The too small hive in winter

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Gypsi, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I did a cutout in September of a very small colony in the enclosed window of a house. They had K-wing and obviously at least one other mite borne virus, so I didn't want to add them to one of my healthier colonies. And they had a viable queen. For all there were maybe a cup of bees. So I stuck them with their half a frame of brood in a medium nuc on top of my old truck and put a sticky board under the screened bottom board. and that was it. Til I hurt my shoulder the next week, and various and sundry other things went wrong. I did finally get them treated for mites when I got my fogger in, treated with OAV. I stuck sticks in the openings on either side of the entrance reducer to keep my bigger hives from robbing them out, and 2 days ago I sold the truck, so I moved them to the top of the deep bait hive I had in the apiary. I hadn't been able to feed since the cold started except a dribble on the screened jar opening when I carried out a bucket of open feed.

    Today it is cold, and I made fondant, 4 big plates of it, to do all my hives. I gave them enough fondant to get them through the winter. There are still at least a cup of bees, despite a couple of interrupted robberies. I put the fondant over top of where they were nestled between the 2 center frames, 3 of them came out to get me. I used a 1x2 spacer to make enough room for the thick candy, and put an inner cover on top of it and taped them together, with a screen in the ventilation spot on the cover to keep my other bees out. and I put a piece of styrofoam on TOP of the telescoping lid, to reduce cold from the top. There is still a sticky board under the screened bottom board, and they are sitting on a full telescoping top (my big hives are on a pipe stand, for ventilation)

    They are on their own. I don't want to kill their queen for a paltry cup of bees to add to my bigger hive that likely wouldn't be accepted anyway. They have come through a couple of freezes so far. It will be 50 tomorrow. I will open and feed the big hives and change their lids to winter lids then.

    If Texas had real winters they wouldn't stand a chance. But I've pulled a 2 frame nuc through a winter before.
     
  2. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Fed the big hives today, actually I didn't need to feed the 3 box I don't think, but I put a plate of fondant on there in case the weather should turn. I've been putting out a bucket of 1:1 with a gallon or so in it at least once a week, and they had the middle box full except the 2 north frames, and the top box getting there except the 2 north frames. Not as many bees as I would expect, I thought, so I actually pulled the top box, went through the middle, and halfway through the bottom, which had no honey, syrup or nectar at all. It had pollen and polished cells. I didn't want to roll the queen, seemed to be a lot of bees downstairs for some reason, so I put it back together, gave them a patty and got out of there.

    2 box hive, a deep below medium above, has a purchased queen and they are a little hot, I went for bee pants to put over my jeans right after I took the lid off. I put a temp lid on while I layered up. I didn't go through them much, just put the dinner plate of fondant on and changed them to a winter lid with styrofoam (with an elevated screen piece to allow ventilation) between inner cover and outer telescoping cover. post some pictures of my summer lids and the apiary later. It's pretty messy out there. SHB, they have just packed them into those beetle cloths