Re: Geez, what now... robbing?
Yeah! Glad to hear your bees are looking like they will successfully overwinter!
I've got two colonies left but they both are looking really good and I think they will make it. I only want to keep two to three hives with a couple nucs so if they both make it I am in good shape. Mine both have small patches of brood going. I actually saw some newly hatched bees in the Buckfast colony when I checked this week which is encouraging because it means new bees are supplanting the old winter bee losses. They have honey still that is close to the brood patches so I am not too worried about the colder weather coming this week. Especially since they were able to take cleansing flights most of the week.
If I remember correctly, this queen of yours is locally mated?
It has been interesting how the different colonies do. My Minn Hygienic X Missouri Mutt queen's colony is definitely hygienic. They have the lowest mite count and when I put a bar that had some chilled capped brood from another colony they immediately got it uncapped and removed. They went through most of their honey though, which is why I put some in, but this week with the flying weather they look like they were putting up nectar from somewhere. The Buckfast colony that is remaining surprised me because they had the worst mite count of all. I haven't seen DWV problems with them, and their colony doesn't appear to have had the heavy cold losses the other Buckfast colonies did (they had a much larger cluster going into winter though). They also were REALLY frugal with their stores. They only have gone through maybe a third of their honey despite having a larger cluster. When both of these colonies build up I hope to take these queens out and start nucs with them in the hopes of keeping them and getting a mix of their genes in their daughters.
3rd yr - 1 KTBH & 4 KTBH nucs - TF - USDA Zn 6b