I have a weak hive with no pollen. I’m feeding pollen supplement atm. I found a frame of solid pollen in my freezer from another hive earlier in spring. Can I thaw it out and give it to this weak hive?
Yes you can. Great idea, as long as the donor colony was healthy.
However, as you are heading into winter, is pollen really a good idea? It will stimulate brood production, which may not be good for the colony at this time of year if there is no nectar…
Hi Dawn, I’ve been feeding them 2:1 and 3:1 because there is not much nectar and no pollen stores at all. They’re getting a new queen this week because the queen has died and there’s no time to waste letting them requeen themselves this close to winter. I want them to have some brood going into winter so the colony will survive till spring. if this doesn’t work I’ll be combining it with another hive. On the south coast of NSW we rarely get below 3-5C and mist days the bees fly and collect provisions.
Hi Shayne, I don’t think I’d be giving your weak colony a solid frame of pollen, going into winter. Two things come to mind. Maybe it’s too cold for them, however beetles will breed in unprotected pollen, assuming that there wont be enough bees to completely cover it. Also unprotected pollen can get moldy, on account that a weak colony wont consume it all.
Have you considered donating a frame of brood to the colony? just to boost their numbers, which will help support the new queen, provided the colony accepts her.
May I ask how you know that the queen has died? Just curious. Thank you!
Hi Dawn, I get the odd call from people chasing a queen bee. After a few questions, we generally discover that a queen bee would be a waste of money, on account of different issues where a queen by herself wouldn’t help. Other times people buy a queen from somewhere, only to find that the colony has rejected her.
I suspected all was not well 3 days earlier because she was on the bottom board of the hive under a clump of bees so I decided to go back and check for peace of mind. There were no new eggs, only young larvae present in the combs and I found her dead on the concrete pavers outside the hive. Last week I gave them a frame of capped brood from another hive to boost the population of young bees. There are no small hive beetles in the hive at present. I returned to install a new queen today and removed 5 emergency queen cells. I decided not to let them raise their own replacement because it would be 50 days before any of her brood was born meanwhile the population is diminishing. In Spring there is a risk the queen wouldn’t make it back from her mating flights and this close to Winter there just isn’t enough drones around. If the new queen isn’t accepted I will combine the hive with another at the site to over winter.
Hi Shayne, I know you addressed this comment to Dawn, however I think you did the right thing. I think the fact that the colony was raising emergency queens, to my mind would indicate that the colony should accept the new queen, especially if you gave them time to chew the candy out. By the time they do that, they should unite as friends.
It’s when a colony has a laying worker, coupled with no desire to produce emergency queens, to my mind would be a time when a colony would reject a new queen.
Hi Shayne, I think your reply shows a sound logical progression of facts toward a sensible conclusion. It’s a great example of how we need to make decisions as beeks, regardless of the situation.
Hope all goes well with your colony!
A witnessed death, preceded by unfriendly attention on the bottom board (maybe balling of bees on her), is very helpful and convincing information. Thank you for sharing your careful observations. Nicely done!
“a sound logical progression of facts toward a sensible conclusion”. That’s exactly what I was thinking, but I didn’t know how to put it into words All I can say is “@Shayne14 gets it”.
I’m a beekeeper and have no idea to reply to individuals on the forum because I’m technologically challenged! My husband does all our household admin.
One thing I like about the forum is, all the replies appear as a thread. I didn’t mean to send the reply to the wrong person… it’s just me not knowing what I’m doing.
It’s like the bees, you never know what you’re going to find until you open a hive and all the best plans laid can go out the window. I’ve met my match with beekeeping and I know I’ll continue to learn about the bees for the rest of my life and still not know everything. I’m bee obsessed. Follow me in instagram @beeobsessedhoney where I post the good, bad and the ugly experiences of my beekeeping journey, hoping it help someone out… and I love it!
Hi & thank you Shayne. I’m also technology challenged If you want to send a message to Eva for example, simply type @. Once you do that, every poster on that thread will appear. All you do is click on the poster you want to address. If the poster isn’t on that list, all you do is type in the spelling of the poster after @, then that poster will appear, then you can click on it. It took me a long time to figure it all out.
I love that you’re obsessed with bees. Bees are a great obsession to have. I also love that you are able to observe & figure out how to solve a problem through, as @Eva said “sound logical progression”.
I agree that we’ll never stop learning about bees. I try to keep an open mind, & not set my ideas in stone.
PS, I just realized that I left something vital out. If you want to reply to Eva for example again, you click on reply to that message she sent. We have 2 choices when it comes to replying. We can reply by clicking on reply in the message (the one in light color), which will show up in that persons inbox, or we can reply at the bottom of the thread (the one in the dark color), which will only show up in the author of the thread’s inbox.
Thanks Jeff. No doubt I’ll post out one on that hive.