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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Cameron, MO
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    Default Combining weaker hives

    I have swarm 3 hives that are still on their first deep. And 3 hives on their 2nd brood box. I'm feeding now but am worried about them making it through winter. When is it too late to "not" combine them w/ the 3 stronger hives?
    When and if I combine how do I place the brood frames frrom both hives or just place on top of each other? Just wondering if folks mix and match frames on a combine?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    With two I use a sheet of newspaper. With three or more I just combine them and smoke them a little.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
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    Mar 2008
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    Default

    Thank you Mr Bush,
    I planned on the newspaper idea w/ 2 but combining all 3, I never thought of!!! good idea!!!(if needed).
    I just wondered would it bee better with the brood close together for warmth and production? I'm just guessing this idea!!!
    What about the timeframe? Is there concern for these hives being so small(not even 1 full deep) in July?

  4. #4
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default

    >I just wondered would it bee better with the brood close together for warmth and production? I'm just guessing this idea!!!

    If you're doing three or more, sure. If less, then you're back to dealing with the fighting. Three or more seems to cause enough confusion that it's not a problem.

    Probably even two, if you smoked them a moderate amount before and after the combine would work, but sometimes they decide to fight it out.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Cameron, MO
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    Default

    OK I'm a newbee, and I understand the paper and combine part of this.
    I just wonder after the combine and w/ 2-4 frames of brood in each hive if I combined all the brood (after they all get friendly of course) into the bottom hive after a few days to keep them working in the same area. I can put the honey stores on the outer frames and top.
    I am pretty new so I have not seen a full 2 brood deep w/ supers on top kind of hive yet so not sure if arranging frames would be helpful in these weaker hives.
    Or should I leave the brood in the center of each box stacked on top of each other like they are in the combine?

    ALSO still no reply on "When do I need to "have" my combines accomplished? before the freeze? October? when clover is done? I want these bee's to survive the winter if I can help them. If I can feed them and nurse them into a strong enough hive on thier own I will. Otherwise I'll combine. When is that deadline?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
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    2,240

    Default deadline

    'ALSO still no reply on "When do I need to "have" my combines accomplished? " that depends on if you get a fall flow, how strong it is, how long it lasts, when the killing frost hits, how severe(or not) this winter is, how early the spring flow starts, on and on. on a personal note, please try to be a little less, aaa, strident in requests for help this is afer all a free web site. hope this helps,mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Oxford, Kansas
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    I am about 250 miles from you I have been able to feed up into late november early december on some years. Unfortunatley we dont have a crystal ball to forcast the weather. There has been years when it has turned cold in mid october and stayed that way then other years it is mild. only time will tell. IMO I would feed 1:1 to try to get them to build up. and draw out comb. Its a little late to try to get them to draw plastic. Wax foundation should get them to drawing. Keep a watch to make sure the hive does not get honey bound. you are wanting to give the queen has much room has possible to lay. If things are not looking good in late september then I would look at combining.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Damascus, Maryland
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat View Post
    Keep a watch to make sure the hive does not get honey bound
    Now please explain that to me?? how much is too much?? How much room is needed??

    thanks JB:}
    "Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Cameron, MO
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    Thanks Riverrat. THat gives me some idea what to look for. I know we cant tell the future and our weather folks have a hard time figuring out today's forcast sometimes!!! I'll keep feeding until it gets "cold"
    What exactly are we talking? freezing? That would take out any pollen out there! or are we talking constant 40-50's?
    Riverrat, Hope you get them spiders taken care of!!!

  10. #10
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    Oxford, Kansas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zane View Post
    Riverrat, Hope you get them spiders taken care of!!!

    Dang you got the wrong guy. Bullseye be the one with the spider problem. Ole' bill's going to have to quit sounding like a redneck. Make sure you watch the brood nest to make sure it doesnt get honey bound.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    owensboro,ky
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    Default on a personal note

    please accept my heartfelt appology for my personal lapse in judgement. this is exactly the kind of petty zinger i despise and i have no excuse for it, only my abject appology and personal guarantee it will not happen again.
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
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    Default

    Enough room is 10% of the hive, or more, but not enough that the wax moths or shb can get a foothold.

    You can combine anytime you will have 3 weeks of 45 and above weather, for the brood to emerge before they have to cluster.

    You can keep them separate and stack them with double screens between them. The strongest on bottom. That will allow the heat to rise up to the smaller hives. Then put them back on bottom boards in the spring. You will have to feed anytime the weather allows, all winter.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Cameron, MO
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    Default

    Thank you Iddee,
    A good thing to consider sharing the heat!!! Thanks for the timeframe on the weather too. Thats what I needed. We still plan on getting to town on Thursday(early afternoon).

    Sorry Riverrat, wrong Kansas guy on them spiders.

    What does a "honeybound" brood frame look like? I see honey around the corners but thats not "honey bound" is it?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default

    >ALSO still no reply on "When do I need to "have" my combines accomplished? before the freeze? October? when clover is done?

    Around here, I'd probably be shooting for October.

    > I want these bee's to survive the winter if I can help them. If I can feed them and nurse them into a strong enough hive on thier own I will. Otherwise I'll combine. When is that deadline?

    If they are too small to do more than just struggle, now might be better.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
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    Default Combining weaker hives

    I think I'm going to combine at least one. I am feeding it and its not taking much at all. THe hive I'm combining it too is pointed south instead of east like the one I'm moving and is about 50 yds away. You see any problems doing this? I figure I'll put a branch @ the entrance.

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