Best way to cull a dying hive?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Posts
    235

    Default Best way to cull a dying hive?

    I have a hive that is kicking it from a bad case of chalk brood. Too late to requeen and I really don't want to combine them and share their problem with another healthy hive and there are nowhere near enough bees to make the winter. I was going to shake them out but I don't want them to find their way to other hives that don't need their issues. What's the best way to put them out of their misery and avoid the already present wax moths and SHB from creating a huge mess by letting the colony die on their own?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    1,779

    Default Re: Best way to cull a dying hive?

    Roll a wheelbarrow next to the hive.
    Add about of 4" of soapy water.
    Shake the bees off of the frames into the soapy water.
    store the hive in a cool dry place until spring.
    Dump the wheelbarrow onto your compost pile.
    Buy a good book. Go to your State beekeeping convention.
    Enjoy winter.
    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Butler Co, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    449

    Default Re: Best way to cull a dying hive?

    Personally, I'd just shake them out in the grass and let them scatter to other hives in the yard.

    If you are worried about them joining other hives, shake bees into new box of foundation. Freeze frames for 3-4 days. After the first good freeze, go pick up the box of foundation and put it back in storage.
    Hindsight is 20/10, not 20/20...
    After the fact, I always know what didn't work.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,511

    Default Re: Best way to cull a dying hive?

    Sent you a pm ambassador
    Rod

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,108

    Default Re: Best way to cull a dying hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambassador View Post
    I have a hive that is kicking it from a bad case of chalk brood. Too late to requeen and I really don't want to combine them and share their problem with another healthy hive and there are nowhere near enough bees to make the winter. I was going to shake them out but I don't want them to find their way to other hives that don't need their issues. What's the best way to put them out of their misery and avoid the already present wax moths and SHB from creating a huge mess by letting the colony die on their own?
    These are bugs and don't really know what is misery.
    The bugs die right and left as we speak; they will die in the thousands and millions after the first hard freeze.
    There is no misery to worry about (outside of your own perception).

    I would screen them/reduce entrance to a single bee/do whatever to minimize the robbing out and let them be.
    IF they die, they die.
    As long as they are still alive, they will keep the combs under their watch from the moths/beetles until the cold takes over (works in MI just as in WI) - one problem solved for you by doing exactly nothing.

    The only real concern - don't let the other bees to rob them out (and pickup the pests/germs).
    That is the only one problem to be resolved, IMO - which is easy to do (the anti-robbing).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,591

    Default Re: Best way to cull a dying hive?

    Hey there Ambassador,
    Chalkbrood is a stress related malady, and adding a nucleus colony is the best answer. Newspaper-combining vigorous, fresh queen and a bunch of fresh recruit helpers is what they need, along with plenty of feeding this late in the game is exactly what they need. All the fresh help greatly reduces stress.

    My only admonishment is to be sure to NOT include them in a queen-rearing nor a drone-rearing program! This will help reduce the occurrence of chalkbrood in the future.

    I would also "loan" them some excess honey and pollen frames from your strongest hives, if you have more than one, and do what I could to get them up to 130 pounds before Winter arrives.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sedgwick Co. KS
    Posts
    1,145

    Default Re: Best way to cull a dying hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    I would screen them/reduce entrance to a single bee/do whatever to minimize the robbing out and let them be.
    IF they die, they die.
    As long as they are still alive, they will keep the combs under their watch from the moths/beetles until the cold takes over (works in MI just as in WI) - one problem solved for you by doing exactly nothing.
    This ^^^ does NOT work where I live. Moths took over and destroyed comb & frames and made a huge mess for me to deal with.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,108

    Default Re: Best way to cull a dying hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim KS View Post
    This ^^^ does NOT work where I live. Moths took over and destroyed comb & frames and made a huge mess for me to deal with.
    Well, I did qualify (but you did not bold).
    Let me do it for you.
    As long as they are still alive,..... (works in MI just as in WI)....
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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