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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a hive with a good queen that is about to die out. Skunks raided the hive until the cluster will fit in a coffee cup.
Now the question on my mind. If I put this hive on top of another well populated hive above and excluder would workers move up to support her as well?
I know it’s a long shot but it’s not warm enough here yet for them to have brood to hive her. Any other possible options? I figure the next cold snap is the end of them if I don’t work something out.
 

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Could you transfer them to a nuc?
 

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Put them in an observation hive. You could also put them in a nuc and put the nuc in your house. Put a screened area on the nuc or observation hive before the entrance tube to stop the wind tunnel effect. It is really pretty simple to over winter a queen with a handful of bees inside your house if you do it properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Was really hoping to avoid transferring frames. Just a entire box to the next hive.
I have wintered small clusters in the house before, but I set them up inside before winter cluster set in. May just have to break down and build a nuc to hold a few shallow frames in the house.
 

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It could work, I have certainly done such things in the spring.
I have also seen bees choose "a side" and abandon one queen for another when they cluster in winter
 

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Could you use two queen excluders, plastic ones if you have them and offset them slightly? Then they can share heat but can't get at each other.
 

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Agree with JConnolly. Use a "division board" "Double screen" "snelgrove" or a makeshift one with 2 excluders. Are you sure skunks decimated the colony? Maybe she isn't such a good queen? Unless I was convinced she was a great queen, I would not bother trying to save her and a coffee cup full of bees. Correction: If I wanted a challenge, I might try. Good luck, J
 

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I have a hive with a good queen that is about to die out [...] it’s not warm enough here yet for them to have brood to hive her. Any other possible options? I figure the next cold snap is the end of them if I don’t work something out.
This happened to me a couple of years back. After the colony had deserted her for a younger queen - I was left with a venerable old lady plus a couple of hundred bees inside a massive cavity ... and with an Artic blast forecast to arrive within the next few days.
The QD (Quick 'n' Dirty) solution I used was to ensure there was sufficient stores in place, reduced the cavity size to just a few frames by means of a 'thermal curtain', and installed a temperature-controlled heater within the reduced cavity. It was one helluva lash-up, but it worked ok(ish) like that for several months, and I was indeed able to save that queen until she had produced a few more daughters.
LJ
 

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I have a hive with a good queen that is about to die out. Skunks raided the hive until the cluster will fit in a coffee cup.
Now the question on my mind. If I put this hive on top of another well populated hive above and excluder would workers move up to support her as well?
I know it’s a long shot but it’s not warm enough here yet for them to have brood to hive her. Any other possible options? I figure the next cold snap is the end of them if I don’t work something out.
yes you can try to put them on top of a stronger hive, newspaper combine perhaps. use a double wood bound QE to keep the Queen separate. May or may not work but at lease you tried something.
GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yes you can try to put them on top of a stronger hive, newspaper combine perhaps. use a double wood bound QE to keep the Queen separate. May or may not work but at lease you tried something.
GG
This is basically what happened. Time and weather didn’t allow for much else. I will know in a week or two how it went. Need to get pollen patties on this weekend if possible so I may see then. Figure if the bees abandon one over the other I really only lost what I was going to lose anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Finally got back to check this situation out. The bees went down to the lower queen and abandoned the weak one. At least the worker bees didn’t die out trying to keep her going.
 
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