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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,098

    Default When is newspaper combine really required?

    I've done newspaper combines before, but i've also just put hives together - after first removing one queen - with no apparent problems. No fighting, no dead bees, no worries. I did it yesterday with three medium size hives - just stacked them together in the middle and removed the other setups. Same thing with 2 hives on another stand. No apparent problems - just massive forraging activity. Hopefully this will maximize the extremely early flow.

    So is the need to use a newspaper a myth, or is it sometimes really required?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,699

    Default Re: When is newspaper combine really required?

    I very seldom use newspaper, but...
    I use newspaper if I'm unsure of the queen status of both parts.
    “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
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,999

    Default Re: When is newspaper combine really required?

    There's a number of variables. If the queenless one is strong and the one with the queen is weak, newspaper can slow down the combine and ensure a large number of bees don't kill the queen.
    If one 1/2 has laying workers or suspected virgin, newspaper may not be needed, but a queen excluder is, to stop the good queen wandering up into a different bunch of bees and getting killed, the queen excluder can be removed in a few weeks when the virgin would have been killed, or laying workers sorted.

    But for the most part I'm like you David, almost never use newspaper even though that's how I was trained.

    At seasons end, when I'm wintering down my 3 way nucs, any queenless ones I just pull the divider and let them unite with the one next door, virtually never a problem.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,098

    Default Re: When is newspaper combine really required?

    That all makes good sense.... See? That's why I ask questions. I probably would have even listened to my Dad when I was a kid if he had given me advice on the Internet - probably would have saved a lot of trouble then too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,371

    Default Re: When is newspaper combine really required?

    I was using newspaper for a while until one day I couldn't find any laying around so I just placed a queenless box over a queenright hive, no problem. I've done about 10 more since then, no problems. They don't fight, they just act confused for a couple hours and then start to act normal again. I've never had the queen get killed. Of course you have to be sure the hive is queenless or no laying workers. I think newspaper is a myth.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

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