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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,118

    Default very small cluster

    I have 3 hives with only a couple hundred bees and a queen in each. Tommorrow night the low is supposed to be 18 degrees. Is'nt that to small a cluster for thtem to keep warm? Can I close the hives with screen wire and move them to a place where the temperature won't be below freezing for a few days?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,056

    Default Re: very small cluster

    Yep, I got this same issue right into the early winter here. I think it is under control now after the queen is release in a few more days. Lots of issue if you are not careful in fixing it. You can look up on my long posts or PM me that I don't want to repost them in here. Many help and insights from the people here that I learn a lot from.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Whitmell, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: very small cluster

    I have three hives in my basement like that. They aren't quite that weak I don't think but I don't think they can handle these cold nights.

    Two of my hives alread froze todeath that were weak like that.

    I have my entrances screened and took them outside on the last warm days we have had to let them out. Then when activity stops. Screen the entrances and bring them back in. Be sure to put them back in the same spots where they were in the yard when you turn them loose. They are oriented to those spots.

    I have no idea how this is gonna work but we will see. Make sure they have feed too. pour a small amount of syrup in the entrance or somethin.
    Don't laugh it's paid for. -- Manure draws more flies than honey.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,855

    Default Re: very small cluster

    At least you know the size of the cluster and can act. I'm sure I have a few like that out in the yard and don't know it. I have some Carnies and other strains that a smaller cluster may be normal. They are insulated on three sides and the top with 2" rigid foam and all I can do is leave them alone and hope for the best.
    Any hives that were even somewhat questionable for weight got sugar weeks ago-so it's up to them now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,238

    Default Re: very small cluster

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    I have 3 hives with only a couple hundred bees and a queen in each. Tommorrow night the low is supposed to be 18 degrees. Is'nt that to small a cluster for thtem to keep warm? Can I close the hives with screen wire and move them to a place where the temperature won't be below freezing for a few days?
    It's too small to keep warm, they will die if you leave them outside.
    Bring them in to garage or basement keep them cool and put some feed on them, and hope for the best.

  6. #6

    Default Re: very small cluster

    In addition to trying to keep them alive, it might be good to try to figure out why those clusters are so small. Whether you can nurse them through this winter or if you have to start over in the spring…..you don’t want to be repeating this next year.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

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