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Author Topic: What to do with frames from dead hive & other questions  (Read 1554 times)
scott#2
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« on: February 22, 2005, 08:03:47 PM »

I lost a hive from the hot cold spell lately and tore it apart to clean it. My question is what should I do with the frames of honey and pollen?  Could I give it to another hive when it warms up? What is the best way to store it? Also how small can a winter cluster be, before you should write the hive off? There was maby 3 square inches of brood in this hive and maby 40 workers, couldnt find the queen. The workers were at the top feeder even though there was about 10 lbs of honey and some pollen left. I am a first year beekeeper and unfortunatly prepared for winter late.

Thank You for the help,

scott#2
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Lesli
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2005, 06:45:23 AM »

Hey,
Sorry for you loss. As long as the bees didn't die from disease, keep the honey for another colony.

Store it protected from mice, and in a dry-ish place, and somewhere not so warm that the wax will melt.

Finman has talked about wintering "tea cup" colonies. I suspect that isn't literal, but there have to be enough bees to keep the queen warm and do chores when spring comes--dunno. three frames of bees? Five?
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2005, 06:54:59 AM »

Small colonys are at a huge disadvantage, and even strong ones can die when the weather changes rapidly from cold to warm, then back again.  They begin to raise brood, then are anchored to it trying to maintain temperature etc.  They can starve with food inches away, because they won't leave the brood.  When they start brooding, they eat up alot of stores in a hurry also.  A colony that is in great shape in Feb, is sometimes discovered as a dead out from starvation because again, the weather changed, lots of mouths to feed, no feed coming in.
Finman uses terrarium heaters to keep his tiny nucs from being locked down.  It accelerates brood rearing, and he says his colonys grow at triple the rate.  I'm giving it a try this spring, as we had snow June first last year.  Didn't last long, but it was a shock to my system, so I doubt the bees liked it either.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2005, 09:03:17 AM »

I was told that on the first day with temps above 45F and little wind to split the deeps and place the frames of honey in the bottom box. The girls will find it and move down to get to it I,m told.
 Cheesy Al
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Robo
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2005, 09:11:43 AM »

I have had hives with a cluster as small as an orange survive.  They are at a great disadvantage and unless your just a hobbyist who enjoys bees, they aren't worth dealing with $$$ wise.  They will barely be productive enough to prepare themself for the next winter if you are luck.

With that said,  if you want to try and save them,  give them some heat.  A simple nightlight above the cluster will keep them warm until the weather gets better.  Also make sure they have syrup that is within reach of the nightlight.

I actually had a similar hive that had a small dead (I thought) cluster.  When I went back the next day (little warmer) to clean it up, they were alive.  Of course they were not strong enough in numbers to keep the temperature up to raise brood.
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scott#2
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2005, 06:48:22 PM »

Thanks for all the advice. I have aolt to learn and need to get on schedule with the bees Hopefully I will do better this year.

I had another colony die last year in late summer (weak queen) because I wasnt paying attention, makes me angry knowing what I know now.  That same hive also got some waxmoth damage (not too bad damage, got it early) due to weakness. I cleaned the hive out, froze the frames and then sat them in the basement uncovered. Is the pollen still good in them? And can I use the frames again this year? Will they clean them out and rebuild the damaged comb? or should I put in new foundation and start over?Theres waxmoth damage and broken comb from freezing and then improper handeling.

Thanks For all the help,
scott
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Robo
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2005, 08:33:55 PM »

Depending on the amount of damage, they can be used again.  If the damage is on the face of the comb (cell walls broken) and not all the way through the foundation, they will clean and repair the frames just fine.  If the center of the comb is gone (hole right thru it) they tend to build drone comb when rebuilding it.  I usually try to eliminate frames that have more than 10% drone comb,  so if more than 10% of the comb is broke right thru,  I would replace it.

As far as the pollen,  if they don't like it, they will remove it when cleaning out the frame.  They do an incredible job cleaning frames,  so don't try to spend too much time trying to clean them,  you usually do more damage than good.
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