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very small cluster in late winter

1349 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  hoodswoods
Checking the hives yesterday since in the 50s, several of them were not flying, so I thought they were dead. But they did have very small clusters - softball size. So I made sure they have frames of honey right above them, cleaned off the bottom board and let them be. Forecast is mid-50s for the next week as the high.

Any thoughts on anything else I can do to help them make it to spring?
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I would put some sugar (either candy board or mix water and sugar so it holds togaher and put close to cluster. Your problemwas caused by no fall flow...always watch your bees...IF they have no nectar coming in in Aug/sept you need to feed some 1/1 syrup those months to stimulate the queen regardless of how much honey is in the hive. THis is expecially true if you have Russians or carnolians. Some beeks like the idea that russians quit laying and it conserves stores...doesnt do much good when they die or so weak coming thru winter how much stres tehy have. It is hard to stimulate Russians...thats why among other reasons commercial beeks and anyone with years experience stays away from them.
My wifes hive entered spring in the same condition, but hers dwindled to nothing. Over 100# of honey left on the hive.

I hope yours do better.
Ditto - with a few, fist-sized clusters scattered across multiple frames. 60+ #s left of capped & uncapped stores. With only one hive, no options. This year, 2 hives & I'll be watching populations and reading all about combining.
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