Hi I’m new here (and a beginer bee keeper, only had the hive for a year and a bit)
ive been noticing solw filling of the seccond honey super that was added over a two months ago for a while now as well as declining numbers in the hive for around a month, its peek season now and i dont know what is going on
here amre my problems (and some photos):
low numbers of bees in the hive as seen through the side windows
low amount of polen stored (probably only half a frame)
slow filling of new super with honey combined average of supers is probably about 70% with only half a frame harvested since adding the super
sloghtly brood patern (see photos), fairly condensed on the center frames, outer frames mostly emply
incredibly high numbers of drones (see photos)
no signs of disease as far as i can tell but im no expert
only thing is the odd hive beetle being chaseddown by a worker bee
I am currently thinking it might be to do with the low levles of polen stored but im not sure
apologies or the low quality photos
any help and sugestions apreaciated
thanks in advance
High drone numbers, low worker numbers, etc, etc., sounds to me like you have a high amount of drone comb, with a low amount of worker comb in the brood box. You need to radically reverse that situation in order to be successful with your bees. A good way is to provide your bees with properly fitted wax foundation brood frames, while removing all of the drone comb. Your chooks will delight in that.
Have you seen your queen? Sounds like your hive is queenless and has been for sometime or the queen isn’t laying.
Is there eggs and larvae? Not seeing much brood on those frames.
yes i have seen uncapped brood (although not the queen herself) when checking the hive two days ago although not as much compared to previous inspections, most of the frames in the brood box are fairly empty with only one frame of honey and half a frame of pollen
ill think about it but don’t understand why they are not producing more workers for the hive regardless of drone numbers as there is ample honey stored, its peak season and there is much empty comb in the brood box
Hi Clayton, @HappyHibee might be on to something by suggesting a laying worker. It would be good to see photos of those brood frames without bees on them. I think I can see drone brood in worker comb in that bottom photo. If there is no worker brood, while at the same time there is only drone brood in worker comb, to me that indicates a laying worker with no queen. We need to inspect the brood frames to get an idea of what’s going on, rather than look for the queen herself. I never look for the queen, I only look at the brood frames to see what her performance, if any is like.
A little while back I sold 3 colonies to a bloke. While I was transferring my frames into his box while looking for the queen, I told the bloke that I hadn’t seen this queen yet. He got slightly indignant that I was selling a queen without first viewing her. I explained that I didn’t have to view her, her performance was evident on the brood frames. That bloke phoned today to order 2 more nucs, so he must have been happy with the last 3.
An essential part of beekeeping is knowing how to “read the brood”. It’s something that all beekeepers need to learn sooner, rather than later.
okay i will perform another inspection tomorrow to try and get better photos and determine exactly how much worker brood is present