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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here in Central Kentucky yesterdays temperature was 74 degrees, so I decided to go through my hives. I just couldn't wait any longer. Out of 18 hives I started into the winter with I have lost 5 so far. This is somewhat disturbing, but 2 of my losses were nucs which I thought I may lose. The other 3 surprises me though. They were strong colonies with lots of bees and honey going into the winter. However they were my only Italian bees. These were 3 packages of Georgia Italians that I started last spring. The rest of my bees are Russian cross and except for one hive they all look fine. The one Russian that I am concerned with only has about 1/2 frame of bees and about 1/2 frame of honey. I put some sugar water on them yesterday but I don't know if they will make it. Our temperature is suppose to drop down in the high teens tonight, but then we are suppose to start warming back up after tomorrow. I am wondering what I should do with this hive. Should I just continue to feed them and see what happens? Since no other hives are laying much and none of them have enough resources to steal from, I don't know much else to do. Incidentally, I did find the queen in each of my surviving hives.
 

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we had sunny and 60 on monday (another 2 inches of wet snow this morning) I had not seen any flyers with the warm weather so I assumed the worse.

I was correct. Both my hives didn't make it. both were strong going into winter, both had 60-80lbs honey on at the start. We have had a farily hard winter this year, the likes of which we haven't seen here in central IL in 40+ years.
 

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I'd put it in a nuc and feed if you can save it spring is just around the corner.
Good luck .I have lost 8 out of 25 and the ones I have left are getting lite and it's still going to be to cold to feed for at least 2 weeks.
 

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I went into both my hives yesterday. One looks a bit lost, no pollen coming in, no eggs, not many bees, some honey. I freaked out a bit, thinking I had no queen. I probably should have waited but I pulled one of my three frames of eggs from my strong hive and moved it to the weak one, in hopes that the weak hive would make a queen. Now, upon reflection, its probably too early for all of that. I probably should have waited to see if it had eggs in a week. I guess at that point if there is still, no eggs, no queen cups, no queen, best course of action will be to combine them. Another new bee mistake, doing too much.
 

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I went into both my hives yesterday. One looks a bit lost, no pollen coming in, no eggs, not many bees, some honey. I freaked out a bit, thinking I had no queen. I probably should have waited but I pulled one of my three frames of eggs from my strong hive and moved it to the weak one, in hopes that the weak hive would make a queen. Now, upon reflection, its probably too early for all of that. I probably should have waited to see if it had eggs in a week. I guess at that point if there is still, no eggs, no queen cups, no queen, best course of action will be to combine them. Another new bee mistake, doing too much.
I found the same scenario you described, and thought about moving a frame as you did. Instead, I moved this little group of bees from an 8-frame to a nuc last Saturday, hoping I actually do have a queen. My other hive is doing really well. At this time of year I enjoy just watching them haul in the pollen.

Phil
 

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I checked a yard yesterday , lost 2 out of 24, absolutely incredible, coldest winter in 100 years, -30 Celsius from November till the end of February , the frost line is at 9 feet. The hives where covered in snow so they stayed well insulated, fed them a pollen patty, now 2 more yards to go, keeping my fingers crossed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had 3 nucs and I half way expected to lose them. I was surprised that one of them made it. The one that made it was queened with an off spring I raised from a Yugo Queen. The 2 nucs I lost were swarms I caught and they had yellow queens with them. What really surprised me, is I lost 3 strong hives with 3 + frames of honey each. The only common denominator there is all 3 hives were Georgia Italian packages I bought last spring. The rest of my hives (13) are Russian hybrids, and with the exception of one, they seem to be doing fine. I'm starting to have my doubts about southern raised Italian Queens.
 
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