Hi, this is our second year beekeeping and we own to flow hives. We had to start from scratch as all the bees died last year. One hive is doing good the other hive has been having problems since the beginning. First I discovered That there was no queen. So I ended up buying a queen putting it in and everything went all right. I switched one frame with brood from the strong hive. That caused more bees in my week hive. Week later the queen seemed to be thriving, laying eggs and all. I switched the hives in the middle of the day to strengthen the week one. (Advice from a bee keeper friend) Another week later I looked and I couldn’t find the queen. And later the hive was having less and less brood and now it just has honey and not even one egg. The strong hive became weaker because of my actions and I still can’t put a super on top. Only 2 frames are filled with honey in the second box. My question is - what do I do with the broodless hive? Just leave them be? Eliminate? Try to revive it? (But it’s the end of July in Wisconsin and I already bought one queen for it and that didn’t work) Why did both queens disappear? I am so confused and I need any help I can get. Thank you!
One strong hive is better than 2 weak hives. I would combine. Few different ways to do that. The easiest is to lightly spray both with sugar water and lemon grass oil and combine. Works for me.
Bubba is right. Combine them if there is no sign of disease 8n the weak hive. If your strong hive has empty frames replace them with the built out ones from the weak hive. Shake in tge bees and spray with sugar water. Try not to expand the volume of the hive, you want the hive booming so it can build up. Maybe consider feeding as well to get them ready for winter.
Combine the queenless hive to the stronger hive, to a newspaper combine where you remove the strong hive lid, place a couple of sheets of newspaper in place of the lid and fit the weak colony minus the bottom board onto the news paper, Close off the entrance to the weak hive that way there will be no fighting and the weak hive bees will have forgotten where there original hive was by the time the bees combine.
That is a better option in my opinion to get the bees combines and working as one stronger colony.
If they are low on stores feed them up before winter so they will have enough bees to keep the colony warm and with enough stores to last the winter.
Before winter pack down the hive so there is less room for them to heat, if you have frames of honey that won’t fit in the hive store them in your freezer and during winter switch them after thawing with empty frames in the hive.
If your area is not all corn and soybean you probably have nectar coming in. Correct? If yes feeding might not be needed until fall. You still have 3 months for the hive to get strong. What kills a hive is mites and or starvation. Are you treating for mites?
I am not treating for mites. I will look into it though. I have 2 questions that relate to your suggestion to combine the hives. What if there are worker bees that killed both queens in my weak hive. Would they do the same to the strong hive queen? And then should I remove the weak hive boxes once the bees will be moved? I really appreciate your help!
Bees do not kill their laying queen unless she is stops laying. I mix bees all the time without problems. If nervous use the news paper method mentioned above. You need to protect any comb not being used. Valuable . They should build their numbers fast as long as nectar is coming in. Clean empty comb can be put in middle of brood box for queen. Sometimes she fills it right up. Next season early when hives are strong make a nuc so you have a queen bank and other resoures. Don’t be nervous. Leave it to the experts… The bees.