A couple of questions on combining
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Plumas County, California, USA
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    237

    Default A couple of questions on combining

    I have a hive that lost its queen going on 5 weeks now and I want to combine it with a smaller hive that was a swarm, but is doing very well. The swarm hive is one deep body, and most of the frames are drawn. The queenless hive has two deeps plus two medium supers, one of which has a fair amount of honey and the top super just a couple of frames of honey.

    The swarm hive is probably the queen from the queenless hive, but it's been quite awhile since the swarm so they are two different hives. I plan to use the newspaper method.

    Here's my questions: would it be all right to simply put the entire queenless hive on top of the swarm hive and let them re-combine?

    Or should I shake the bees into one deep and combine the medium honey frames into one super and move this reduced hive?

    I should note, that the queenless hive has no brood capped or otherwise, no eggs, no larvae and no queen cells. The number of bees is clearly shrinking and combining seems to be the best answer.

    Edit: one more question: I imagine a combine should be done at dusk or early morning so everybody is home in the hive?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by cconnell; 05-17-2018 at 07:39 PM.
    Year 3
    Zone 7b 3500 ft.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
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    2,940

    Default

    Yep.....I recently did this myself. Shes a monster!
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Plumas County, California, USA
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    237

    Default Re: A couple of questions on combining

    So, you're recommending the Frankenstein approach?
    Year 3
    Zone 7b 3500 ft.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Plumas County, California, USA
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: A couple of questions on combining

    I did my combine today. My first combine. I feel like I'm learning things. First I combined the two honey supers in to one (they had been checkerboarded to try to prevent a swarm--nope, too late) and then moved the two brood boxes onto the one box with queen. Newspaper method. The bottom box is full and they need space, so the combine helps in a couple of ways. I hope they grow quickly.

    Photo: Frankenhive lives!

    frankenhive.jpg
    Year 3
    Zone 7b 3500 ft.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
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    2,940

    Default

    Your hivestand is, while lovely, not sufficient for a very heavy hive and here we are having blue ribbon flow year. I am not critiquing, just concerned! I would hate for you to come out and find your hive on its back.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Plumas County, California, USA
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: A couple of questions on combining

    Hey! Careful there! I'm sowing off the top limits of my carpentry skills!

    It's sturdier than it looks, but I will double check it and keep an eye on it.
    Year 3
    Zone 7b 3500 ft.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,061

    Default Re: A couple of questions on combining

    I have a related question. Can I combine a queenless hive above a super on the queenright hive? We have a decent flow going and I don't want to interfere with the strong hive bringing in nectar. I am concerned that the super may dilute the queen's special perfume. J

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    lincolnshire england
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: A couple of questions on combining

    ( I have a related question. Can I combine a queenless hive above a super on the queenright hive? We have a decent flow going and I don't want to interfere with the strong hive bringing in nectar. I am concerned that the super may dilute the queen's special perfume. J )

    yes mate leave it on top wih a newspaper between your queenless brood and super with some pin pricks they will gradually merge together without any anarchy they will smell like the other bees by then.after about 5 days remove whats left of the newspaper put the super on top you will have two broods with a super on top
    Last edited by Dave1; 08-17-2018 at 05:34 PM.

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