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  1. #1
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    Jun 2013
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    Indonesia
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    Sad Newspaper for combining hives

    I want to combine a weak with stronger hive. Do i need to use the newspaper method and how long do I leave it on for?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    With the European Honey Bee the newspaper method is considered the safest method to join two groups of bees. When you use one sheet of paper the bees will chew through in one night, especially if you make a small slit in the center of the paper over the lower box. You can remove the remainder or let the bees chew and remove all but the overlap that hangs outside of the box.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2013
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    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
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    713

    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    You'll definitely want to use the newspaper method. If you don't, you'll have the battle of the century on your hands.

    It's super easy. Don't stress.

    I know some people will say to leave them alone for a week afterwards. I have had success with taking the newspaper off and integrating the hives in 24 hours. As long as they are through the paper, and have been so for a few hours, you'll be fine.
    Try it. What could happen?

  4. #4
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    Jun 2013
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    Indonesia
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    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    Do you do it in daytime or at night? Will the bees go to the new hive location if it's within a few feet of the old hive?

  5. #5
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    Sep 2008
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    You can combine any time of the day, I usally do mine in the afternoon. The field bees will locate the new hive location, usually there will be some returning to the old location and this will last for about a week. They will return to the empty spot, search for the old hive and when they can't find it, they widen their search pattern and will locate the new hive. Remove all of the equipment at the old location, this will cause the bees to search for their new hive location.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
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    826

    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    The biggest question you need answered....is one of the hives queenless??? You will have a major problem if you try to combine two queen-right hives.

    I usually leave the paper for 3-5 days or so. As others have said, one sheet of newspaper with a few slits cut in it. The bees will chew through.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    3,430

    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    Make sure you pinch the "weak hive" queen before combining. You don't want her to win the battle and take out the better queen.
    To everything there is a season....

  8. #8
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    Jun 2013
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    Indonesia
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    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    Thanks Bees in Miami. Yeah, as far as I can tell, the hive that was weaker had 0 brood or eggs. Now I have been having lots of trouble finding queens, so I have never actually seen the queen, but the hive with brood definitely has a queen as there was like 1-2 day old eggs in there. I gave the weak hive a frame of new brood and they did nothing with it, no queen cells built etc. Now, they only had it for a day, so maybe thats why, but I have consistently seen no brood of their own, so i was pretty sure they had no queen at all. I thought maybe I heard a queen piping, but who knows...

    What's the worse that could happen if both hives have a queen?


    Quote Originally Posted by Bees In Miami View Post
    The biggest question you need answered....is one of the hives queenless??? You will have a major problem if you try to combine two queen-right hives.

    I usually leave the paper for 3-5 days or so. As others have said, one sheet of newspaper with a few slits cut in it. The bees will chew through.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
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    1,129

    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    Quote Originally Posted by marcos bees View Post
    Thanks Bees in Miami. Yeah, as far as I can tell, the hive that was weaker had 0 brood or eggs. Now I have been having lots of trouble finding queens, so I have never actually seen the queen, but the hive with brood definitely has a queen as there was like 1-2 day old eggs in there. I gave the weak hive a frame of new brood and they did nothing with it, no queen cells built etc. Now, they only had it for a day, so maybe thats why, but I have consistently seen no brood of their own, so i was pretty sure they had no queen at all. I thought maybe I heard a queen piping, but who knows...

    What's the worse that could happen if both hives have a queen?

    They worst case would be they would both die..... second place to the worst option is the bad queen lives and the good queen dies. Either way, you need to find the queen in the weak hive and pinch her if you want to combine.

  10. #10
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    Jun 2013
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    Indonesia
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    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    Thanks Harley, so I am pretty sure the weaker hive has no queen, but how do I know for sure? Why do I suck so bad at finding the queen? Are young queens hard to find?



    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Craig View Post
    They worst case would be they would both die..... second place to the worst option is the bad queen lives and the good queen dies. Either way, you need to find the queen in the weak hive and pinch her if you want to combine.

  11. #11
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    Sep 2012
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    Casey, Il, USA
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    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    you said you thought you heard piping......you probably have a virgin queen which is very hard to find ( look for the fastest bee in the hive often running over other bees) This would explain no brood or eggs, and also most likely why they wouldn't build a queen cell. you might add a frame of eggs once a week for a few weeks to see if they will raise a queen or until you start seeing eggs you didn't put in.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2013
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    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    Ok, that is very helpful thanks.

    I may have made a mistake, though b/c I already combined them. They have been combined for about 22 hours now. Do I separate them again? What are the chances the virgin queen can kill the good laying queen?


    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Craig View Post
    you said you thought you heard piping......you probably have a virgin queen which is very hard to find ( look for the fastest bee in the hive often running over other bees) This would explain no brood or eggs, and also most likely why they wouldn't build a queen cell. you might add a frame of eggs once a week for a few weeks to see if they will raise a queen or until you start seeing eggs you didn't put in.

  13. #13
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    Sep 2012
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    Casey, Il, USA
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    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    very good, she is faster and younger............ If it's been 22 hrs what is done is done....... unless you put so many layers they haven't chewed through it yet. Time to cross your fingers and hope for the best.

  14. #14
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    Indonesia
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    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    Should I separate them again? Or is that too risky?

  15. #15
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    Sep 2012
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    Casey, Il, USA
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    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    If they have already chewed through and combined, how are you going to know which bee goes in which box?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    Good point. I was thinking maybe if they hadn't gone through yet, but I guess that's a moot point.

  17. #17
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    Mar 2013
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    St Catherine, Jamaica
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    29

    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    Leave then bee!
    To Bee or not to Bee...That's the question!

  18. #18
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    Nov 2004
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    Camas, WA
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    1,957

    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    There have been a few times that I had a hive that I thought was probably queenless, but wasn't certain. What I did was shake the bees out of their hive in front of my other hives. Then I gave the frames to my other hives so no box went back in the place of my "queenless" hive. The worker bees and drones will be allowed into other hives over time, but a queen won't.
    Bruce

  19. #19
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    Jun 2013
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    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    Well guys, here's the update....

    I checked on the combined hive today(2 days after combining) and as far as I could tell, it looks like both hives had a queen b/c they were balling one, and then I found a dead queen later. I don't actually think this was the queen being balled b/c it was right after they still were balling her. Who knows...

    Do they ever ball in order to protect, or is balling only to kill? It was crazy, I saw one bee just riding on her back trying to take the queen out. (I think)

    On a positive note, even though my good queen may have been killed, I did learn how to find a queen, which is the first time I have been able to do that. I didn't realize how fast she moves!

  20. #20
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    Jul 2013
    Location
    Palm beach Florida USA
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    152

    Default Re: Newspaper for combining hives

    Good info here. The only time I looked into my hive I couldn't find the queen I was only looking for a much larger bee. Good info here for us beginners.

    Gene

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