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I know it’s been some time since this podcast was published, so my comments may be seen as irrelevant. But I was thinking it over about why to combine hives before winter instead of after. It seems to me that doing it before winter helps to speed along the selection process for the characteristics you want to promote in your bees. If you ensure that the hives going into winter are strong and have the characteristics you’re breeding for, then winter will test their survivability and the surviving hives will be closer to your goal. If you don’t do this, the hives won’t be as strong going into winter so there’s higher chances of losses, and you may have hives with less desirable traits survive when you mighty have been better without them
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