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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Farmerville, LA
    Posts
    30

    Default Combining hives with screen

    Found a hive at my out yard that had a drone laying queen. I had a nuc that was started a few weeks ago with a new queen. Didn't have newspaper to combine them, so I used a queen excluder and a layer of #8 hardware cloth to separate them. Waited four days then removed the screen and excluder. Bees seemed to act normal, so I will check back in a few days to see if she was accepted. Anyone else try this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,359

    Default Re: Combining hives with screen

    I would have pinched the drone laying queen, waited a couple of hours and then combined.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,123

    Default Re: Combining hives with screen

    That is my plan for my next laying worker hive. Wait a week, remove screen, leave excluder then add brood frame below. Let us know how it works for you.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Farmerville, LA
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Combining hives with screen

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    I would have pinched the drone laying queen, waited a couple of hours and then combined.
    I did.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,598

    Default Re: Combining hives with screen

    This is my absolute favorite way to combine a hive. Keeps the new queen active and laying with her own workers while letting the receiving colony become accustom to her scent. Especially when the receiving colony is in it's original location and had a lot of older foragers that are more hostile to a new queen than younger bees. You can do this at the same time you split a hive or remove an old queen ..making it good for immediate changes without any waiting period, and thus avoiding the need to check receiving hive for wild queen cells. I think it is the best way to introduce any queen. No confinement of queen, no real disruption of ether colony. You can leave the queen and her colony upstairs for a week or more easily. Give her an upper entrance if you don't want to confine her colony to avoid foragers returning to old location. Give the lower colony a lower entrance.
    Last edited by Lauri; 08-24-2013 at 09:31 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Combining hives with screen

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    This is my absolute favorite way to combine a hive.
    Lauri, do you use a single screen or a double screen?

    Also wondering if anyone has noticed a difference in results with the queenright hive on the bottom as opposed to the top?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    928

    Default Re: Combining hives with screen

    Every once in awhile i will unit my mini nucs.

    Find a strong mini and just set the weaker or laying workers nuc on top.

    No fighting it has always worked
    Usually when done it has been in the middle of day when lot of the work force is out working.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,598

    Default Re: Combining hives with screen

    My inner covers are screened, so I just plop a box with the frames I want to combine on the single screen.
    Queen top or bottom, no matter. I am combining some of my mating nucs on half sized deeps this way for overwintering. Give them a few days, then remove the seperating screen and Place it back on top under the cover. They are happy and content. No issues or queen cells.

    So here you see the screened inner cover on the front half of the double colony box.

    To combine two colonies, leave the screen on the bottom box, place the second box on the screen. If you give the top box it's own entrance, you can leave them seperate as long as you like. A few days is sufficient, unless you can't visit your yard regularly. Then they are still fine until you combine.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Tulsa, Ok
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Combining hives with screen

    I found a hive with a laying worker yesterday. Lots of cells with multiple eggs and or eggs on the sides of cells. Anyway, I have a couple nucs with capped queen cells which and I hope to have mated queens in a week or less. I am not sure I can find the worker who's doing the laying, can I use the method described above to combine one of the nucs into the laying worker hive?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,123

    Default Re: Combining hives with screen

    There should be many workers laying, not just one so I would not even look. Working for Lauri and Velbert, would get my vote.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,956

    Default Re: Combining hives with screen

    Saltybee is correct. More on the concept of multiple laying workers:

    There are always multiple laying workers even in a queenright hive

    "Anarchistic bees" are ever present but usually in small enough numbers to not cause a problem and are simply policed by the workers UNLESS they need drones. The number is always small as long as ovary development is suppressed.

    See page 9 of "The Wisdom of the Hive"
    "Although worker honey bees cannot mate, they do possess ovaries and can produce viable eggs; hence they do have the potential to have male offspring (in bees and other Hymenoptera, fertilized eggs produce females while unfertilized eggs produce males). It is now clear, however, that this potential is exceedingly rarely realized as long as a colony contains a queen (in queenless colonies, workers eventually lay large numbers of male eggs; see the review in Page and Erickson 1988). One supporting piece of evidence comes from studies of worker ovary development in queenright colonies, which have consistently revealed extremely low levels of development. All studies to date report far fewer than 1 % of workers have ovaries developed sufficiently to lay eggs (reviewed in Ratnieks 1993; see also Visscher 1995a). For example, Ratnieks dissected 10,634 worker bees from 21 colonies and found that only 7 had moderately developed egg (half the size of a completed egg) and that just one had a fully developed egg in her body."

    If you do the math, in a normal booming queenright hive of 100,000 bees that's 70 laying workers. In a laying worker hive it's much higher.


    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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