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  1. #1
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    Default Combining a few weak hives

    I am going to be combining a few weak hives with a few stronger hives.

    I have never used this newspaper thing before. Do you find this works better? I am going to use queen excluders as usual. How long does it take the bees to get through the paper, and should I make an entrance at the top then. I didn't want to but I guess I could. I have some old supers with holes in that I could use on top of the other hive.

    Reason I am doing this is the queens I bought a couple weeks ago are still not laying and they are not going to make it through the winter I am sure.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2008
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    I have used news paper it works very well I have no clue as to whom does the chewing into the other compartment though.

    top into the bottom or bottom into the top..

    within 3 days part of it was chewed not all of it, that is when I checked to see if anything had been done.

    why not put the weak ones together?

    good luck with the girls:}:}


    JB:}

  3. #3
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    Dec 2007
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    Tulare County, CA USA
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    Default

    I've used the newspaper method before. I've had just about as much fighting with it as I've had with just filling both hives with smoke and slapping them together. I think for something like requeening a strong hive it might work well, but I just quit worrying about it for combining week ones and I really haven't had many problems.

  4. #4
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    McGraw,NY,USA
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    Have you considered overwintering the weak hives over a strong hive with screened partition between them. If you only put the new queens a couple of weeks ago , when how many brood cycles exist before the first hard freeze ? Here in central NY state we can expect a hard frost sometime around the 10 of October . Rick
    Turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones

  5. #5
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    Jan 2007
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    Fuquay Varina, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Bees View Post
    why not put the weak ones together?

    JB:}
    b/c usually they are weak for a reason. combining weak hives usually ends up in a weak hive. you might see a boost at first since the population is higher but if the queen is not laying well that newly combined hive will become weak again.
    Hughes Honey Apiary
    http://www.hugheshoney.com

  6. #6
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    Jul 2008
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    Payne, OK, USA
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    I use the newspaper method to combine cutouts where I don't get the queen with established hives quite often. Sometimes they chew thru the paper in a day, and sometimes 4-5 days. (poke 3 to 4 little slices with your hive tool in the paper) I don't have an entrance for the upper hive, the idea is for them to become one hive, so they shouldn't have their own way in and out. I never have used a queen excluder.
    23 Springs Honey Farm ~ The Bees Know

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shughes View Post
    b/c usually they are weak for a reason. combining weak hives usually ends up in a weak hive. you might see a boost at first since the population is higher but if the queen is not laying well that newly combined hive will become weak again.
    Right! I already have weak ones and those are not laying. So... I am going to put them with ones that they will blend in with and get help with worker bees that can help build,feed, etc. I am hoping that later she might start laying... then do a split in the spring.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by okiequeenbee View Post
    (poke 3 to 4 little slices with your hive tool in the paper) I don't have an entrance for the upper hive, the idea is for them to become one hive, so they shouldn't have their own way in and out. I never have used a queen excluder.
    Ok thanks.. I will use a nail before I take the paper out.
    You never use an excluder when putting two queens together?

  9. #9
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    Don't use an excluder if you only want to end up with one queen, and most times the queen on top is the one that wins.

    If you want to have a 2 queen hive, Use 2 wood framed queen excluders on top of each other, or use 2, one on top and one on bottom of a bee box inbetween the two queens. Queens can get to each other thru a single queen excluder.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2008
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    Damascus, Maryland
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    Default

    Hughes Honey Apiary


    thanks JB:}

  11. #11
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    Dec 2007
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    Vienna,Maine,USA
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    I used large onion bags folded in half or old window screen this spring.
    I just went back and removed it after a day or two it lets the top half breath better than paper and you dont need the extra entrance.

  12. #12
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    Nov 2006
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    Tulsa, OK
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    This method has worked very well for me. One word of caution on this method -- if there is hot weather, but sure to give some ventilation to the bees in the top box. You can just crack open the top by putting a sliver of wood or stick under the top. If you crack it enough, they will use that as an entrance, but that will not keep them from blending. If it is too hot and no ventilation on the top, they can suffocate up there.

  13. #13
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    Jun 2008
    Location
    millersville, pa, usa
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    Default one layer

    That's all I use, one layer of newsprint, maybe with a few holes poked in. They get through in a day and I've never had a problem in maybe a couple dozen tries. No muss, no fuss and the bees clean up.

  14. #14
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    Apr 2005
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    College Station, Texas
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    ndvan writes:
    If it is too hot and no ventilation on the top, they can suffocate up there.

    tecumseh sezs: yep.

    on several occasions I have combined hives much like you suggested (a strong hive on bottom and a weak hive on top with a queen excluder in between) and found that the additon of plenty of young worker bees to the top hive make these queens (and hives) start hitting on all cylinders. on more than one occasion after 30 days I seperated the two unit and the 'weak' queen performed quite well.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    If you want to have a 2 queen hive, Use 2 wood framed queen excluders on top of each other, or use 2, one on top and one on bottom of a bee box inbetween the two queens.
    I have always used one, just never used the newspaper idea.

  16. #16
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    If you have three hives to combine, the confusion is usually enough to just put them together without the newspaper and just smoke them a bit. With two, I have better luck with the newspaper.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    With two, I have better luck with the newspaper.
    Thanks, that is what I am going to do.

  18. #18
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    Jan 2008
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    BRUNSWICK,NY
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    I was going to ask this same question. I think I'm missing something here. I have two hives right next to one another(a few feet in between). One is not going to make it through winter. (the same one I wrote about a few weeks ago that was being robbed) The other is doing very well. I want to combine them. Should I do it now and what about the queen from the weak hive. What do I do about her?
    I'm sorry if this has been answered already but as I said I think I missed something.
    Thanks again everyone!!
    Debbie

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