Question on Combining Swarms
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Burlington NC
    Posts
    125

    Default Question on Combining Swarms

    If I combine two swarms (newspaper method) will they kill a queen and stay put or will one of the swarms fly away?

    What if I combine a swarm with a hive with no laying queen that has ripe queen cells and one or more virgin queens ( I am pretty sure 1 swarm came from this hive) ?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Metairie, Louisiana
    Posts
    224

    Default

    I've seen them swarm out, I've had them stay seperate, I've seen them kill one of the queens. Sometimes you don't know what they'll do when you combine swarms.


    ...JP

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Chittenango,Ny (upstate)
    Posts
    309

    Default

    I have combined swarms a few times and everything worked out fine using the newspaper method. All of mine were placed in nuc boxes and allowed to become established before combining. I assume the queens fought and one took over. Never had one swarm leave but I have only done it 8-10 times. As for the other question, I'm not sure if the swarm queen would kill the emerging queens or try to leave agin.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    730

    Default

    I think it's all about the timing and the season. This time of year and in our location, its really all up to the girls. Chances are that you will maintain the hive plus some.

    It's a prefect time in NC to make splits, or put swarms in new boxes.

    The queeen stoped laying because they are ready to swarm and she need to lighten her load to be able to fly. The queen cells/virgin are her replacement. I think you need to split the hive whith the original queen, leave the cells/virgins in the original to figure out the rest. You have a small window to make several indepedent hives; make it work to your advantage.

  6. #5

    Default entrance when combining hives?

    I have a small hive with no queen. I just captured a nice swarm and combined them using the newspaper method, but there's one question I've never seen answered:

    I have one deep body on top of the bottom board, which is the entrance for the original queenless hive. I put the piece of newspaper over that, then the new hive body containing the swarm. On top of that goes the inner and outer covers?

    So, aren't the new swarm trapped? Do I need to leave the top ajar? Or do they eat through the paper in time? Thanks!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    martinsville, indiana, usa
    Posts
    50

    Default

    i've combined 2 hives that way with the newspaper inbetween the 2 trapping the top one in and didnt have any problem, aet thru it in a day or 2

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kuchinskas View Post
    So, aren't the new swarm trapped? Do I need to leave the top ajar? Or do they eat through the paper in time? Thanks!
    A large swarm enclosed on a hot day can suffocate.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,979

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nc checkers View Post
    If I combine two swarms (newspaper method) will they kill a queen and stay put or will one of the swarms fly away?

    What if I combine a swarm with a hive with no laying queen that has ripe queen cells and one or more virgin queens ( I am pretty sure 1 swarm came from this hive) ?
    why would you want to combine 2 swarms.I would keep them in seperate hives to see how they do. If one of them turns out to be a week then I would consider combining.

  10. #9

    Default exit for second colony

    "A large swarm enclosed on a hot day can suffocate."

    That's one of the things I wondered about. Also, won't they feel too stressed and trapped to start building comb? Well, I guess not, if this is standard practice.

    At any rate, it's only going to get up to 60 F. today, so they shouldn't overheat.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Glenmoore, PA
    Posts
    103

    Default

    It can't hurt to have the top ajar so they (and heat) can get out the top.
    I cut a few slits in the paper. This allows a little bit of air and smell to get thru before they chew it out.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    812

    Default

    >>>What if I combine a swarm with a hive with no laying queen that has ripe queen cells and one or more virgin queens ( I am pretty sure 1 swarm came from this hive) ?


    Place a queen excluder above brood nest with ripe cells. Next add a (or 2) super (especally if crowded). Then another excluder and then the hive with swarm.

    Leave in this two queen configuration for at least a month. You can then evaluate the two queens and determine the best course of action. Meanwhile, the overall colony should have built up very well by having the combined resources. At this time you can decide on a combine using newspaper or a split.
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  13. #12

    Default combining hives

    Thanks for the reassuring responses. I did cut slits in the newspaper, good point that it might allow air to go up. I'll also leave the top slightly ajar, so they can go out, look around and get started!

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