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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Greene County, NY, USA
    Posts
    51

    Default What to do with overwintered hives that are weak

    Have several hives that have made it through and upstate NY winter. Upon inspection only have a 4 inch patch of brood on one frame.
    Is their anything that could be done or just leave them and see if they build up by them selves?
    They have plenty of stores.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: What to do with overwintered hives that are weak

    Reduce the space they occupy severely down to about four frames. Use styrofoam cut to roughly 14 3/4" by 9 1/2 for insulating side walls. If you have SBB's on the hive, use them as a heat source and put on solid bottoms with a 2 bee wide entrance until they have need or more room. When they have filled the four frames, move your followers out for two more frames. Climate control of brood area is always the first limiting factor of colony expansion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,456

    Default Re: What to do with overwintered hives that are weak

    That is some sage advice right there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,018

    Default Re: What to do with overwintered hives that are weak

    Hmmm, Great fall Montana, vs Green County NY...

    Rick, what did they winter in? One deep, two deeps, or something else?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Greene County, NY, USA
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: What to do with overwintered hives that are weak

    2 deeps

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,586

    Default Re: What to do with overwintered hives that are weak

    Here is all the options I can think of to help boost weaker colony.
    Buy a package
    Put nurse bees from another hive
    Combine 2 hives into one
    Feed, feed and feed both patty and syrup

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,818

    Default Re: What to do with overwintered hives that are weak

    I have a few hives just like that, and as Vance said, reduce the size of the space they are occupying to the minimum, insulation will help too. If they have a decent queen they will build up nicely, just will take a little more time. John

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