Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Washington Boro, PA, USA
    Posts
    65

    Default Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    I have some queenless hives that are pretty big (18-27 frames) compared to the queenright nucs (3 or 4 frames) I want to combine.

    What is the best way to combine these hives?
    The Farming Podcast - My Podcast, Enjoy! :-)
    Firefly Meadows Farm

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Harrison Ar
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    I don't know the right way to do it, but, I can tell you what I've been doing. I would first make sure there are not any laying workers. If there are not I would shake all the bees down into the bottom box pulling the best open comb up into the top. I would then just do a paper combine with the best open comb and the frames with the queen above the newspaper.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Joliet, il
    Posts
    1,850

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    I would put a single screen between the 2 hives with entrances in opposite directions till they are good friends. Id say a week then take out the screen.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Joliet, il
    Posts
    1,850

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by dlbrightjr View Post
    I don't know the right way to do it, but, I can tell you what I've been doing. I would first make sure there are not any laying workers. If there are not I would shake all the bees down into the bottom box pulling the best open comb up into the top. I would then just do a paper combine with the best open comb and the frames with the queen above the newspaper.
    Theres always a laying worker, even in queen right hives. Your doing more work thats not necessary. Imo

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Harrison Ar
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by Billboard View Post
    Theres always a laying worker, even in queen right hives. Your doing more work thats not necessary. Imo
    I'm a little confused. I've seen it stated over and over that you can't just add a queen to hives with laying workers. Not true?? A paper combine is more work than adding a screen and taking it out? The bees remove the paper for me. I don't have to go back.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,213

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    Do you have more bees than time? If not then take your time. If you have the equipment several newspaper combines, nuc over nuc. Start with one or 2 frames every few days, until your queenright is larger than your queenless.

    How long queenless, the longer the harder to combine. Yeah the odds are you will get away with multiple methods if they have not been long queenless. Feeling lucky?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Harrison Ar
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Do you have more bees than time? If not then take your time. If you have the equipment several newspaper combines, nuc over nuc. Start with one or 2 frames every few days, until your queenright is larger than your queenless.

    How long queenless, the longer the harder to combine. Yeah the odds are you will get away with multiple methods if they have not been long queenless. Feeling lucky?

    I must be lucky. I've done several this way. Are paper combines really that risky? Is it just because the queen portion was in a nuc? I've done probably a dozen newspaper combines in the last month as I've sold a few nucs, had queen cells not hatch, and had virgins not return from their mating flight. I had backup queens in nucs. I definitely have more bees than time. When is a paper combine usually used? Thanks.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Joliet, il
    Posts
    1,850

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Do you have more bees than time? If not then take your time. If you have the equipment several newspaper combines, nuc over nuc. Start with one or 2 frames every few days, until your queenright is larger than your queenless.

    How long queenless, the longer the harder to combine. Yeah the odds are you will get away with multiple methods if they have not been long queenless. Feeling lucky?
    Alot of time is right. Too much work. You gotta be kidding.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Washington Boro, PA, USA
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    If I do a newspaper combine, do the top and bottom both need entrances or is one entrance at the top ok?
    The Farming Podcast - My Podcast, Enjoy! :-)
    Firefly Meadows Farm

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,744

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    where did the laying worker conversation come from, the original post simply states queenless and queen right.

    Personally, I'd do a newspaper combine. Rig something to accommodate the different box sizes or simply put the nuc in a full size deep.

    Also, I don't understand the statement about "Theres always a laying worker, even in queen right hives." Potential yes but the brood and queen pheromones keeps worker ovary systems suppressed.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,744

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    They can combine over night but I always give each hive an entrance.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Joliet, il
    Posts
    1,850

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by Eikel View Post
    where did the laying worker conversation come from, the original post simply states queenless and queen right.

    Personally, I'd do a newspaper combine. Rig something to accommodate the different box sizes or simply put the nuc in a full size deep.

    Also, I don't understand the statement about "Theres always a laying worker, even in queen right hives." Potential yes but the brood and queen pheromones keeps worker ovary systems suppressed.
    Whats not to understand you got it.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Harrison Ar
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    I mentioned I would make sure their was not a laying worker in the queenless hive before combining.

    I don't understand either Billboard. I shook out 2 hives last weekend because they had laying workers. Are you saying this is unnecessary and they can be combined directly with a queen right hive? Perhaps with the aid of the screen?

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,744

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    Could be misleading to some of the new folks that read the threads, seems to imply an active laying worker and queen could simultaneously exist and lay in a queen right hive.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Washington Boro, PA, USA
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by Josiah Garber View Post
    I have some queenless hives that are pretty big (18-27 frames) compared to the queenright nucs (3 or 4 frames) I want to combine.

