Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a little worried about one of my three colonies and how it's set up for winter.
It consists of two deeps pretty full of supplies and about half full of bees who had lost a queen in a swarm.
They sit on top of two medium boxes inhabited by a different swarm I got from a tree in early October. This group had a working queen but fewer bees and supplies.
I tried combining them with a newspaper and QE (just in case there was a non-laying queen upstairs) and when they didn't mingle, I just took out the paper and QE as Michael Bush suggested - that was about 2 weeks ago.
I thought they would all get together as one big warm cluster downstairs with the queen, then work their way up to the denser supplies as time wore on.
But so far as I can tell, they are continuing to exist separately, coming and going from different entrances. I did scrape out the bottom board the other day and found about 50 dead bees, some were drones and a few were pupae, a surprising number died with pollen on their legs, but I thought this was acceptable in the big scheme. (In another colony, when I ran my stick in there, the bees came roaring out, while in the third, they didn't even notice! All so different!)

Is this an acceptable state of affairs? If not, what could be done, if anything?
And another question: none of my colonies have finished their Fumadil syrup in a hive-top feeder. What would be the advantage and disadvantage of leaving that feeder on for the winter? Does a half-dose of Fumadil cause resistant nosema, or would it pollute next year's crop? Or mess up their temperature regulation?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,073 Posts
You have one colony with a potential queenless situation, and you have another one with a smaller cluster and I assume questionable numbers and stores for making it till spring(?)

I would quit messing around with newspaper and a QE and combine the hive.

What the cost of splitting them back out in the spring? A little effort in making a queen on your part, or 15 dollars to purchase one. Compare that to what you have now, and my choice would be to combine and let the bees sort it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
BjornBee - I did already take out the paper and QE a couple weeks ago. But there are so many bees staying up top that I don't think the 2 groups are mingling, and I'm wonder if they'll stay warm through the winter if they stay separate. Only thing I can think to do is shake all the bees from one box off into the other three, but seems hard treatment at this time of year for a situation that might be just fine as is. But how to know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The colony reads, top to bottom, as follows,
-outer cover, inner cover with small screened area

-Hive top feeder with a couple inches of fumadil syrup

-2 deep frames well-filled with bees and honey. the top deep has 8 frames pretty full, the lower deep is very full and heavy, but was mostly uncovered 2 weeks ago. I can't estimate the bee number very well but it looks as good as my others. There's one vent hole up here, and a crack along the back side the bees can come and go from.

-2 medium frames. upper medium is a conglomeration of natural comb rubber-banded in place that had eggs on Nov. 9, 3 frames of drawn comb, partly filled, some was uncovered 11/9, and I think an empty frame on the outsides. the bottom medium, "outside empty, rest normal, eggs!" is what I wrote 11/9 but I haven't been inside since.

-wooden bottom board with entrance mostly blocked.

So, you can see there's nothing between the 2 groups of bees but their inhibitions!
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top