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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Payson, UT, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Should I feed or allow the hive to die and start over?

    One of my hives has about 1/2 of the amount of honey I generally want to have for a hive to overwinter. The hive has struggled all summer to build up like it should and now is in two mediums with approximately 2/3 of the frames filled with honey. I don't want to spend a lot of money feeding this hive if its chances of surviving the winter are slim anyway. What would you recommend?
    Don't get caught up in the thick of thin things.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,068

    Default Re: Should I feed or allow the hive to die and start over?

    if it is healthy, you could kill the queen and do a paper combine with anothe hive that needs a boost.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,947

    Default Re: Should I feed or allow the hive to die and start over?

    Compare the cost of feed with the cost of a new nuc or package. From the sound of your post I guess you have been keeping bees for a while and know that even if you feed the hive enough to make it through winter, you'll still have a bum queen on your hands. If you can get it through until June you should be able to get your choice of well bred queens for about $35 including delivery. If you have not been treating this hive you could extract the honey for yourself. Otherwise it is bee feed for hives in need of it this year or for the replacement hive next year. I would be leaning toward the advice "take your losses in the fall" and squish the queen and add the remaining bees to another hive (newspaper combine)(as jrbbees suggests). This of course presumes that the hive has no diseases.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Beaverton, MI, USA
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Should I feed or allow the hive to die and start over?

    If you don't feel good killing the queen you can box her up with a few friends and send her off to me. I would like to try some experiments this winter and need a few extra queens. I will gladly pay for shipping.

    Wayne

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