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Tindog 

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A fellow beekeeping friend is convinced one of his colonies is Q- and wants to unite with a Q+ colony. Personally I think it’s too late to do this. I have normally united Sept time or during the active season is for some reason a colony goes Q-.
Thoughts please?
 

hemo 

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Too late and cold to be fiddling now, best to sit it out.
If a colony is QL then the winter bees will likely be zero and only old bees will be left, there use will be of no use.
Why do they suspect they are Q L, are they a bee fiddler ?
 

pargyle 

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I wouldn't bother ... what is it going to achieve ? You are going to mess about with a healthy Q+ colony at a time of the year when you should be leaving them be. He's going to have to be sure there is no queen there before uniting them otherwise you are into a disaster so the stress of searching for a queen is going to stress a colony out.

To achieve what - saving a few bees who will be just a drain on the resources of the Q+ colony .. if the colony is queenless they are probably the remaining bees from summer and not winter bees so they would be dead by spring - there is no mileage in bolstering the numbers of an otherwise healthy and robust colony in mid winter. Let nature take its course - if they are queenless they will dwindle .. if they are not ... they will survive perhaps.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
To 'believe' they are queeless they must be fiddling around in the hive so the first question would be "what on earth do you think you're doing fiddling around at this time of year?" before asking why do they think they are queenless.
They probably haven't found any brood (perfectly normal in a queenright hive at this time of year) and assumed there's no queen.
My advice would be, grasp the opportunity and trat with OA and then close up and STOP BLEDDY FIDDLING!!
 
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During winter beehives should be viewed as an intriguing tombola prize that you can't open until April. They might contain something great, or they might contain the booby prize. You just have to take pleasure in wondering...

(OA treatment is an honourable exception for those who do this)
 

hemo 

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A bit milder today for a bit and pleasantly surprised to see some of my bees venturing out in the garden late morning, first I have seen any out for a few weeks. For some I'm sure it's a sign to open and fiddle, for the rest of us it is coming up to winter and another 4 - 5 months before the lid comes off.
 

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