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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I've got two Hives that I started last year here in central NC. Hive A was from a 5 frame nuc and hive B was a swarm I got in mid-June. Both wintered in a 10 frame deep + medium that were nearly full in the fall.

Today I opened things up (since its finally stopped snowing and the sun is finally shining) and here's what I found:

Hive A:
cluster is at the top right of the box and relatively small. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of honey stores around the cluster (although there are 1/2 full frames on the left side of the top box, but they're not going over there.

I decided to go ahead and feed 1:2 dilute syrup in a jar directly onn top of the cluster inside an empty medium and a small piece of irradiated pollen patty on top of the frames.

Hive B:
cluster is 3x bigger than Hive A and at the top center of the top box. There's even a cluster hanging off the hole in the top cover. There apppears to be still capped honey on either side of the cluster.

I decided not to feed them at all.

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sound about right? Any suggestions?
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I was pretty suprised at this outcome since Hive A had been so much stronger than Hive B all year long. In fact, Hive B even lost its queen about 2 weeks after I collected them as a swarm and managed to pull off an emergency replacement on their own. Plus since I'm a new beekeeper they were on mostly foundation and a few frames of borrowed comb from Hive A.

Seems they've caught up and then some.

I'd love to hear input from experienced beeks. In the meantime I'll be in the garage building frames. :)

Peter
Rives Hives
 

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the difference in the size of the cluster is likely due to different strains of bees. as a general rule, darker bees (carniolan, russian) go through winter with a smaller cluster than italians, I wouldn't worry to much about that. make sure they have lot's of food, it's not to early to start some feeding of 1:1 syrup to get them going. maples will be blooming in a week or two and if we can get some descent weather we need to get them cranked up for spring

Dave
 

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Dave and other NCers,
Would you please post when you do your swarm prevention management techniques? I am ready to go but I'm not sure when I should pull the trigger.
Thanks!
 

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"There still appears to be capped honey on either side of the cluster"
Are you still in danger of some serious cold snaps in NC? I would suggest you be sure how many frames of sealed honey is available for the bees, and how accessible, both as they start rearing brood, and if you get a cold snap. Feb. and March are the danger months for starvation. You might need to make plans to feed them 1:1 sugar syrup, so they don't starve.

Also, is it time, in your neck of the woods, to reverse brood boxes? CB?
Regards,
Steven
 

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The emergency queen that hive b made may have been a supersedure queen and they are usually the best quality. this is not unusual in a swarm to supercede shortly after they get established.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the difference in the size of the cluster is likely due to different strains of bees. as a general rule, darker bees (carniolan, russian) go through winter with a smaller cluster than italians, I wouldn't worry to much about that.
Dave
Hive A (from a nuc) that has the small cluster IS Italian. Now should I worry? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, issue resloved (unfortunately):

A 50+ MPH wind gust ripped the cover, inner cover and empty medium with feeding jars off of Hive A sometime today while I was at work. When I got home the cluster had frozen. :(

Guess I don't have to worry about them anymore.

Thanks to all for the input and to drobbins for the great resource on swarms.
 

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Well, issue resloved (unfortunately):

A 50+ MPH wind gust ripped the cover, inner cover and empty medium with feeding jars off of Hive A sometime today while I was at work. When I got home the cluster had frozen. :(

Sorry to hear about that. I was expecting to find the same situation with mine, but I was lucky: one had the outer cover off & inner was still on. They are probably okay. I put bricks on all hives which I should have done before. Good luck with the others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I put bricks on all hives which I should have done before. Good luck with the others.
I actually HAD bricks on my lids, but now I've got cinder blocks. :s

Oh well, you live and learn. Hopefully I can make a split or another swarm will come my way.

Thanks and good luck to you all as well.
 
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