Small cluster problems. Curious what to do

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by jkittle99, Mar 17, 2015.

What to do

  1. Do a newspaper combine to get some more bees in there

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Leave it alone, more bees are going to be worse, not batter

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. jkittle99

    jkittle99 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So first off, I'm in Columbus Ohio and the weather has just started to warm up here, we're seeing days in the 50s and 60s, and the bees have been flying like crazy. They're happily taking sugar water, and the spring build-up is just around the corner. One of the hives that I overwintered has dropped enough population that I'm getting really concerned. I realize that brood rearing is likely only weeks from starting in my area, and I'm going to be doing some pollen substitute feeding any day, but this hive is down to less than 50 bees. The queen is alive, and I really want the colony to pull through - we're SO CLOSE. I'm considering my options and I'm not sure if i should just leave it alone, or if I should do a newspaper combine. I have other hives, but this one is special, and I really want to breed from that queen in a couple months. Thoughts/Opinions? Should I leave it be, or should I do a combine?
     
  2. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    50 Bees? You'll have to do something or they die. I really doubt they can be saved.
    You could sacrifice one of your other queens and install her in that healthy hive.
    You could put them in a nuc and shake in some nurse bees from another hive.
     

  3. jkittle99

    jkittle99 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yeah I don't really care about saving 'them' - it's more 'her'. So I guess I can move her to another hive, I do have one that is in major need of requeening. I guess I was just hoping to limp her through in her own colony, but yeah I know things have reached critical mass.
     
  4. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

    Messages:
    2,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    If the bees have not started brooding up it is to early to try to introduce her into another colony. Her chance of acceptance by the old winter bees will be slim. If her colony has dwindled to 50 bees I would suspect that she could be a failing queen as she did not produce a robust winter bee population. You may be replacing a poo queen with one that has fail causing 2 hives to fail.
     
  5. jkittle99

    jkittle99 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I ended up losing her. The colony got robbed out by another stronger nearby colony. It happens. I Have 4 more colonies here now (3 of which need new queens as they're too aggressive) and 12 packages coming in about 2 weeks. It's going to be a good season, I can feel it already.