Re: New bees old hive what to do?
all my hives have screen bottom boards, I do not block them in winter. This season I have lost only 1 hive out of 10! THis is certainly not been the norm lately. Last spring I had 7 colonies die out over winter so I had 7 new packages. I put them into 10 frame deeps, gave them 4 frames of honey, 3 frames of drawn comb, and 3 frames of new foundation. After that I do not feed them anything, they are on their own. In june I rotate out the 7 pre drawn frames I had given them with new undrawn foundation. To rotate the frames out I add a deep on top separated from the bottom two with a queen excluder, move the 7 frames up add 3 additional to fill the spaces and after 21 days all the larva have hatched out and I take the third box off. When the second deeps were added I gave all new foundation, they drew out 10 frames in the second deep in about a week and a half, after that the hives literally exploded!
Last year was the best year I have ever had as far as getting honey. Every fall I have the Wisconsin State Bee inspector come out and he evaluates my hives for mite counts, and overal health, and keeps records and trends on how they do each year. Last fall he was amazed by how strong and healthy my bee's were, and that strength and health has been shown by a 90% survival rate. I am believer in new foundation and I will be replacing my foundation every two years.
Gentleman farmer/7 year Bee Keeper