Outdoor wintering of honeybees in multiple-nucleus and four-colony packs of honeybees
Tibor I. Szabo
Two methods of outdoor wintering of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies were compared at Beaverlodge, Canada. In the 'multiple-nucleus' method, single brood chambers were stacked three or four high on a base of four bottom boards, thus providing packs of 12-16 nuclei. Inner covers separated the chambers and provided a 1 x S-cm bottom entrance for each nucleus. Fibreglass insulation and waterproof material were wrapped around and placed over the entire pack. In the four-colony packs, double brood chambers were used. For the winters of 1981 and 1982 combined, 78 colonies survived in the multiple-nucleus packs and nine died, whereas 64 survived and none died in the four-colony packs. With the multiple-nucleus packs, the spring Nosema spore count was 2-10 times as high and the population decline greater. It is concluded that overwintering colonies in multiple-nucleus packs is inferior to the four-colony method commonly used in northwestern Alberta.
Overwintering, Multiple nucleus, four colony units, bee management