New beehive question

taylor810(Z6 NJ)July 5, 2008

Hello everyone,

This is my first year keeping bees and I started 2 hives this Spring. One hive is thriving, but in the other hive, the bees have only built comb on 3 frames.

Is this something I should be concerned about?


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Give us more info. Where do you live, and when exactly did you start them? All on new foundation? wax or plastic? How many frames of brood are in each hive. How do the bees look and how are they acting? Can you post pictures? Were you or are you still feeding them? What kind of bees are they? Italian, Russian etc.How has your weather been. We probably got a total of 6 or 7 days in june that didn't have rain
Many things are possible including:
Could be a weak queen
Bees may have superseded original queen and raised their own, which would mean several weeks before new brood hatched

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 5:03PM
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taylor810(Z6 NJ)

I live in Northwestern NJ and I started them the beginning of May on wax foundation. There are two hive bodies w/ 10 frames each. I will send pictures.

I started two hives at the same time, and the other hive has two hive bodies and 1 honey super and the bees are starting to build comb on the super

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 8:09PM
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txbeeguy(z8 TX)

I take it, you're in New Jersey (NJ). Sounds like your second hive is already in trouble. For the first year (especially that far north), you need to be focused on getting your hive(s) built-up enough and established so they can survive the coming Winter. And a hive that only has three frames drawn out by July is in trouble already.

I agree with Tony, more information would be helpful - there are a lot of variables to consider. Does your first hive have two deep supers worth of comb already drawn out? You're walking a fine line even experienced beekeepers would be hard-pressed to decide what to do (without actually seeing your specific situation). It's easy to say take some frames of brood from the strong hive and put in the weak hive BUT the reality of the situation is, that will make your strong hive weaker right at a point where they need to be collecting food stores for the coming Winter. Plus the likelihood it may be too late for your weak hive to have time enough to get established before Winter anyway. Without knowing more of the condition of your hives, I'd guess by Fall, you're likely going to have to kill the queen in the weak hive and merge it with the strong hive in order to have it survive the Winter. (In the Spring, you can most likely do a split and re-create two hives next year).

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 8:17PM
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