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Discussion Starter #841
No argument from me- my only point was that with a dedicated means to slide-in a tray (or an old cookie sheet), you could perform the evaluations even during inclement conditions. May not be too big of an issue for you, but I find it handy around here, especially during those cold, rainy days that seem to always land on the day that I need to be evaluating 48 hour drops.
Right.
As long as I keep the under-frame space clear proactively, I can do the same most any time and with minimal disturbance (with the long hives).

For the CVH hives, I want to make 1-2 bottoms equipped by/for the trays.
Something nice to have with those IF am to be consistent with the mite counting program.
 

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Right.
As long as I keep the under-frame space clear proactively, I can do the same most any time and with minimal disturbance (with the long hives).

For the CVH hives, I want to make 1-2 bottoms equipped by/for the trays.
Something nice to have with those IF am to be consistent with the mite counting program.
Makes sense to me... I imagine you will have a lot less trouble keeping the bottom space clear than I have had keeping the upper space free of comb!
 

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Discussion Starter #843 (Edited)
Status updates as of 11/09/2020 (copy/paste/modify from the above post #816 about the mite counts).
Pretty much ALL units are set with the winter stores (with or without help) - not a concern there.
All frames counts are in Ukrainian frame units (each deep Ukrainian frame is an equivalent of 2 Lang medium frames).

Yard #1 (backyard):
#1 - 73 mites (24-25%) - Weak unit on 4 frames. This unit is probably to fail as the attrition is already very high (as expected). I may just combine another mite dump into here - have another one with a young queen (#8) - nothing to loose, but a survival possibility until spring (and a potential resource IF get so lucky). This is my best honey producer though - we have decent 2021 honey crop. I also completely robbed them of every single frame - everything went into #2. At least something good from them - a bitter-sweet story.
#2 - 16 (5-6%) - (F1 queen from #5) Very weak unit on just 3 frames (still brooding and so I have some hope). There are signs of mite damaged brood - not great. This young queen was hatched and raised a bad unit (split from #1 above) and so I can see the mite struggles. Fingers crossed. Will combine with #3 IF MUST.
#3 - 13 (4-5%) - (F1 queen from #5) Weak unit on 4 frames. Also still brooding. Set on stores and all self-provisioned. No signs of mite damaged brood. This queen was hatched and raised by a strong Italian colony with unknown mite load. I will monitor and will combine with #2 IF I sense danger.Last year I went greedy and did not combine two weak units in the backyards - ended up loosing both.

Yard #2 (0.5 miles away from the backyard):
#4 - 37 mites (12-13%) - Terminated the queen and combined into #8 below.
#5 - 9 mites (~3%) - Average unit on 7 frames. Looks healthy and ready for winter. I had to feed this unit heavily - it was too weak through the summer to produce much on their own.
#6 - 13 mites (4-5%) - (F1 queen from #5) Strong unit on about 9-10 frames. Looks healthy and ready for winter. Self-provisioned too.

Yard #3 (5 miles South-West from the backyard):
#7 - 13 (4-5%) - (F1 queen from #1) - Strong unit on 8-9 frames. I like what I see so far. I also like how they set up in the CV hive. I fed this unit but it still feels a tad light on the stores, but with the fondant on the top added later (which I will do regardless) these should be set.

#8 - 51 (~17%) - I call this unit the failure of the season on all fronts - nothing but hassle with little to show for. Combined with #4 already and these are still only on 3 frames. May just dump them together with the #1 as an experiment to see if otherwise doomed units can still be saved via aggressive combinations for a spring expansion resource. One good thing about the late combines is that this is just another way to harvest more unused frames (honey and all).

Yard #4 (10 miles South from the backyard):
#9 - 17 (5-6%) - Strong unit on 8-9 frames. This is a heavily fed unit (not through their fault but rather mid-summer drought). Looks healthy and ready for winter.

Yard #5 (5 miles South-East from the backyard):
#10 - 67 (22-23%) - Average to strong unit as of. Regardless, I pretty much wrote this unit off in terms of both mites and worthless honey production. Had to feed them too. Will see how long they will last. Had I have handy OA solution, I'd probably use it on this unit trying to pull them through for the spring for the expansion projects. Oh well.
#11 - 15 (~5%) - (F1 from #12). Average unit on 6-7 frames. I fed these also. There are signs for mite damaged brood. Fingers crossed.
#12 - not counted - A strong unit on ~10 frames. Looks and feels ready just by brief external checks. Did not feel like breaking into this propolised-to-the-death hive. Will see in spring.

Yard #6 (15 miles South-East from the backyard):
#13 - 26 (8-9%) - Average unit on 6-7 frames. Still brooding significantly and very active. I had to feed these too and they feel set for the cold. Whatever happens is just fine.

Yard #7 (10 miles South from the backyard):
#14 - not counted - Strong Italian unit on ~10 frames. Self-provisioned. Whatever happens is fine.
#15 - not counted - Average unit on 5-6 frames. This late July swarm will be wintering directly in the trap hive on 5-6 deep Lang frames (turned at 90 degrees to make it a narrow and deep nest). I fed them as they were bone dry in the late summer (due to local drought). I actually like what I see. Fingers crossed.

So among other things, this winter I will have two units in narrow and tall configuration (#7 and #15) so to get the personal feel of the wintering in such setups. There are many good testimonials, but I want to see for myself before committing too much. This setup is supposed to be very energy efficient and favorable to winter weak to average colonies - which would be great for me.
 

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GregV:

Good update- looks like you took fullest advantage of the resources available to you to make increase.

Based on what you know now, are there any colonies that you have your eye on that you would consider breeding material for next year?
 

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Discussion Starter #845 (Edited)
Based on what you know now, are there any colonies that you have your eye on that you would consider breeding material for next year?
#2, #3, #5, #6 - the line from the purchased queen (#5).
#7 - a possibility to at least keep the line going; unsure why the mite count is low (it should be high IF the heredity is any indication)
#9 - same as #7
#11, #12 - this line (mother #12 and daughter) from the onset behaved in such a way that I want to keep them going longer

Any of these queens are on my radar IF they still stand in spring.
The rest will be used for expandable parts (while I doubt they even make it but who knows).
 

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Thanks for the reply, GregV. Looks like you have some promising material to work with and I imagine you will have some options to consider come Spring.

Best of luck on your overwintering efforts.
 
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