Well, the first 3 years I lost my hives to mites, the 4th and 5th years I had decent production, but this year..... BEARS!
Bears wiped out all 3 of my hives this late Spring. I put them back together and one hive is going strong and one totally died out. The 3rd was just starting to make a comeback and the bears returned - right through the electric fence!
So, the hive that was going strong is still intact. But the one that was just starting to make a comeback:
A) I can't find the unmarked queen anywhere (I'm not great at spotting unmarked, but I looked hard and I can't find her.)
B) If I had to guess a bee count in that hive, I'd say Under a 3 Lb Package size of bees left in that hive.
My questions are: 1) The hive that is still going and recovering from the last attack is only 1 deep at the moment. Can I take the 1 deep from the nearly wiped out hive and put a piece of paper between them and stack it on top of the strong surviver hive giving it 2 Deep?
2) When the bees chew through the paper, they should have lost the scene of their old queen that can't be found and be ok with queen from the other hive, correct?
3) BUT! If there IS a queen in the nearly wiped out hive and I stack it on the other box, what will happen? I'm assuming the queens will fight or the bees will kill the lesser strong queen?
Please let me know what to do here. That will leave me with 1 hive but POSSIBLY with enough drawn comb and bees to build up enough for winter here in New Hamshire (but we will be moving to Maine by winter).
Very discouraging year.
Re: Bear questions
Bob, You can combine the 2 hives, but if you have 2 queens,they will fight. There is a chance both queens could be killed or injured and your hive would be queenless. I would make sure there is no queen in the weak hive.
Good luck, Ken