a queen : A too small population will not survive. If you feed them, the only result will be that the other 2 will take the sugar you gave away. To me this is a dead end.

3) The last box has plenty of bees. This is a good situation. once the queen start to lay eggs, you have a very good start... just feed them lightly to stimulate the growth. If they do well, in a short time this box will soon start to expend brood and honey... so just feed one or 2 weeks and very lightly (100gr sugar & 100ml water/ MORNING).
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or you could swap the hives with each other. Flying bees will come back to the 'quiet' queen, while the others will continue to expand and as bees emerge, the populations may balance themselves out.

There's always more than one way to skin a cat.
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SethVermont
New Bee


Joined: 02 Jun 2014
Posts: 2
Location: USA, Vermont

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the information! I looked yesterday, and the 'quiet' one had a small ball of bees in it. Not near as many as the other two, but it seemed a decent size. Maybe they like her after all and are just balancing out. We'll see what happens. Bees are great fun! Thanks again!
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