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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Pt. Reyes, CA, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default How to combine hives?

    I'm opting for the newspaper method. From what I've gleaned from all the information floating around. The queenless hive goes on top and two or three sheets of newspaper are placed between the two hives.
    My questions are:
    Do I maintain the entrance for the top hive? If so how?
    If not it seems that this may cause a ventilation problem??
    Do I put the top feeder on? (The queenright hive is no longer using a feeder)
    I've heard a lot of success stories but not a lot of details.
    Thanks all!

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

    Default Re: How to combine hives?

    1."Do I maintain the entrance for the top hive?"
    no
    2."it seems that this may cause a ventilation problem??
    they'll be opened up in a day.
    3."Do I put the top feeder on?
    no
    good luck,mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: How to combine hives?

    We do a lot of newspaper combines, you may hear other methods that work also, I will give you a quick rundown on how we do them: Hive to be combined (remove bottom board) is placed on top of hive your combining with with 1 sheet of newspaper between them. In this sheet of news paper cut 2 or 3 slits about an inch long, or poke 2 holes in the paper about the size of a pencil. No top entrance, no feeder. The bees will actually have the slits or holes chewed large enough to pass through freely within about 6 hours, and within a few days to a week will remove all of the paper and spit it out the front entrance. Thats it, there is not really much to it.
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
    Posts
    2,529

    Default Re: How to combine hives?

    1 sheet of paper thick and make a few small slits in the paper.

    If you have tight boxes(no gaps) and it is hot leave the lid cracked enough for bees to get out or they will suffocate.
    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Pownal, Maine, USA
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: How to combine hives?

    Whenever I do combines in warm weather, I'll tape a piece of screen over the inner cover hole of the box being moved. Then, once the two hives are combined and the day is getting too warm, I simply prop up the outer cover to vent the excess heat. They won't overheat as long as the hot air can escape. If I know the day will be hot, I'll just combine the evening before. Gives them a good head start.

    BTW, there are always some bees left on the bottom board after I remove their hive. On a whim, I once tried giving a generous puff of smoke to a different hive, then placed that bottom board like a ramp to the entrance. These now homeless bees marched right up into their new hive, with no problem because the scents were masked by the smoke, and they even started fanning away the smoke along with their new family members. Maybe they would have found their way to a new hive anyway, but I wasn't sure. I was just thrilled I didn't lose any of my girls.

    Cindy
    Don't be afraid your life will end. Be afraid that it will never begin.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Whatcom, Washington, USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: How to combine hives?

    Is the queenless hive supposed to go on the bottom or the top?
    Thanks
    -Serge

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Pt. Reyes, CA, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: How to combine hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by SERGE View Post
    Is the queenless hive supposed to go on the bottom or the top?
    Seems like everyone agrees the queenless hive goes on the top. That way the queen-right hive can continue to go about their business without major disruption (save the possible distraction of several thousand new upstairs neighbors!)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Whatcom, Washington, USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: How to combine hives?

    Makes sense. Thanks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: How to combine hives?

    I never worry about who's on top, the hive I want to move is the one that goes on top. Takes them no time at all to open up the paper and I have yet to have any issues.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,238

    Default Re: How to combine hives?

    What if each hive has a queen, maybe one has a virgin. what will the bees do?

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