Two Queen wintering

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Mummzie

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Tasman
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Why- Just to see what happened.

In Autumn I had a failing queen, the colony was drone heavy and not so strong. I split it in three and got queen cells. Murphy rules, of course they all mated and returned successfully.
I had intended to merge them with one queen but I decided to see what size colony could successfully winter on their own resources.
I run 3/4 boxes. Having heard of wintering colonies one on top of the other to take advantage of shared heat, Two colonies were on the same base, the top one with a rear entrance.
Instead of a solid division between The 2 stack, I put a queen excluder and crown board with 4 x 1/2 inch holes to allow heat transfer and visiting rights for the workers. There were several frames of uncapped honey, which were shared out between them. They were closed for winter with 2 boxes each, with space to expand.
The other colony was a single box only.
They got a brood break while the cells hatched & mated. Oa/Gl strips, followed by Bayvarol.

My hives get a 2inch piece of polystyrene as a winter insulation.
We had a couple of cold snaps, with frosty mornings, but they only lasted a couple of weeks each. Bees flew most days- so our winter is not overly testing as far as warmth is concerned.

All 3 have come thru winter bursting with bees, packing drones into every space they can spare. The queens waved, they still have stores, and nectar is coming in.
Compared to some other hives, they look to have low varroa levels.

I'm pretty happy with the result.
I have just separated the 2 Queen tower into 2 independent colonies. I would try it again.
 
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