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My husband and i rescued a hive from a home that was being torn down, due to fire. We gathered all the comb and bees and transferred them to a new home. Prior to our extracting them, the owners of home reported that they saw a very Large mass of bees flying around above the peak of the house. However the ones we extracted really only filled a five frame nuk. On observation we noticed that the comb had no pollen, nor any brood. a week later still no brood or pollen, So honestly i was begining to flip. I could see no queen, nor any queen cells. So i was like OK, i took a frame with some brood from my only other hive hoping that they can make a queen. It appears that there was a queen cell that hatched out, however still no evidence of larvae or pollen. i am not scheduled to check until next week. They are storing honey, and weirdly enough the hive is quite docile, so perhaps there was a young queen somewhere, and she had not started laying yet. But anyway here is my problem, it is now august, if my little queen took i think i may have a problem getting enough bees hatched before cold weather, not to food storage. I have already planned on feeding, but what can i do about the lack of bees? I have heard that you might tranfer them to smaller box. They are in a single deep as it is. I live in michigan (central northern area of lower peninsula) If any have advice on how i might nurse this young hive through winter i would greatly appreciate it.
 

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It may take a week to 10 days for her to start laying so give her a little more time. If she does start laying you might try transfering them to and 8 frame box; reason being, the will have 20% less frames to fill for winter. They should stand a good chance of making it over winter in 2 deep 8 frames. Then you might get one of those styrofoam hive top feeders and feed hard even over winter. The styrofoam feeders allow the bees to feed in colder temps than other feeders.

And one last thing, be careful of your main hive robbing the weak hive when you feed. I just had a hive start robbing through the 3/4 inch top entrance slot of an inter cover. Had to move the offending hive to another apiary. Not good.

Or like you said you coud just combine.
 

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I would let these bees do their thing until you start to feed. Then I would assess your weaker hive, and make a good judgement call about the size of the hive and if they will make the winter. Give a definite yes or no. If you hem and haw over this hive, kill the queen and combine. Then split in the spring and have two hives
 

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Feed good pollen substitute to get them to raise brood. Keep the sugar syrup on them as well. All I know about MI is it gets way cold and snow there. Build them up into a single deep so that they have 2 or 3 frames brood and cluster space and the rest 8 frames honey. That will be 3 or 4 times the stores compared to cluster space, they might make it. Don't let them plug out with pollen, you'll need mostly honey for over winter. Feed enough pollen to get them brooding well with maybe 1/2 to 1 frame of stored pollen.

Here is a good thread of a post started by Michael Palmer of him over wintering 4 frame nucs in Vermont and NY State...

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=189642
 

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Honeyshack and RayMarler are right on track. This is one of those examples where frequent monitoring is a good thing. I think you'll be fine but don't get lazy now...the years getting long in the tooth!
 

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Then you might get one of those styrofoam hive top feeders and feed hard even over winter. The styrofoam feeders allow the bees to feed in colder temps than other feeders.
Where could I buy a styrofoam feeder? Thanks
 
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