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Thread: Mixing Hives?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Newbugh, IN, USA
    Posts
    1

    Default Mixing Hives?

    I have two TBH in a suburban backyard. They are about 10' apart. Both sets of bees were purchased and installed this spring. One is doing rather too well with the TBH full of comb and overrun by bees. The other seems to be fading in comparison. No new comb being made this month and the number of bees is about 1/4 of what we started with. The queen is still present.

    Is is okay to lift a bar or two of bees from the full hive and put them in the less successful one?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,104

    Default Re: Mixing Hives?

    Absolutely! That is why it is better to have 2 or 2.5 hives all the time.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Mixing Hives?

    Sounds like a good idea. I've done it before with good success. Another thing I have done to help a weak hive is to switch its location with a strong hive so you get alot of strong foragers come back to what they think is their hive, and they help strengthen it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mixing Hives?

    Sounds like a drifting issue. Maybe swap places until the level out, and then turn one around so it face the other direction. It's seems it can be an exponential problem. Once one hive starts to pull ahead in the race it starts to boom and grow faster. All the while more and more bees are drifting from the weak to the strong.

    I suppose you can just move a few bars, but you risk all the bees that are on it, just running back to the old hive. Granted you still get the bars of brood that will help the numbers in your weak hive, but wouldn't it be nice to have all the worker/forager bees that moved on that bar as well?

    When doing this with bees on the bar, does a screen divider board need to be used at first so the bees don't fight? I have never done it, but it would sure be a shame to loose a bunch of bees due to fighting, when the goal was to up the numbers.

    Let us know what you decide. Good Luck!
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

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