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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    122

    Default Combining a swarm to established TB?

    Yesterday I installed a small swarm (musk melon sized) to my brand new TBH. I would have rathered a swarm triple the size but put in what I had rather than waiting and possibly not catching another swarm this season.
    We have a long winter here so they have a lot of work to do.

    If I happen to catch another or larger swarm in the near future, is there a langstroth-styled 'newspaper method' of combination? Plus there is a good chance there will be one in the next week from one of my other hives, how about combining before they even have comb?

    Lots of stuff to re-learn. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Combining a swarm to established TB?

    Would really appreciate an answer, or maybe the question is not clear? Thanks!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Combining a swarm to established TB?

    I am curious why wouldnt you start another hive/nuc if you catch another swarm? I hear ya on the long winters!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Combining a swarm to established TB?

    Because this is such a small swarm. It's June and I'm already having doubts they will be able to draw enough comb and fill it enough to go through winter. Numbers are low.
    Was thinking of possibly using the 'spacer board'(?) and drilling a hole at the opposite end to allow space for another swarm at other end. Then removing one queen and combining before long.

    This is my first TB. And since hiving swarm last weekend it's been close to freezing each night, and weather prediction suggest they won't be leaving their new hive to forage for at least two weeks to a month. And as it is an observation hive- I see they are not feeding, just in a cluster against the inner wall seemingly waiting for summer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,495

    Default Re: Combining a swarm to established TB?

    So it appears all this global warming has left you guys out.

    Yes, what you are saying is what I'm saying.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,987

    Default Re: Combining a swarm to established TB?

    I caught a smallish swarm last Sunday and ran into the same problem with the cold the next day. for nearly two days they just set in the TB hive and clustered.

    Here are the suggestions I received in another thread.

    1. just leave them to work it out. with further information that the swarm only has three days of food.

    2. feed them sugar water and pollen patty which I have done.

    3. Actually take comb from my langstroth hive that contains food and attach it to a bar and place it in the TB.

    4. do the same as above with a frame of brood from the lang.

    In my case I do not want to weaken my lang hive due to it only being 3 weeks old having been installed as from a 5 frame nuc and doing well. I don't want to rob a strong hive to hopefully save a weak one.

    Likewise if I where to capture yet another swarm I woudl manage it as a separate hive. leaving each to fend for itself lending what aid I can in the way of feeding etc.

    On the issue of cold and clustering. I did notice that once my swarm clustered they where more reluctant to break up and forage. the temperature needed to get a bit higher for them to move than I had observed when they where not clustered. but still there where a few hours each day that they did fly. how much this helped them I have no idea. My swarm seems to be ignoring the sugar water that is inches from them and going to a flower bed about 60 feet away. they are not going far I suspect due to the cold, but they also need food as they have no stores of any kind.

    Unlike your situation It is supposed to warm into the 70's today. the ordeal only lasted 3 days total for my swarm. I am not sure what else I would do if I was looking at weeks. Otherwise I consider the bees swarmed when and in what numbers they chose. I am not going to do much to alter that situation.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Combining a swarm to established TB?

    I missed your response, that's great. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,495

    Default Re: Combining a swarm to established TB?

    I'm just guessing, but if your hive is big enough you could easily make a frame to hold a piece of newspaper. Put the new bees in the back and use the newspaper to split the halves. After they merge a few days later just move any partial comb to the front and reinsert the false back. I don't see why that wouldn't work. For that mater you could probably just use screen to split the two halves and do the same thing, but you would have to remove the screen.

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