First hive looks like it is failing

Hello all,
I bought my first bees in a nuc on March 12th, and and put them in my Flow Hive that day.
The Florida Apiary Inspector came by some weeks later and had me do a “walk away split” because she was afraid they would swarm as the hive was doing so well. So we put five frames back into the nuc box next to the Flow Hive and spaced new frames in between the old ones so the girls would have more real-estate. I went to Rural King store the next weekend and bought another ten frame hive kit and transfered the nuc box into the new ten frame hive. That’s was about April 19th or 20th. Now my Flow Hive population seems way down and activity is way down and I inspected it last Sunday and there is lots of honey comb, hardly any pollen. And I didn’t see any larvae or eggs and could not find a queen. So I think the bee inspector lady messed me up. She was quite the wack job. Please advise. PS. The second 10 frame hive seems to be doing great although I didn’t open it up. Lots of activity.

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Consider transferring a frame of brood from your good hive to the other one. You will need to check that the frame you transfer has eggs or very young larvae and you will want to ensure you don’t transfer the queen accidentally. This will give your failing colony a chance to make a new queen.

If you have convenient access to good quality queens, you might consider requeening your failing hive at the same time. Do transfer a frame of brood as well though because this will give your failing colony a continuing supply of young worker bees.

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IMO there is a good chance that you put the queen in the new hive that is doing great, and the virgin queen they raised in the original hive either died during mating or mated poorly or some scenario like that. I would do like @sciencemaster suggests and put some brood frames in to give them some eggs to rear a new queen from.

Your bees in the failing colony may also be too old to produce royal jelly (essential nutrient for queen rearing). They can only do this relatively early in their life.

I would recommend buying a queen from a local beekeeper - they come in a little box with a candy plug, and that should solve the problem almost immediately.

You can still do both - put a frame of eggs and brood into the failing hive to help strengthen them, and then order a queen at the same time.

Don’t worry about them forming queens to rival the bought one - the first thing she will do is murder all the baby princesses. Consider calling her “Cercei” :slight_smile:

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As @adagna
Put in a frame with eggs as a test frame, not to rear a new queen but to see if they will raise a QCs
meanwhile order a new queen and destroy the emergency QCs if they do. If they don’t then you have an unmated queen running around in there and you will just have to wait.
They might well have swarmed anyway…just a thought
Is your old queen marked? Have look for her in the other hive anyway. If she is marked and she’s not there I would bet they’ve swarmed.

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I bet your inspector doesn’t have bees herself. I find that some don’t. Ours doesn’t here in Wyoming, This is just my opinion but wouldn’t have putting on a second brood box solved the problem as well. Generally a beekeeping colony will have 2 brood boxes. Even using a flow frame system it has been recommended to have two brood boxes.


You know, if you’re not happy with a split and you are sure there is no Queen, put them back using the newspaper method. You’ll get your bees numbers back to a healthy population. Sometimes the artificial swarm technique of splitting hives just doesn’t work.

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