Bee on my privet

Friday, May 24, 2013

Colony Failure

I went out today with the intention of putting the screened bottom boards on. However, things were not looking good.
Well, I tried over and over again to get my weak colony to flourish. I thought for sure what I did last week was going to work. It did not. I don't seem to have a queen. There are no eggs, no brood and no new bees. The brood I put in last week are all hatched out and they were building what looked like an emergency queen cup.
At this point, I just gave up. I combined the two hives. To combine them, I just removed the top cover from the healthy colony, stuck a sheet of news paper down and placed the two boxes of the weaker colony on top.
 I am fairly certain that they will thrive now. Hopefully the increase in population will get the colony to a nice healthy level.
 Unfortunately that brings my colony count to one. That means I have no fall back if something else goes wrong. I really need to catch a few swarms. I even set up a full ten frame hive as a trap out back. I should probably move some of them out of my yard and into the local woods.
 Not a lot of good pics for this. But here are some pics for the sake of something to look at.
 The healthy colony
 Bees a buzzing
 Can't tell if this is empty comb or maybe pollen?
 I little bit of brood but not enough in my opinion
 A very uneven pattern.
Crystal clear honey.

What appears to be an emergency queen cup.

 A bee eruption from the big colony
A dead bee on the bottom board.

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