Recently I read a post on this forum talking about nucs that have only a few hundred bees and what to do to keep them alive till spring. Some of the replies mentioned that the number of bees is not big enough to keep the larvae warm, cause bees cluster and heat the hive. Therefore, since the hive gets cold the larvae would not survive.
So, this is year 2010 and we do have portable heating pads. How difficult would it be to just add a heating element under the hive to keep it warm when the hive is desperate. I'd think that if all that nurses needed to do was feed the larvae from the feeder and not worry too much about keeping it them warm, some of these nucs could be saved. No?
I realize that for every cure there is a curse, so maybe some deseases will begin flourishing in higher temperatures, but still, is anyone aware of studies that were conducted on the effects of the cluster size and temperature on successfull rearing of new bees?