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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a hive that was possibly queenless for a while. They dewindled down to about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of bees. I requeened them yesterday, and they seemed to take to the queen right away. Their honey stores are spread out over 2 deeps, and if put together, would equal about 1 deep of honey (maybe a little less).

What would be the best way to prepare them for the winter months in Indiana? I took the risk of requeening this late, and I don't want to lose this new queen. I'm afraid they don't have enough bees, stores, and would be to week to keep their space warm. Any ideas?
 

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First thing I would do is get a calender. Open it up to August. Then hopefully realize that winter does not start next week.

Do you have another hive? Bringing up the population should not be a problem. Swap frames, swap hive locations, or use some other way to rob the rich and help the poor.

Even if you don't, there is plenty of time. One deep of honey is alot of honey. Feeding at this time should more than enough build up the numbers and store enough additional stores for winter. It may be a slow build-up through September, but realize the bees that are in the hive now are not the bees that will carry this hive through spring. Its the bees being raised in the next two months that will carry the day. I have requeened/split many hives in August and they have very good survival rates. A young queen with new fresh bees is exactly what you want.
 

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Bjorn:

You are right about the winter but depnding on the location, there might not be a flow for the rest of the summer. Maybe summer will end early... maybe not.


M answer is feed feed feed. If they are not taking the feed, they are brining in their own nectar. I do not think you can go wrong with feeding.

Just my opinion
 

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It may help this hive to put them in a 5 frame NUC. Put in a frame of honey, a Frame of pollen/honey. then the brood or drawn comb, find the queen, put her majesty in the nuc, and then pour the bees in the Nuc. Put the nuc in the same place the hive was.
You could do a similar help by making 2 follower boards (boards cut to almost the exact size as a frame, except you want them to almost touch the sides of the hive to block off the space on either side of the brood area, then you could give them more space as they needed it. Bees do much better when they are weak with just enough space that they can control. Hope this makes sense,
 

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Indiana,

I have been over-spliting my hives for a year now and what I have learned that space and population is key. You must have the bees tight enough together to keep the brood warm and fed or the queen will not lay.

rwjedi is absolutely correct there.

On the other hand you must have the brood area broken enough to make the queen lay in new brood regions (ie empty (pref. fully drawn) frames between full frames of brood. Else the queen can be content and stop with just a few frames. Her laying motivation seems to be driven by the foot traffic of the other bees in the hive. By putting a laid frame next to an open you put her back against a frame of warm, working, and moving bees (she thinks she has enough work force to care for the extra eggs she is laying).

As for the honey, I would add a few frames for rainy day consumption (and also consider feeding (unless it is likely to cause robbing (if you are in or starting a dearth)). The rest I would put away in a healthy location until the population gets to at least 6-8 frames. Then I'd put them back on to protect and manage.

Keep in mind that in a good managed situation you won't have a good solid hatch from these manipulations for a another 3 weeks, so be patient there's still time left, but do it now! I split in late August with good success and I'm much further north in the state.

Good luck,

JEFF
 

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Chef, my comments did not mention "flow". I could care less about it. I can't do anything to change it one way or another. I did mention feeding. I had made such advice as you did. My comments were somewhat more slanted in responding to the last sentence....

"What would be the best way to prepare them for the winter months in Indiana? I took the risk of requeening this late, and I don't want to lose this new queen. I'm afraid they don't have enough bees, stores, and would be to week to keep their space warm."


I think NW is right on target. Whatever is done, should be done now. But realize that its august and bees are forgiving, and you do have some time to get it staightened out. DO NOT PANICK....
 

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It still wouldn't hurt to add a frame or two of capped brood from your other hives, or even switch spots with a large hive so you get the field force into the weak hive. Adding a frame or two of capped brood will go a long ways toward getting this hive ready for winter. Also, if you place them in a five frame nuc, so they can control the space better, that would also help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
"I think NW is right on target. Whatever is done, should be done now. But realize that its august and bees are forgiving, and you do have some time to get it staightened out. DO NOT PANICK...."

Yes, I am aware that I have time left. However, in their current condition, I am also aware that I can't just say "here's a new queen, see ya next spring, good luck". I know that if I don't give them some sort of help increasing their stores and numbers, they are doomed. And then there is the question of what if the numbers do not increase enough to fill the two deep hive, would they still be able to keep it warm? Do their numbers still increase in the winter if they go into winter with a low population? etc.

Based on comments, I plan to start feeding in the next week or two. We still have a major soybean flow going on right now, and my hives are in the middle of nothing but soybean feilds. My strong hives are filling supers within a week. I'll let them get as much real honey as they can before feeding. I plan on using a 1 qt jar of 2:1 refilled every two days until the middle of Sept, then 1:1 or even 1:2, depending on stores.

I don't have nuc boxes, or follower boards, but I can reduce them down to 1 deep. I have 3 other hives that are very strong. I'll a frame of brood from one and frame of honey the other two.

Thanks guys
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
"I will bet you that this hive will be your strongest one next year!"

With the strange things I have seen bees do (and in my rookie year), it would not supprise me. I had a swarm that I was sure would not produce this year, man was I wrong. They are on track to producing almost 150% of what the other strong hives have produced.
 
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