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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Santa Cruz,California,USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Newspaper Combine 3 hives

    Does anyone have a time frame of how long a combine can coexist? I have 3 queens living together after a combine I did 16 days ago with newspaper. They are 3 swarms I caught back in mid April. They just were not building up well, each hive had only 2-4 frames of brood, in a 10 frame med lang. Each hive had been able to store 2 frames of honey, they have stayed like this through spring and summer. I thought it best to combine them now and let the bees decide which queen to keep in hopes that with increased numbers in foragers and extra honey they may have a chance for winter. I took pictures of the three marked queens so I could identify which queen they decided to keep. I have observed no fighting or stress going on, no dead bees. they are out foraging bringing back lots of pollen and appear to be happy. I opened up hive 12 days after combine, newspaper had been chewed through and they were very calm no smoke needed, I found all 3 queens still alive, no stress in the hive everyone very calm, no problems. Queens appeared to have no worries workers were working well with each other. What is going on, I expected them to have made a choice by now. Has anyone heard of a triumvirate bee colony?

    Mariann

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Re: Newspaper Combine 3 hives

    There should be a reason why your bees have not built up since Apr. Are they sick? Do you have a shot gun brood pattern? Do you have any bees with deformed wing? Mite counts or treatments?

    Without seeing pictures I would guess EFB, and if that's not it than maybe mites.

    How many hives do you have? How are their brood patterns?

    Your suppose to remove the extra queens when you combine, or they could fight and kill each other. But since you've done it and they are still living together. I would just leave them the more eggs they lay the better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Santa Cruz,California,USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Newspaper Combine 3 hives

    Laying pattern with all 3 queens was spot on in the middle of frame oval shape with honey surrounding. I combined them with the intention of letting the bees decide which queen to keep. Mite counts done last month are not present, under 10 each hive, no drones or drone brood in hives, no wing damage.REDWOOD HIVE QUEEN (1).jpgGREEN HIVE QUEEN (1).jpg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rowan County NC
    Posts
    347

    Default Re: Newspaper Combine 3 hives

    I don't think the bees usually decide which queen to keep, usually the queens decide which one lives or dies, or possibly all dying. I guess it is possible that the bees may ball a queen to protect her from another queen, but who knows.
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    West Bloomfield, MI, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Newspaper Combine 3 hives

    So interesting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Re: Newspaper Combine 3 hives

    The pictures are limited visibility but from what I could see it looks like a small patch of spotty brood. my guess is EFB.
    There is allot of it going around that does not clear up on its own. I think mites are taking the blame for allot of EFB.
    Send a sample in for testing it's free.

    When a bee hive dwindles and they realize there is a problem that they can't do anything about they give up, foraging is reduced, they become non aggressive. Sometimes they swarm with a small cluster or they just fade away.
    I am guessing that’s why your queens/bees won't fight.

    How many other hives do you have, if you have EFB I bet they all have signs of it.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...uple-questions

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