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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,107

    Default very small cluster stored in warmth

    I have one hive alive with only a queen and a few hundred bees. I'm storing them in a place where I can keep the temperature from getting below 40 degrees. But a few hundred bees is still a very small cluster. Can I add a frame with bees from one of my strong hives? Will they fight?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Fayetteville, WV
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: very small cluster stored in warmth

    Personaly I would just call it a loss if they don't make it with what you are doing. There is still plenty of winter left, and I wouldn't want to take resources from anouther hive and put them into harms way and run the risk of lossing two colonies. Generally speaking, in good weather, adding brood to a weak colony is fine, but I am not sure if I would just add a bunch of bees as you would have to do now. I would keep an eye on them to see if and when they fail, then store the hive for a split or package this spring. I say "store" because an uninhabited hive would be a good target for mice, wax moths, etc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,587

    Default Re: very small cluster stored in warmth

    Good advice given.
    Baby them and see what happens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,863

    Default Re: very small cluster stored in warmth

    You don't necessarily have to give up on them just yet, here's why. Last year I had a similar colony that made it through the winter but there was only the queen and about 300 bees. I put them into a 5 frame nuc box and let them go, they became one of my strongest colonies, it took them awhile to build up but they ended up producing over 125 lbs. If you add a frame of emerging brood with adhering bees it will help even more, one frame is not going to hurt the donor colony that much, just take it from your strongest hive. John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lyndhurst, va
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: very small cluster stored in warmth

    I have a hive that had a queen and very small cluster of bees. I put them in a nuc and brought them indoors. I am could not just let them die. If they live great, but if not, I tried. I fixed it so that the bees could come and go, but a person could just carry the nuc outside on warm days. Good luck with your bees. nuc.jpg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    377

    Default Re: very small cluster stored in warmth

    Now that is babying them Spieker, cool set up,,,

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,587

    Default Re: very small cluster stored in warmth

    THAT'S DEDICATION! lol

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    967

    Default Re: very small cluster stored in warmth

    Quote Originally Posted by spieker View Post
    I have a hive that had a queen and very small cluster of bees. I put them in a nuc and brought them indoors. I am could not just let them die. If they live great, but if not, I tried. I fixed it so that the bees could come and go, but a person could just carry the nuc outside on warm days. Good luck with your bees. nuc.jpg
    Now that is cool!! Would they try to fly out when it was too cold?

    Shane

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: very small cluster stored in warmth

    OMG an Apis iron lung
    You are in southern NC. (my kin are from Hickory) You should have relief soon enough. I've had some small clusters surprise me and make it with out an iron lung.
    Nice job
    Rick

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lyndhurst, va
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: very small cluster stored in warmth

    Now that is cool!! Would they try to fly out when it was too cold?
    No, they do not fly out when it is cold. They can feel the cold air in the tubing and stop. Also, when it is real cold, I block the outside entrance to keep some of the cold air from coming in.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    967

    Default Re: very small cluster stored in warmth

    thanks.

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