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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Larimer County, CO
    Posts
    473

    Default Combine swarm hives or not?

    Hi all.

    I am up to 4 hives now: one I started from a package in late April, and the other three from swarms caught between late May and last Wednesday. The first swarm from late May seems to be doing OK, not great but adequate. I'm confident that they'll get at least the second deep filled before frost nucs everything in early to mid-October. The second swarm (caught two weeks ago) seems to be doing OK too, and the third swarm (caught a week ago today) is settling in and drawing some comb. Haven't smoked them yet to look for any sort of eggs yet but will in another week or so.

    My question is about combining the second and third swarms into one hive to have a bigger force. Since it's relatively late in the season to be catching swarms and getting them built up for overwintering, is it a good time to think about combining them, or do you all generally let them do their thing until fall? I'd like to leave them alone to see which queen is the better of the two but wonder if I somewhat doom them to failure by not combining now. One of them is also a little testy and much more easily pissed off than any of the other three hives, so I'm actually thinking about a re-queen on that hive regardless of whether or not I combine them.

    Input is greatly appreciated by this first year newbee.
    I'm the dude, so that's what you call me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,760

    Default Re: Combine swarm hives or not?

    In those situations, I usually wait before I combine. Often, I'm surprised that they kind of "come around" as time goes by. Plus, it's always nice to have an extra colony or two should something go wrong and you need brood, etc. I don't think you'll do any harm by combining them now but I don't see much upside at this time.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Combine swarm hives or not?

    If for nothing else, late swarms or any swarm for that matter are wax making machines great for drawing out combs for the next year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,468

    Default Re: Combine swarm hives or not?

    I would wait for the combine as well. This way if you loose a queen you have one banked.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Larimer County, CO
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Combine swarm hives or not?

    thanks for the feedback.
    I'm the dude, so that's what you call me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    HARNETT CO. N.C.
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Combine swarm hives or not?

    Feed Feed Feed, A swarm with a good queen can draw and fill two deeps by oct.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Larimer County, CO
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Combine swarm hives or not?

    last night i checked in on the swarm i caught a little more than two weeks ago. they have drawn 4 frames worth so far, have a 2 frames of mostly-capped brood and a lot of eggs, and in this newbee's opinion a good amount of food stored up. think i'll leave them alone, as they seem to be getting after it pretty good.
    I'm the dude, so that's what you call me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,468

    Default Re: Combine swarm hives or not?

    Great!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Larimer County, CO
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Combine swarm hives or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by shannonswyatt View Post
    Great!
    my sentiments exactly.
    I'm the dude, so that's what you call me.

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