Can't Do Much To Help Them Now...

The Phoenix hive is still hanging in there. Barely.

Their population is down to the single face of two frames. They have plenty of sugar candy, stored honey and pollen, but their queen still isn't laying any brood.

I don't see how they can possibly survive. Even if they survive the rest of the winter, without any new brood (or even a laying queen) there won't be any colony left.

The bees that are there now are the last ones to hatch in the fall, and they're nearing the end of their life-span.

There's no (local) queens available, and even if I introduced one the remaining colony is so small, she probably wouldn't lay any decent size brood pattern, as the existing amount of bees wouldn't be able to keep it warm.

Not knowing what to do, I just closed them back up. I'm thinking in a few more weeks we should have several strong splits from the hives at my dad's house and maybe I can move a split into the Phoenix hive and repopulate the hive.

If there's any original Phoenix bees left, I'll pinch their non-laying queen and newspaper combine them with frames of bees/brood from a split.

Comments For This Post: (2) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Holly says...
Date:   February 8, 2013, 7:31 am

Would combining this colony with your other vigorous hive be an option?  Pinch the non-laying queen and then do the newspaper method with an existing hive?  It's a shame to just let them die a slow death and eat up stored honey.  

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   February 8, 2013, 9:51 am

That's a good idea. I guess I was hoping she'd get start laying soon and they'd recover, but since we're into February already and still nothing, I suppose it is best to combine them.

I suppose I could start cleaning up the boxes and frames and maybe say a chant to remove the curse upon the wooden-ware that's seems to haunt the colonies that have lived within.

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