How best to move from a double to a single for winter

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New Bee
Apr 23, 2022
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Donegal, Ireland
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I have a colony on a double brood that I feel should probably go down to a single to overwinter as it’s not got up to the size I thought it would over the season. What’s the best way to do this? There is BIAS in both boxes and stores in both as well. If also have a paritially drawn and filled super. I’m hoping to take the super off at the end of the month and then spend September treating with Apilife Var.

Should I put on a queen excluder, wait for the current cycle to finish out and then take off the super and the now empty brood box (with stores) and either extract or Nadir? Should I then treat or should I take off the super and treat both boxes before going to 1 box?
BIAS in both boxes and stores in both as well
Consolidate brood in one box; add the best combs of pollen & honey to fill.

Unless you have a magical strong flow, take off and extract the super.

Option 1: nadir the remains of the second BB with a QX in-between; remove when cleaned out; make sure to reduce the entrance to one or two bee spaces and don't nadir if wasps are a problem.

Option 2: put the redundant BB over the CB; when the flow is dead introduce a small hole to the CB to allow bees to clear it.

ApiLife Var is not designed to be used in multiple boxes, so the second option will give you the chance to treat the consolidated BB now: defer opening the hole in the CB until the treatment is finished. With the spare box on top robbing will not be an issue.

When clean, take off the BB and seal & store store it for next season; treat combs for wax moth with sulphur strips, Dipel or Bruco.

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