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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default How should I combine these two colonies?

    Hello all,
    I have a queenless single deep hive that has been queenless for about 24 hours now. I also have another single deep hive that is pretty strong and queenright. I am trying to merge/combine both of these colonies. I have twice previously used the newspaper method (in the same type of situation), but they chewed through the paper in less than 24 hours both times and balled the queen, thus making both colonies queenless. So I am trying a different "homemade" approach, that being this: I am using a homemade double screen board with no entrance ports, in place of the newspaper. I went out last night (Thursday, May 31, 2012) at 9:00 pm and removed the outer and inner cover of the queenright colony, placed the screen board on, and then placed the queenless colony (minus the bottom board) on top. I was going to leave the two colonies like this for 3 days, and then remove the screen and see how it goes. Am I on the right track, or do you have any other suggestions? Please let me know, and thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    485

    Default Re: How should I combine these two colonies?

    In theroy it should work as long as temps dont get to high. I would also try to give an upper entrance by propping the top open a little to let the field bees in the upper be able to fly you could then leave in this position for a week then remove screen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Eugene, Or
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: How should I combine these two colonies?

    Sounds like you are on the right track to me....using my limited amount of knowledge on the subject. I would have a entrance on the top hive and the bottom hive, screen between for a few days. Remove the screen then either close the top or bottom up. Like I said though - Im a rookie!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: How should I combine these two colonies?

    Thanks to both of you. Should I be letting bees fly to and from the upper colony? I was slightly concerned about heat and ventilation; it is 76 degrees F outside right now. For ventilation, I have the inner cover hole screened over and the outer cover propped open; I was hoping this would do it. There is also a hole drilled in the front side of the hive body, but I have that duct-taped over. Like I implied, I thought that no bees from the upper (queenless) colony were supposed to be allowed to come and go. Am I right or wrong? Thanks so far.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: How should I combine these two colonies?

    I am very new to bee keeping, but I would say that if you are going to leave the screen in place for 3 days then let them have an upper entrance to relieve themselves, get water, and forage. Then in the evening before you are going remove the screens, close up the top entrance, all the bees will be home and they will have to exit the hive via the bottom from then on so should return there after that, or at least that makes sense to me. Mark

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