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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Marin, CA
    Posts
    1

    Default Combined 2 swarms, captured 1 Queen, dead bees

    I captured a very large angry swarm of bees a few weeks ago, the queens laying pattern was erratic so I was very happy to find another swarm which I combined with it last week. I captured and removed the 'bad' queen and was very excited to have a new queen. Note I have never done this before so now I have questions:

    I used the paper method to separate the swarms last thur but noticed yesterday (4 days later) that there was a lot of dead bees all over my yard. I was concerned over the weekend because it was very hot and was afraid the new swarm was trapped inside the paper for too long. I peeked yesterday and there were some small holes in the side of the super but a lot of it was still intact?
    The questions I have are;
    1) did I roast my bees by trapping them in the super on a very hot week end or is it normal to have a lot of casualties when combining swarms. The newspaper quality was marginally thicker than usual!
    2.) what are the chances for my new queens survival, when many of her swarm have died.

    3.) if the queen survived, will she stay in the top super with her swarm, ie start laying brood 4 supers up or will she move down? Should I move that super down below the honey stores?
    4.) the original swarm are still angry but I'm hoping that the temperment of the new swarm will take over soon!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,186

    Default Re: Combined 2 swarms, captured 1 Queen, dead bees

    When ever you combine them like that you have to have a top entrance too, you probably cooked them I'd wait 4-5 days and look for new eggs that will tell you if she has been in there within the last 3 days

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,945

    Default Re: Combined 2 swarms, captured 1 Queen, dead bees

    If you get the chance, use a double screen to combine hives. Both colonies have an entrance, you can leave as long as you want to. If the bees chew through the paper too quickly, there can be tremendous fights.

    I always use a double screen to combine.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 06-12-2013 at 07:52 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Combined 2 swarms, captured 1 Queen, dead bees

    I always make sure both halves of a combine have an entrance to ventilate. I also only use one sheet of paper and I put a slit in it. A puff of smoke into each half before you leave doesn't hurt either...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,747

    Default Re: Combined 2 swarms, captured 1 Queen, dead bees

    Listen to Michael .... he knows his stuff.

    Ventillation is under rated IMO.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Ithaca, NY
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Combined 2 swarms, captured 1 Queen, dead bees

    Would utilizing 2 queen excluders have the same, yet more effective and beneficial effect of separating, vs. the paper method?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,747

    Default Re: Combined 2 swarms, captured 1 Queen, dead bees

    The idea behind the newspaper combine is to separate the bees for a period of time to get them used to one another. A QE (or even two) would not do this and would provoke fighting right away.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    603

    Default Re: Combined 2 swarms, captured 1 Queen, dead bees

    Putting the slits in the paper is good as is combining later in the afternoon during the summer, after it cools off. I also learned that lesson the hard way...

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