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Author Topic: Wintering questions  (Read 870 times)
aliens
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« on: September 06, 2006, 11:05:40 AM »

Hello.

I am not a full-time beekeeper, but early this spring a local beekeeper sold me a new hive, bees and a queen.  My main purpose was to pollinate my garden as I am in a spot where there are little to no bees in the area.  The bees did their job!  I had cantelope coming out my ears compared to what happened to me last year.

Anyway, a few weeks ago the hive swarmed and my local guy came out with a new box and we put the swarm in this box.  This new brood chamber now sits on top of the original hive.  After they build up the new hive brood chamber I want to have two seperate hives.

My question is this:  We have 5 to 6 more weeks before our first freeze.  There should be enough time for the hive to establish itself before then.  Is it better to keep the hives together like they are or to seperate them before winter?  My local bee man hasn't decided what to do yet.

I live in SE New Mexico an so the winters are not harsh here.  I would appreciate any help!
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Finsky
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2006, 12:56:27 PM »

5-6 weeks is enough to get hive ready for winter. But question is do you have queen cells, how old it is or do you have already emerged queen.

If queen cell is very young it takes 3 weeks that queen start to lay eggs. If you by a new laying queen you have time enough to get 2 hives.

2 hives are better than one because to one hive it may happen what ever.

One question is why hive swarmed so late? Is it full honey and hive has no space to raise brood. You should check that bees have one deep free combs for brood and free space for honey.

If hive is eager to swarm it is better change both queens.

.
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aliens
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2006, 01:25:18 PM »

Here is a timeline:

Got my hive May 15th.  The bee man had set it up new about 6 weeks earlier.  We robbed it late July (a little too late I was told as the bees were a bit crowded.)  3 1/2 weeks later the bees swarmed.  To make sure the bees would adapt to their new home, we took one brood frame out of the original hive and put it in the new hive.  The super was not full, but it was very close (I am AMAZED at how fast bees can replenish the honey!) and so we robbed that at the same time.

In the original hive there were about 6 or 7 queen cells, two of which had already hatched.  I can't remember if we put one of the frames with queen cells in the new hive.  I kinda doubt it, but am not 100% sure.
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Finsky
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2006, 01:46:53 PM »

ok, you have queens in both hives. It takes 10 days after new queen start egg laying after emerging.

Hive needs at least 5 frames brood to go over winter. Smaller colony goes too but it has difficulties to start in spring.

You may even brood frames between hives before wintering.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2006, 10:38:34 PM »

When it comes to wintering, Finsky is the man.  If he can winter them where he does, he knows how to do it.  I'd listen to him.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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