Tuesday, 21 May 2013
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I am wondering if anyone else has had a similar situation. I have two hives, one traditional wood and a Bee Max Foam hive. Both hives survived the winter. The wood hive is going great guns, thousands of bees , very active etc. the Bee Max is somewhat sluggish. What I assume is that the wood hive allowed the bees to react to the changing temperature faster than the Foam hive and thus the Queen began laying eggs earlier this spring, so now has a much larger quantity of bees. The Bee Max is slowly catching up, but, judging from the comings and goings I would say it is about 25 % of the wood hive. Both were treated with MAQS last fall, fed sugar syrup in the fall and fondant in the winter. I also placed a pollen patty in each hive in early spring. With all things being equal the only real difference I could think of was a temperature situation. I do realize I could have a weak queen, so I will monitor the weak hive and if it does not pick up I will replace the queen. Does anyone have an opinion on this situation ????
Thanks for reading,
9 years ago
HI Peter,
Those bees were certainly active last season. Very similar to what most were experiencing.
Did you reverse in the early spring (2013)? Also, have you thought about splitting your hives?
Given that your queens seem to mate successfully a walk away split might work thus taking the pressure off of the existing hive and hopefully inhibit swarming. Also, about swarming, given that it is the bees natural tendency managing the swarm may be a more hopeful plan than stopping it. If the bees want to leave they will regardless of our (human) intentions. Please keep posting through the season.
9 years ago
Hi Scott: I replaced the queen last July in the wood hive, obtained a nice northern Queen and Nuc from Bab Davin, Battlefield Bees in Hubbardton. I had several swarms last spring and it is difficult to know if the wood or Bee Max hive swarmed, maybe both. Anyway it was apparent that the wood hive needed to be requeened last July and it worked. I suspect that the Bee Max hive re-queened itself. I may need to requeen the Bee Max this summer or early fall, depends on how it builds up. Right now it is cold and rainy, hopefully we will return to "Summer" soon. The same thing happened last Spring with the two hives being very different, however, it was the Bee Max that was strong and the wood that was weak. The Bee Max I am sure swarmed, at least 2 or 3 times last spring, and propagated a new Queen. Since then I have added a third hive body, to relieve crowding, and added additional ventilation. Hopefully this will stop the swarming. Thanks for your reply, Peter
9 years ago
Hi Peter,

I do not have any direct experience with foam hives.However, others that have used them have found that wood and foam perform generally the same. Your management factors although the same may not be the only deciding factors in spring build up. I have multiple hives, all wood, with queens of the same age and each performs a little differently. Given that it appears that the foam hive is still productive and that the beek season in terms of nectar flow has just barely started you may not be in bad shape. However, the weather recently has limited foraging leaving no new nectar, propolis, or pollen which could have an affect on egg production. Are the queens the same age? From where did you obtain the bees originally?
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