I am asking this in advance, so that if it EVER stops raining here, I might be able to make adjustments as needed.
I have 2 hives. One is a very strong colony, 2 deeps + 1 super. At last inspection (probably a month ago), the 2 deeps were very full and there was some honey in the super.
The second hive is a small swarm that I have been feeding since July, and has one deep and one super. At last look, they had brood in the center frames of both boxes, and some honey stores to the sides. Still empty space in the super and the farthest outboard deep frames.
My plan was to remove the super from the strong hive and either:
a) put it on top of the weaker colony, or
b) take frames of honey out of it and trade with empty frames in the weak colony super.
Sound okay? I guess my biggest question is... if the weak colony bees still seem to be living in 6 frames on one side of the boxes, is it better to add a box on top with the honey frames over the colony, or to fill the existing super with honey over to the side that is "unoccupied"?
I was feeling rather guilty about stealing from the strong hive, myself. This is the colony that I found in some abandoned equipment, and the queen and her ladies seem to be quite hardy. I would hate to short them their hard-earned stores, and jeopardize both. I have used a rather "hands-off" approach with this hive, and they seem to be thriving. And extremely tolerant of my meddling.
One question: Is there increased chance of nosema if a hive is fed lots of sugar water (as opposed to natural nectar gathering?) If so, and I do feed the smaller colony until snowfall, is there anything I can do to help prevent this?
By the way, iddee, the spare bedroom is ready any time you want to take your winter trip to lovely Erie!
No... Although I'd love to watch iddee carry deep supers of honey around while I sat in a chair with a cold beverage, winter in Erie is not the time for that. And I really doubt he knows how to use a snow shovel...