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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Alpine, TX
    Posts
    104

    Post

    I picked up a swarm from a house last night and it's quite small. I have another colony that's quite small (been re-queened 2 weeks ago) and I am thinking that if they are still not thriving so to speak that I might combine the new small swarm w/ the weak colony. I have read that in a Lang you put a layer of newspaper between hive bodies and the bees get used to each other. Is there a way to combine colonies in a TBH? It's rather late in the season, it seems to me, for 2 small groups to get it together enough to make it thru winter.
    I smile like this because I have no idea what I\'m doing :-)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Post

    Take a stapler and a sheet of newspaper and staple it in to make a newspaper divider.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    I think if your TBH is long enough, it will take the bees long enough to really meet significantly. Since they are both small the fighting should be minimal since weak colonies and clusters tend to not fight anyway.

    Bees know what resources they have to expend, small colonies don't have resources that large colonies do. It is why new installations and small colonies seem much more docile, and large booming colonies need to be treated with more respect.

    If you two clusters/colonies are really small, there is also a really small chance of fighting.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Alpine, TX
    Posts
    104

    Post

    Good. Then maybe I can get this to work. I have requeened 2 colonies, one w/ a push cage and the other just by hanging the original shipping cage. Lots of new adventures w/ these girls. The next entertaining bit will be to isolate an old AHB queen from a thriving hived swarm and try to requeen them... The beat goes on.
    Thanks guys for your help.
    I smile like this because I have no idea what I\'m doing :-)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Post

    The problem with putting two small groups of bees at opposite ends is they will decide on one end and abandon the brood at the other end.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Alpine, TX
    Posts
    104

    Post

    Ah well, then I guess it will take some thinking. Spose I could just move the brood once the "dust settles". Any other notions? I don't really have 2 hives that I believe to be strong enough to transfer brood from to boost the weak ones which I figure would really be the best choice - especially, because we have a second good honey flow in August/September here before winter comes in middle October.
    I smile like this because I have no idea what I\'m doing :-)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Michael,
    What brood? Its a 3 day old swarm.

    Jean,
    Go ahead and combine them, the most they can have is eggs and eggs are REAL cheap on the bees. Better to let the new combined cluster decide it can brood up more than to give them more brood than they can handle.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Alpine, TX
    Posts
    104

    Post

    I was thinking this morning also, that if push comes to shove, I could build a slap dash box to put above the one end of the top bar w/ one or two bars removed and the newspaper between and then simply collapse the 2 levels together in future. Lots of choices.
    I smile like this because I have no idea what I\'m doing :-)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    Michael, generally I agree with most of what you write, but I have doubts about them abandoning the brood at this time of year as clustering for warmth isn't going to be all that critical anyway. A couple of weeks back, in my tbh I had a frame of brood that had completely broken off it's bar and was sitting vertically on the floor of the hive. The bees had already begun to make a new comb on the bar were bridging it to the broken brood comb. Anyway, I combined your advice and that of AlpineJean and made up a support frame using a top bar and some chicken wire to install the broken comb in. I placed it at the rear of the hive for a few days until the brood emerged and then took it out and melted it down. During the time it was in the frame, there were always bees on it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Post

    &gt;I have doubts about them abandoning the brood at this time of year as clustering for warmth isn't going to be all that critical anyway.

    And you're in Alaska. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Could be it won't matter. I've just seen them do it. And many of the places I've lived it drops down to 55 at night even if it is hot in the day. But probably not in Alpine TX?

    You're probably right.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Alpine, TX
    Posts
    104

    Post

    It gets up around 95 during the day and drops to 60-65 at night.
    I smile like this because I have no idea what I\'m doing :-)

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