Combining (Joining) Weak Colonies (038)


Manage episode 301964133 series 2867912
By Growing Planet Media, LLC, Kim Flottum, and Jim Tew. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Right now, you have to make some decisions about how to overwinter your colonies. If you live in the deep south, there probably isn’t much to think about. But if you live north of warm winter weather, there’s a lot that has to be done. One of these tasks is what to do with a couple of small, weak colonies, because they are just not big enough to make it on their own.

Several options are available. In this week’s episode, Kim and Jim look at the strengths and weaknesses of each to help you better decide what you can do with your weak colonies.

Combine the two and keep the best queen? That’s one way, but which queen is the best queen, and why? And why were both colonies small and weak? And what do you do with the queen that you decide to remove?

Or, perhaps you can combine the two and add some bees and comb and make one stronger colony or nuc to overwinter, so you will have a nuc in your beeyard next spring, which is always a good thing.

Or, what about putting those small colonies in a well-insulated hive box so they don’t have to work so hard, and maybe both will make it?

Other overwintering schemes are discussed, but the most practical, perhaps, is the most common way to handle this overwintering question. Listen in and you can decide what is best for your operation.


We welcome Betterbee as sponsor of today's episode. BetterBee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer service, continued education and quality equipment. From their colorful and informative catalog to their support of beekeeper educational activities, including this podcast series, BetterBee truly is Beekeepers Serving Beekeepers. See for yourself at


Honey Bee Obscura is brought to you by Growing Planet Media, LLC, the home of Beekeeping Today Podcast.

Music: Heart & Soul by Gyom, Walking in Paris by Studio Le Bus, original guitar music by Jeffrey Ott

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