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Thread: combining hives

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Saucier,Ms
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    139

    Default combining hives

    History: I have two hives I started last year they never really got strong enough for a second brood chamber, though they sustained themselves. this year I started checking on them in January when the weather was warm andhave had larva capped brood in the hives. about two weeks ago I found one of them had swarmed/split so I caught them and started a "NEW" hive after inspection saturday I noticed that the two old hives had no eggs or larva though they have honey and pollen stores. the new one had honey,pollen and eggs(best i can tell with my eye site even with glasses on) the first two hives have 7-10 frames of comb in one brood chamber, the new one has one and half frames of comb.

    well I guess it wasnt eggs as I just checked the swarm hive and no larva just bees, pollen, and nectar this hive is two weeks old tomorrow should there be signs of a queen by now?

    Obviously I dont have a queen anywhere on this hill unless she is in the trees in woods behind me


    I have researched the news paper between the two brood chambers and understand how this works,however I am confused on how long it takes for them to eat through the paper?
    Should I block the entrance of the bottom hive?
    Will the top hive not have an entrance?
    Which hive should I put the queen in?

    Im sure when these questions are answered it will put new questions in my mind


    when I have the two hives combined can I introduce the swarm hive once they are happy again?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: combining hives

    I am a little confused but that happens often. Please clarify. You have three hives now and only one has a queen as far as you can tell.
    "Someday we will look back and realize someone was right...and conveniently forget we were the ones that were wrong."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Saucier,Ms
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    139

    Default Re: combining hives

    Quote Originally Posted by dnichols View Post
    I am a little confused but that happens often. Please clarify. You have three hives now and only one has a queen as far as you can tell.


    Far as I can tell I have 3 hives and no queen.......nothing but bees, pollen and honey in the boxes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: combining hives

    Why not requeen all three? If they have been without a queen for awhile you may get a laying worker colony. Have you done a solid search for the queen(s). Just because there are no eggs doesn't necessarily mean no queen. What is the temperament of the hives? This can be a good indicator of queenlessness.
    "Someday we will look back and realize someone was right...and conveniently forget we were the ones that were wrong."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Saucier,Ms
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: combining hives

    Quote Originally Posted by dnichols View Post
    Why not requeen all three? I want Honey this year and lots of it If they have been without a queen for awhile you may get a laying worker colony. just been without a queen for two weeks Have you done a solid search for the queen(s). yes, cant see her Just because there are no eggs doesn't necessarily mean no queen. What is the temperament of the hives? very ill manored This can be a good indicator of queenlessness.

    This should help some

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland OR. United States
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    100

    Default Re: combining hives

    You have two choices, you can throw a match on them and buy your honey at the grocery store or requeen them soon.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Saucier,Ms
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    139

    Default Re: combining hives

    Quote Originally Posted by red View Post
    You have two choices, you can throw a match on them and buy your honey at the grocery store or requeen them soon.
    option 1 is not gonna happen yet......... option 2 is gonna happen, just as soon as I get these 3 hives combined to to make 1 strong hive........then I will split them next year or try to anyway....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Thaxton, Mississippi
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: combining hives

    I am a little north of you but we have had pretty cold weather for March, in the 20's at night. Some of my nucs and weaker hives have lost some brood to the cold. Being so early in the year I think I would try feeding some sugar syrup for a couple of weeks and then recheck them. You should have plenty time to combine if their not laying after a little feeding or by then you should be able to find queens for sale. Not sure if queens are available for sale this early. Personally I have not seen drones yet. Good luck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Saucier,Ms
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: combining hives

    I have sugar water out for them.......supposedly a guy locally has some queens now..... but he wont answer the phone

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,361

    Default Re: combining hives

    Did you look for the queens, or just assume they aren't there because they aren't laying? The old hives will have new virgin queens that must mate before they'll start laying. The old queen in the swarm won't lay immediately. As noted above, weather plays into it as well. Is there a flow on?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Saucier,Ms
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: combining hives

    45 minutes per hive searching all 10 frames and never saw her............ I did however, while combining hives decide to search all the hives again and found larva in the swarm hive so I combined it with one of the existing hives and going get a swarm hive that is going well and has larva in it, from my friend tomorrow to combine with the other existing hive

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