We have had unusual weather this season. We were still in the mid 80’s well until the middle of November. About the last week of October, I noticed a hive that seemed to be dwindling. I checked it and found a Varroa issue. I am a firm believer in hygienic behavior. I think the most successful tool a beekeeper has is using quality genetics. I took a chance and re-queened the hive from a Nuc I was going to overwinter. Today was December 28, and it was 85 degrees! I took a chance to peer in on my hive. As you can tell, the queen looks happy and healthy. There is plenty of brood (which is good because most of my queens have quit laying for the winter), and no sign of Varroa.
This leads to an important point. Always have a supply of Nucs on hand. They are cheap and easy to make up. Having a queen on hand, or having frames of brood available has saved me numerous times. I first read about keeping Nuc colonies from a book by Larry Conner called “Increase Essentials”. Since then, I have always kept a supply of Nucs on hand.
There is a good video conference you can watch here:
Or if you choose to purchase the book, you can do that here: http://www.wicwas.com/Increase_Essentials_Second_Edition
I would highly recommend any of Larry Conner’s library. They are all must have books.