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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently retrieved some bees from a water meter. Due to several mistakes and the presence of shb the number of bees has declined substantially. At this point I have the queen and a handful of bees on original comb. Comb has a few brood cells but also has shb larva.

Since I don't think I have much to lose I thought I would remove the queen and bees to a nuc with a few frames of clean comb. Take the original comb from the meter box and freeze it, then put it back into the nuc for them to use. Feed with 2:1 and Bee Pro.

With only 100-200 bees do I have a chance? If nothing else it will be (another) learning experience.
 

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With so few bees, i'd say you may want to give them a frame of just ready to emerge bees from a strong hive along with the bees to keep them warm. That will give your little hive the chance that it needs. From there wait a bit till they have emerged and start feeding well so they can draw new comb..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wish I could do that, but my other hive is recovering from a pesticide kill. Doing ok, but no spare brood.

Thought if I can get the small hive recovering I will keep it in the garage if the weather gets too cold. That is down the road, though.
 

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Do you know anyone around you that is a beekeeper? Possibly purchase a frame of brood & Bees from one to fix this hive.
 

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marant, you're not far from BeeWeaver in Dripping Springs. Call Laura and ask for her suggestions. At the very least, she can probably tell you about local beekeepers.
 

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"With only 100-200 bees do I have a chance? If nothing else it will be (another) learning experience."
In your situation, I would give them a very small space to defend, roughly the size of two or three medium frames and keep the entrance very small. I would give them drawn comb, preferably with a little pollen and honey (from my hives -- you can pour a little in the comb if it has been extracted) if I had it. Keep a water source nearby. I would not add stress to this little colony by having them clean out dead brood and small hive beetles. I would protect them from extreme temperatures and, despite the beetles, with this small colony at this time of year in your location, I would have the hive well shaded, moving to partial shade in six weeks or so.
 

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In my experience a colony of 100 to 200 bees simply does not have what it takes to get going. It may not die but it will not grow either. Kilocharlie did a good job of explaining this a few weeks ago. I was trying to get nucs started from just two weak frames of bees and a mated queen that came from my mating compartments. Although this is adequate bees to get a virgin queen mated. it is hardly what is needed to get a colony started. I had multiple nucs to get built up and paid careful attention as to what point the bees had adequate population. It is now my opinion that three frames of bees decently covered is a bare minimum for a hive to get going. Still then it will do so slowly. My nucs have gone from no progress to 5 over 5 nucs in the past 4 to 5 weeks. One 5 frame box strongly populated with bees and making progress at filling the second 5 frame box. In another 4 to 5 weeks I expect to be moving them to 10 frame equipment with the goal having them up to a deep and medium before the season ends. Not sure I will make it as robbing has caused set backs.
 

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"In my experience a colony of 100 to 200 bees simply does not have what it takes to get going."
We've had good experience growing bees with a new queen from a teacup sized cluster in an expandable medium two frame nuc, but this time of year is tough. An extra mated queen from feral stock can be handy to have and valuable in emergencies this time of year, particularly for someone just getting started.
 

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It might just be worth it to sell the queen and start from scratch in the spring with a fresh package and clean foundation.
 

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Go for it. what do you have to lose? You may have to feed them SS and some pollen patties but maybe come spring she will start laying and this hivewill really take off. One of the things I like about beeking is nothing is written in stone. It's something that try it, if it works for you, great. It's the experimentation and seeing what happens that can be so intresting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have a chance at a downed log cutout, so maybe I can slip a little of that brood in too. Like you say, little to lose, and the learning is the fun part. (If the amount you learn is directly proportional to how much fun you have this summer has been the funnerest of my life!)
 
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