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Weak colony - best option?

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House Bee
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I've got a weak colony which (due to repeated supersedure and weak queens) is now quite reduced in size, and low on food stores. The queen that is now in there is laying well, and should be fine to survive the winter, but the bees are only covering 3-4 frames, with only 2 or 3 frames of stores, the rest being drawn but empty. I'm aware I might lose them over winter, but I'd like to try and keep them if I can...

So I think I have 3 choices:

1) Merge them with another colony. I have a different colony I could add them to, but this other colony doesn't need a population boost, and is from a different lineage, so I'd prefer to keep both queens for a bit of diversity.

2) Leave them in the current hive, and feed them up. However I'm worried that this will be an awful lot of feeding, or too cold for them to keep going (even with dividers in).

3) Move the colony into a nuc. This would be easier to manage and feed, but I'm uncertain as to whether this is a good option or not.

What would you do? :)
 

jimbeekeeper 

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I would do option 3, but with the addtion of a frame or two from your stronger hive.

Feed well, remove "vain" space, and even insualte.

It is all to do with ratio of bees/food/space

At the moment you have 2 laying queens so why not give it a chance with a few helping hands on the way.
 

Finman 

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Like Jim says, take from both 1 frame full of capped brood. They 2 produce 5-6 frames bees and you will get whole box full of bees.
 

oliver90owner 

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I like that term too. I'll use it anywhere I can (on other forums) given the chance, and leave a bibliography, for Finman. He might get really famous not just plain famous!

I would have used the term 'outer space' as that is where all the heat goes that is lost from the Earth. Vain space just has that 'feel' of uselessness, which is a very good description.

Regards, RAB

Regards, RAB
 

buzz lightyear 

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just a thought, but you might not have enought bees to cover the brood you introduce. So, perhaps you need to swap the position of the weak and stronger hives to boost the bee numbers as well, to cover the brood frames. Just a thought
 

Finman 

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Good point

If you take brood frames which are allready emerging, heating is not a problem.
First one frame and another frames some days later.
 

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