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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Wheaton, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Two hives one queen?

    I started two TBH hives this spring. One hive is over half full of comb and has consistently had more bees coming and going. The second hive is about a third full of comb and the combs are not as large as the first.

    At first I thought maybe the queen was gone in the second hive and so I ordered a new one that just arrived. Before I added the queen and to be very sure I just inspected all the combs in the second hive and they all look like they are filled with honey. From about 1/2 to 3/4 full. I don't see any eggs or brood. There seems to be a fair number of bees though. A lot more than I would think with no brood.

    Is it possible it has no queen and has been 'taken over' by the first hive for honey combs only?

    The hives are in close proximity. Their entrances are about 4 feet apart.

    If this is the case, should I add a new queen to the second hive?

    I am perplexed, yet fascinated by this situation. At this point I could use some sound advice.

    Thanks,
    Scott

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Washington, AR, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Two hives one queen?

    The queenless hive has nothing to do to but gather stores, there is no brood to care for. There is almost zero chance (or less) [grin] that the two hives have one queen. You should add your queen to the hive with no brood.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Wheaton, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Two hives one queen?

    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaMark View Post
    The queenless hive has nothing to do to but gather stores, there is no brood to care for. There is almost zero chance (or less) [grin] that the two hives have one queen. You should add your queen to the hive with no brood.

    Thanks Scuba. I will add her tomorrow morning.

    ...Scott

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,181

    Default Re: Two hives one queen?

    Most of what Scuba says I agree w/, but adding a queen will prove unsatisfactory. The colony will likely not accept her even though they don't have one. Best of luck, but it will probably be money wasted.

    I don't know how you would go about combining two TBHs, but were they Langstroth Hives, that is what I would recommend. But it isn't the case, so others will have to advise you there.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  5. #5

    Default Re: Two hives one queen?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Most of what Scuba says I agree w/, but adding a queen will prove unsatisfactory. The colony will likely not accept her even though they don't have one. Best of luck, but it will probably be money wasted.
    Why do you say they won't accept her? I would not release her immediately. I can see that the bees are possibly a little independent having been without a queen for while, but what group of bees doesn't want a queen?
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Washington, AR, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Two hives one queen?

    I don't think the attempt is futile. If you are not seeing drone brood yet, then they do not yet have a laying worker. So that is good. If you are introducing her via a standard queen cage with the candy plug, it should be pretty standard with about average chance of success. If it doesn't work, then try combining them. Cut a cardboard divider the shape of your follower board or the shape of your hive if you don't have follower boards. (make sure it is tall enough to stand up above the topbars you slip it between) Cut out about a 5 or 6 inch hole in the center of that and tape 1 layer of newspaper over the hole and cut a few slits into it. Slip your newpaper divider between the topbars a few bars back from your last comb or just in front of your follower board. Move the queenless colony into the queen right hive behind the divider you made. I am personally betting that your new queen will take so that you don't have to bother with all that. Let us know.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Wheaton, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Two hives one queen?

    Thanks for the ideas everyone. Now I have a plan B as well.

    With the thought of having little to loose, I put the queen (in her cage with a candy plug) in this morning. I am very interested to see what happens.

    ...Scott

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