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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Checking my hives for stores and as I pulled the entrance reducer from one I found a pile of dead mites behind it! As I inspected all the bees were up in the top box with all the stores. The bottom box was empty except for a dozen capped cells, some chewing out as I watched. I found the queen walking around in the top box.
This was a package installed early this spring that is in a single deep and 1 Medium super.
I also have another very weak hive (1-2 frames) in a nuc box that I recently cutout of someone's house that I really want to make it through the winter. Should I combine? Best way? It is supposed to turn cold here tomorrow...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It seems that I should combine them and save the cutout queen. I would prefer to save her as she is still laying & she looks better. The other one is fairly small.
 

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Since the cut out queen is a recent addition you really have no history of the queens performance. Because she is laying eggs does not necessarily mean that she is superior to your other queen. Due to the small size of her colony it sounds like she is trying to build up the population for overwintering.

If you combine colonies you would be dispatching the package queen and keeping this one based on the supposition that she is a better queen.

I would attempt to overwinter both of them and evaluate them in the spring. If you could take a frame or two of stores from your original colony and add to the nuc that would be enough to help them in short term. Both would probably need some help in the form of syrup, a candy board, fondant, or dry sugar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the response!
That would obviously be the best option if I can get them both to survive. My concern is the hive with no brood. I guess I should give them a frame with brood as well as some stores. With the obvious brood break that just happened, should I still be concerned about the mites for now.
 

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I reread your posts above.

Regarding your package hive, based on your first post it sounds like the deep is just about completely empty and all of the bees and stores are in the medium? If that is correct then it sounds like they are not really prepared for winter. In your region I would think that you should have at least half of the deep with stores as well.

Which hive has no brood? You mentioned that the cut out queen was laying. If you added a frame of brood to the nuc a week ago, where did that come from?

If you have a problem with mites it's too late in the season to attempt to use traditional miticides due to the temperatures in your area. Some people use Oxalic Acid in the winter with good results.
 

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Yes they do, in varying degrees. That might be why he noticed that his package queen looked smaller. The queen has probably trimmed down and has cut back on most of her egg laying. Depending on where you are located up north the broodless period is usually sometime in Nov-Dec.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I gave the cutout hive a frame with some brood & stores from a strong hive to try to increase their numbers.
The package hive is the one without any brood and yes they are all in the upper box with all the stores. If I give them a frame of brood that should draw them down and I'll put a frame of stores on each side and see what happens.
I will continue to feed them and insulate them good also.
 
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