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I have a hive, hive #8, that is not as stong as the other hives. They have a western filled with honey and brood. We were going to put a deep on with foundation but it is pretty late in the season so our plan is to put another western on that has drawn out frames and see what they fill. There is a small flow going on and another small on coming with the asters. I plan to put a western from another hive that has all frames filled with capped honey on top of the western on #8 in hopes that with this and feeding them, they will get though the winter.

I think with some care with feeding and moving around extra honey supers, I can over winter this hive. It is not small enough to combine with another hive.


Any suggestions, thoughts or concerns?
 

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Feed them when there isn't a flow and see how far they get. Any hive is "small enough" to combine. You just combine them. But if you can get that top box full I'm guessing they will probably winter in your location. How cold is it there in the winter?
 

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Take a few frames of capped brood from your other hives to boost the population.
Feed them a light syrup to keep the queen laying as long as possible, and feed them as late as possible.
Take a few frames of honey from each of the hives to boost stores.
 

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If your worried about them surviving the winter combine them. With a strong hive, you will probably find that hive boiling over in the spring, then you can split them out and probably end up with two strong hives.
 

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If the folks in Illinois, named them first? How did they get named Westerns? I think I will just call them mediums to stay out of it.
 

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"There is no greater waste of time and money, than that spent artificially rescuscitating colonies which mother nature would of normally have eliminated". - Practical Queen rearing, by Charles & Pauline Dublon

Thats one of my favorite qoutes in beekeeping.

Why was this hive weak? Why perpetuate a weak queen and pass along these genes in the spring? I understand a late swarm or a late split for whatever reason. But if its just merely a hive that lagged all summer, than combine after pinching the queen. Many feed hives all winter to still have them die, or continue to have a weak hive the following year. Just as a dairy farmer, a chicken farmer or anyone else, sometimes you kust get a dud. Culling the weak and unproductive, is something many types of farmers use, and beekeepers should also practice. Split from strong hives and cull out the weak. You will have better bees in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It was a late swarm in the beginning of July. I noticed that the queen was not laying a lot and was spotty so I replaced her. The have a full western filled with brood and honey and we are going to put another western full of capped honey on before winter starts.

If it was a weak hive, I would combine but it is not really weak per say.... just smaller in population.
 

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>we are going to put another western full of capped honey on before winter starts.

Perhaps you should consider putting your western on a northern and an eastern on top of that. I'd definatly stay away from the southerns for now ;)
 
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