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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Port Orchard, WA USA
    Posts
    209

    Default Should I combine?

    I have a Buckfast and Italian hive next to each other, both started from packages. Tha buckfast hive just never really took off this year, I now realize it needs to requeened. Oh well.

    The Italian hive was going gangbusters, but then swarmed a week or two ago (I wasn't there when it happened, so I didn't catch them). So now they have pretty much filled the top brood deep with honey and are working on the first super. The flow apparently isn't all that great this year, and the buckfast hive hasn't been bringing in much honey at all.

    Since I'm about three weeks away from having a laying queen again in the Italian hive, and the buckfast queen is lame, I'm wondering if I wouldn't be better off pinching the buckfast queen and combing the two hives? Would this be a good idea?

    Thanks-

    Ken H.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,985

    Default

    ken and andria write:
    Since I'm about three weeks away from having a laying queen again in the Italian hive,

    tecumseh replies: usually once a hive swarms you are closer to two week than three.

    combining is a good choice if you have concerns about the time remaining before the end of the season (ie making store and young bees to make the winter).

    if you are going to requeen both??? I would not pinch heads just yet. queenlessness will tend to make these hive a bit of a discipline problem. so I would tend to think about keeping one laying queen on board (even if she is something of a dud) just to have access to green brood (there are of course unspecifed possible outcome where a bit of green brood may be essesntial).

    good luck...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Port Orchard, WA USA
    Posts
    209

    Default

    so I would tend to think about keeping one laying queen on board (even if she is something of a dud) just to have access to green brood (there are of course unspecifed possible outcome where a bit of green brood may be essesntial).
    Yeah, what I was thinking was to wait until the swarmed hive starts laying again, make sure she's a good queen. If so, then I'm thinking of killing off the the slow queen in the other hive and then combining the two, so I'll have a good queen and strong hive. I hate queenless hives!

    I'm trying to time it so I don't mess with them until after the flow. What I'm really wondering is if there would be any undue problems combining a buckfast hive with an Italian hive. Will the bees care?

    good luck...
    Thanks-

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,985

    Default

    ken and andria ask:
    I'm trying to time it so I don't mess with them until after the flow. What I'm really wondering is if there would be any undue problems combining a buckfast hive with an Italian hive. Will the bees care?

    tecumseh: I would think not... although my experience with buckfast is extremely limited.

    you might wish to think about (I think perhaps you suggested this yourself) seperating that not so good queen in a box until the new queens are accepted before pinching her head. you can recombine these units after the new queens are well established. actually a time or two I have combined (paper combine) units and place a queen excluder between the two units and both queens will keep laying (there are risk in doing this).

    to lessen the impact of working bees during a flow (I am totally uncertain of when the flow might be going in your area) manipulation early in the morning or late in the afternoon is often times recommended.

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