I tried to save a tiny dying colony last winter by installing it in a swarm box with a red light bulb. It died. I now have another tiny dying colony that’s in the same proverbial boat (see my Stubby Ragged Queen post for more on that). Here’s the amazing set-up:
A 40-watt light bulb would probably work just as well, or better, but I didn’t have one in the house and a trip to one of my most loathed places on earth, a big box hardware store, wasn’t worth it for me. The queen is most likely a dud anyway. I should have “dispatched” her and put all the bees in another hive a month ago. All of this is most likely a waste of resources. She’s lucky to be alive. Heroic measures are not in the cards. But we’ll see what happens.
The wooden box on the ground is an observation nuc that I tried to keep the bees alive in for the past week. It was in my garage where I had it set up with a plastic tube going out a window, a window I couldn’t fully close and had to use duct tape to keep the wind out, etc. — all of which was a big old fashioned headache. It would have been great if it worked, but the bees ignored the lovely exit-entrance tube I made for them. So this red-light swarm box is their last chance. I don’t have high hopes.