    What is the best way to combine these hives?
    Let me be more specific. I'd like to use a newspaper combine. My queenright hive is much smaller than the queenless (not laying worker) hive. I use top entrances.

    I am thinking the following would be best in this situation for a newspaper combine, but would love feedback.

    1. Put the combine at the location of the queenright hive.
    2. Put the large queenless hive on bottom
    3. Put the small queenright hive on top
    4. Leave the top and bottom entrances open

    Does this sound right?
    The Farming Podcast - My Podcast, Enjoy! :-)
    Firefly Meadows Farm

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    3,404

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    How long has the large hive been queenless? Are the "hopelessly" queenless? If not, do they have queen cells built or in the process? In my experiences, if they do have queen cells started, they'll kill the queen from the nuc and raise their own.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,744

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    Fully agree with your plan. Some folks may swear by which hive should be on top or bottom, I've never given it much concern. I usually move the smaller hive with it on top, simply because it's less work and less foragers to worry about; however, if there's a better reason to go the opposite direction, c'est la vie.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,208

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by Josiah Garber View Post
    Let me be more specific. I'd like to use a newspaper combine. My queenright hive is much smaller than the queenless (not laying worker) hive. I use top entrances.

    I am thinking the following would be best in this situation for a newspaper combine, but would love feedback.

    1. Put the combine at the location of the queenright hive.
    2. Put the large queenless hive on bottom
    3. Put the small queenright hive on top
    4. Leave the top and bottom entrances open

    Does this sound right?
    In these situations, if you really want the best guidance internet beekeepers can provide, then provide more details on how the big colony became queenless and how long it has been queenless. I think the lack of this information is what led readers to speculate that you may be dealing with a LW colony.

    Honestly, when I get these requests from local newbees, I cringe, because most often they do not really understand the status of their "queenless" colony. There are many approaches to rectify the situation, but it depends on what exactly is going on. If I were to perform some type of combine, the first step would be to make certain (as possible) that there was no queen in the larger colony. The easiest is to simply give the large colony a frame with eggs and check back for queen cells - although not a 100 percent, it's a pretty good indicator. If I'm really concerned and don't have time to fully assess the status of the big colony, then I will cage the nuc's queen using a JZ-BZ cage with queen candy (not a marshmallow - too quick). I'll take all the brood frames from the nuc and put them in the middle of the large colony. Spread remaining frames across other colonies. Insert queen cage just like you are requeening. Give it 7 to 10 days and check if all is well. One tweak would be to not expose the candy for a day or two and go back to observe the way the bees are treating the queen. If all is well, then expose the candy.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by Eikel View Post
    Could be misleading to some of the new folks that read the threads, seems to imply an active laying worker and queen could simultaneously exist and lay in a queen right hive.
    They can, and do. Laying workers aren't uncommon, and hives just clean up after them.

    Daily inspections of the drone frames revealed the presence
    of a few eggs, presumably laid by workers, at a
    rate of 1 egg per 16000 drone cells. 85% of these eggs
    were removed within 1 day and only 2% hatched. Dissections
    of workers revealed that about 1 worker in
    10000 had a fully developed egg in her body. These
    data show that worker egg-laying and worker policing
    are both normal, though rare, in queenright honey bee
    colonies, and provide further confirmation of the worker
    policing hypothesis.

    A small proportion of eggs emerged as larvae. Previous
    work (Ratnieks and Visscher 1989) showed that
    there was no discrimination against 1-day-old worker-derived
    male larvae relative to queen-derived male larvae,
    suggesting that worker-derived males have normal
    survival rates once they hatch from their egg.

    The data presented above show that both worker egglaying
    and worker policing, via the removal of worker
    laid eggs, occur normally in queenright honey bee colonies.
    However, they occur at such low rates that they
    can only be observed under special experimental conditions,
    such as those used here.
    Ratnieks, F. L. (1993). Egg-laying, egg-removal, and ovary development by workers in queenright honey bee colonies. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 32(3), 191-198.

    When people talk about a "laying worker hive", they're talking about a hive that has hundreds(or thousands) of workers laying.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,213

    Default Re: Best Way to Combine Large Queenless Hive with Small Nuc

    Jeez AstroBee,
    A thorough rational discussion. Spoil sport.
    So often what is left out is more important than what is put in. Truth is a hive in my back yard is going to be handled differently than one 10 miles away. More likely to be able to find several 5 minute breaks than an hour + stretch.
    Mean bees different than calm. Relative size matters a lot.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •