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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    nashville tn usa

    Default how does one combine two weak hives

    2nd year keeper...made a split months ago...the queen left or died...have since introduced another one but the hive is still weak. Another hive that has been qweenless for several weeks has been invaded by wax moths and after cleaning them out they are very weak. how do i go about joining the two? both are in single mediums.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA

    Default Re: how does one combine two weak hives

    Get a sheet of news paper. Take the cover off the hive that has the queen, place the newspaper on top of the top bars covering the whole top of the hive. Place the box of the queenless weak hive on top of the newspaper. Place the top on the now two brood box hive and walk away.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Bloomington, IN, USA

    Default Re: how does one combine two weak hives

    You can do a newspaper combine on the hives.
    There may be other answers, but this is all I've done.
    Open the hive that has the queen, and place a piece of newspaper, single thickness on top of the box. Make a few slices in the paper with your hive tool, then place the queenless hive directly on top.
    I leave the bottom entrance the same and close off any top entrances to the upper hive. If you have been feeding, you can leave the feeder on the top hive.
    The bees on the bottom will go for the food, the bees on the top will go for the entrance.
    I have done this with and without a feeder. They are usually combined in less than a day, but you may want to give them a few days before you check.
    It's pretty amazing when you open it up and there is NO paper left.
    Good luck!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Washington County, Maine

    Default Re: how does one combine two weak hives

    What Alpha6 and dmpower say is correct and it works. Be prepared for the resulting hive to also be weak. Combining two weak hives doesn't result in a strong colony. If the new queen is ok and gets busy laying there is a chance there will be enough young bees in the combined hive to make it through winter. In any case, make sure the hive has adequate honey/pollen stores for wintering. Is two mediums a typical wintering arrangement in you area? Seems a bit small to me but then again I'm in Maine and you're in Tennessee.


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