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  1. #1

    Default Is it possible to put swarm back into original hive?

    Hello and Good Morning,
    I'm a first year beek and one of our two hives swarmed last week. We caught the swarm and placed it within two new deeps that I hastily prepared. Yesterday I checked both the swarm hive and the original hive. Both appeared to be strong (and with approximately equal numbers of bees) and I saw our old marked queen laying eggs in the new swarm hive.

    My question is as follows:

    Is it possible to recombine the two hives back together in their original location or should I just get used to the fact that I now have three hives? I don't currently have enough honey supers for three hives (and I've maxed out my bee equipment budget for this year) and frankly, two hives was plenty for me to handle as a first year keeper. The thought of three is a bit overwhelming.

    And, if I can't combine back in the original location, can I combine the two hives in the new location (which is where the swarm hive is currently located)?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Regards,

    Sonja

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Cary, NC USA
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    54

    Default Re: Is it possible to put swarm back into original hive?

    If the bees swarmed because of overcrowding, then recombining would be a waste of your's and the bee's time, since the conditions that caused the original swarm would be recreated. There is also the fact that you now have a queen with each hive and recombining will almost certainly result in one of the queens being killed by the other. My advice would be to enjoy the fact that you now have two strong hives instead of one. Also keep in mind that swarming is a natural instinct of bees, and it takes quite a lot of management to prevent swarming. Most of these management routine result in what you already have: another colony.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    knoxville, tn
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    Default Re: Is it possible to put swarm back into original hive?

    NUBE pretty much said it all.

    Sounds like you are having growing pains, welcome to the bee keeping world

    G3

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is it possible to put swarm back into original hive?

    So it might have worked out for you. You had 100 percent population growth and dont need to buy a second hive. Good for you.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is it possible to put swarm back into original hive?

    Thanks for the advice, folks. I guess we are now the proud owners of Hive #3.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is it possible to put swarm back into original hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonja View Post
    Thanks for the advice, folks. I guess we are now the proud owners of Hive #3.
    What is an extra 70,000 bee's among friends. You can never have to many honey bee's.
    Last edited by Bizzybee; 06-17-2009 at 10:06 PM. Reason: Unnecessary quoting

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is it possible to put swarm back into original hive?

    You can stack both the hive and the swarm side by side with queen excluder on top of each one. Then stack up the supers centered over both. You'll be able to keep both hives and get good honey for yourself as well. You'll need a couple 8 inch wide boards to cover over the top half of each hive that is not covered by the supers as lids over the exposed excluders.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Default Re: Is it possible to put swarm back into original hive?

    sonja writes:
    Is it possible to recombine the two hives back together in their original location or should I just get used to the fact that I now have three hives?

    tecumseh:
    you can do either.

    to gain some idea of how you might combine these hives reference demaree. the demaree method is a strategy for limiting swarming... you would be simply implementing this after the fact. there is also a modified demaree method.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Is it possible to put swarm back into original hive?

    Next time, if they're on a flow, try this...

    Move swarmed colony off stand, and turn 180 degrees. Hive swarm on original stand, in medium super with excluder on top. Add cut comb super on that. Manage for comb production.

    At end of season, kill old queen and unite with original colony...which has new queen.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is it possible to put swarm back into original hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    sonja writes:
    should I just get used to the fact that I now have three hives?
    I guess a fundamental question is do you not want 3 hives.?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is it possible to put swarm back into original hive?

    If you had killed the queen that was w/ the swarm, the swarming bees would have returned to the colony from which it came. Or so I have heard. I've never tried it.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Is it possible to put swarm back into original hive?

    eastside writes:
    I guess a fundamental question is do you not want 3 hives.?

    tecumseh:
    I think to get fundamental you would need to drop back a notch. that is no matter what the hive count might be... what is the primary thing you are wanting from the bees a honey crop, or to pull foundation or to (add a whole list of purpose for which might wish to accomplish here).

    by combining two into one you have more field force plus more brood coming on so either of the above mentioned purposes should be more doable. you could then resplit later if you still wanted numbers for next spring.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Is it possible to put swarm back into original hive?

    You can re-combine the hives.

    Hopefully they are somewhat nearby each other, this helps.

    I'd start by consolidating the new swarm hive into one deep box. Keep an eye on them to see if they need more space, this might take a few weeks.

    What I'd try:
    Once the new queen in the old hive is mated and laying, combine the two hives with a double screen board for a few days.
    After a few days, kill the old queen, remove the screen board, and replace with newspaper.
    When doing either of these combines, some sprays with sugar water with vanilla or mint is a good thing.
    Then a few days later consolidate the 3 deeps back in to 2 deeps, removing the required amount of non-brood frames.

    Viola! A strong hive with a brand new young virile queen!!

    If you need to move hives around, as long as they are in the same bee yard there will be stragglers and lost bees, but they should soon join a nearby hive. You probably don't care which hive as long as they stay your bees . They'll be flying big circles for a day or two but they'll go somewhere.

    A double screen board is a strip of wood that goes all the way round the top of the box, with 1/8" screen covering both sides, this keeps the bees away from eachother in two hives.

    Rick

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