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Thread: combining hives

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    68

    Default combining hives

    I have a question on making a combine for the winter. I have a very weak hive that is only working about 5-6 frames of 10 and do not seem to be building up very good at all. It has a new queen that is laying well but just not building in numbers or putting up stores even with feeding. I have a second very storng hive that is 2 hive bodies and a medium super deep, all three with about 5-6 frames of brood and 3-4 frames of stores in each. I was considering just taking the medium super, bees and all and doing a newspaper combine with the weaker hive so as to give them plenty of bees, larva and capped brood to boost the numbers quick. As long as I make sure the queen is not in the medium super should this work and leaving the stong hive with 2 hive bodies should be fine as long? Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,561

    Default

    Yes, that combine should work. Make sure you have good pollen stores in each resulting hive as well as the nectar.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,027

    Default

    That should be fine and is normally a good idea. But the broader point is why do you thing you have a strong queen if they aren't building up? Maybe she was poorly mated. Is there a good capped brood pattern or just good egg pattern? If they've had a good shot this season (like this isn't a young split) but they're languishing nonetheless, I'd just combine them with the big hive for overwintering and re-split in spring.

    I'd say figure out why they aren't building up before you put a lot of effort into the colony; if there's an underlying problem just adding more bees is unlikely to fix it.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Thanks for the advise. Yes, the hive was a late split and a new queen. I am pretty sure the queen is good because they are building slowly but I want to make sure they are strong come winter and want to make sure I start building them in time. She has a good laying pattern and decent brood pattern. I have been having problems with small hive beetles in the hive that I have slowly gotten under control or at least gotten the numbers down some. The hive I plan on taking the bees from is a very aggressive hive and I hope the aggressive bees I add will also help control the pest. I have some frames with pollen stored in them that I plan on giving them as well as pollen patties along with sugar water to help both build up good for winter.

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