The hives are ready for winter and are around their winter cluster size and I won't be disturbing them much in the coming months. I do plan to periodically check in to make sure they still have food, especially around early February when they are most likely to be at risk of starving. Granted there isn't much I can do in a top bar other than to move a honey or sugar frame directly next to the brood nest or cluster as a last resort. They should continue to raise ever smaller patches of brood in November and on nice days will fly to collect water or any pollen that's out there. As the nights get colder they also seem to really bring in the propolis to seal up the hive against drafts and pests.
Hive checks (10/28/2012)
They have several frames of brood and continue to build up slowly. They didn't do much with the syrup I gave them and I pulled the excess out and tightened up the follower board.
They had a small amount of syrup left. Removed the syrup and tightened up the follower board. They have a good amount of honey stored and I pulled a frame of honey. Unfortunately they are showing signs of DWV virus and if it's anything like what the Geeks had I think it will be unlikely they will make it till spring.
They finished off their syrup and I gave them leftovers from the other hives. Their numbers look good and I'm curious if they will finish the leftover syrup this late in the season.
Icon Daughter Nuc
They look good and are still raising brood. The boost of foragers to this hive has really made the difference. While I can't assume that this queen only lays darker bees I do know that the hive only had light worker bees and a handful of dark bees when merged. You can see the number of darker bees that she has produced in the last 5 weeks vs the lighter forager bees that are likely left over from the Rebel hive. They are still allowing drones in this hive as well.
Librarian Daughter Nuc
There was some syrup left and I pulled it out and tightened up the follower board. They have brood, but their numbers are less than ideal for a winter cluster.
They also finished the syrup they had and I gave them some of the leftover syrup. They have good activity and numbers and seem to have picked right up with the Geek queen. No inspection. I found two wasp queens in hibernation under the cover waiting for spring to start new colonies. Unfortunately for them they picked a bad location to hide out for the winter and got introduced to the hive tool.
They finished the syrup they had and I also gave them some of the extra to see if a bigger hive would still take it. They have good activity and numbers. No inspection.
They had good activity and they appear to have built back up. No inspection since I pulled their syrup and tightened up the follower board back in early October.
Back to the bees.