Combining 2 Dink Hives
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  1. #1
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    Default Combining 2 Dink Hives

    All,
    I have 2 hives that were created from packages in March. They are still in one box while the other packages are in double deeps and some even have a honey super on them. I want to snuff one of the queens in the dink hive and then do a newspaper combine onto the other dink. My question is can I do a combine on the same day I remove the queen or should I wait a few days before combining.
    Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Combining 2 Dink Hives

    you are going to want to wait about half a day or better yet remove the queen close to night time and give them the whole night without her and you should be good but other will have different ideas as well.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Combining 2 Dink Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    I want to snuff one of the queens in the dink hive
    Which one?
    How do you know which one to snuff?
    The better one?

    Might as well combine them as-is and let the bees decide which queen smells the best.
    No need to agonize over these dinks.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #4
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    Default

    Don't know about two dinks, I newspaper combine at least one every year. I love that method. However I put a weak hive on top of a strong one. It doesn't take long for them to know they are queenless. I just make the weak hive queenless, put newspaper over the strong one, make a few slits in it, pull a few weeds then put the weak one on top. They are probably not queenless longer than 15 minutes and it takes a little while to chew through the paper. The only time I put two weak ones together they didn't make it halfway through the winter. I guess that might or might not have been the reason.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Combining 2 Dink Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Which one?
    How do you know which one to snuff?
    The better one?

    Might as well combine them as-is and let the bees decide which queen smells the best.
    No need to agonize over these dinks.
    Actually speaking of the dinks, I got one too with poorly mated queen.
    I think I would rather split it up and force new queens and see how they mate (while I got my drones in the area).
    So doing dink-splitting/brood braking instead of dink-combining.
    Now is a good time to do it.
    Not much to loose or gain, either way IF the units are dinks mid-June for no explainable reason.
    Terminate, destroy, and rebuild something new out of them.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Combining 2 Dink Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Which one?
    How do you know which one to snuff?
    The better one?
    One hive has 5 frames filled, the other has 7. I was going to snuff the one with 5 frames.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Combining 2 Dink Hives

    I would off one of the queens then put her box on top of the other with newspaper right away. The ones on top will figure out they are queenless before they get thru the paper. I did a couple that way this spring, they were not growing the way we wanted so they got combined with a better performer and then split when we had our first queens of the season ready.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Combining 2 Dink Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    One hive has 5 frames filled, the other has 7. I was going to snuff the one with 5 frames.
    So, essentially, they are the same.
    Either one is junk (granted today is June 21st to only develop to 5-7 frames).

    Unsure what is your goal in combining.
    Honey crop?
    There will be none.
    Setting for the winter?
    I would not risk wintering either of these dinky queens now.

    Do consider them both expandable resource and use them for brand new nucs instead (goal being - creating new locally mated queens and building new colonies for the winter).
    Now is a good time to do it if to gain anything out of these dinks.
    Don't waste the time on either of the current dinky queens.
    This would be my take.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Combining 2 Dink Hives

    Greg
    Can you briefly go through the process of creating a nuc from 2 marginal hives that may or may not have Queens?
    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    So, essentially, they are the same.
    Either one is junk (granted today is June 21st to only develop to 5-7 frames).

    Unsure what is your goal in combining.
    Honey crop?
    There will be none.
    Setting for the winter?
    I would not risk wintering either of these dinky queens now.

    Do consider them both expandable resource and use them for brand new nucs instead (goal being - creating new locally mated queens and building new colonies for the winter).
    Now is a good time to do it if to gain anything out of these dinks.
    Don't waste the time on either of the current dinky queens.
    This would be my take.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Combining 2 Dink Hives

    However you combine the two dinks, plan on requeening. One dink queen plus one dink queen equals one dink.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Combining 2 Dink Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Plannerwgp View Post
    Greg
    Can you briefly go through the process of creating a nuc from 2 marginal hives that may or may not have Queens?
    Well, we have 5+7=12 frames to work with.
    We don't have an incoming foreign queen (I assume).
    You want to create the best possible queen-less resource from the dinks and try to get new queens mated and raised better than the dinky queens.

    1) I'd dump them all together (newspaper or whatever) and let them choose the better queen (I don't wanna bother choosing).
    2) In 3-4 days check to be sure there is a laying queen or not in the combined resource.
    3) If there is a laying queen, find her and pull her out into 2-frame holding nuc (your backup plan).
    You now have 10 frame queen-less resource that will set the QCs.
    If no viable laying queen left for any reason and you observe QCs in progress - you are set by default.
    4) Pretty soon you will have several best possible capped QCs (figure out the math) since the best possible workforce fed them.
    You then split this resource into 2/3/4 mating nucs around the QCs available - based on what you have on hand.
    5) Pretty soon you will have 2/3/4 mated queens in the nucs - based on how the mating went.
    6) You have July/August/September to grow these nucs (recombine as needed) OR use those queens as needed elsewhere.

    The point:
    - you got yourself locally mated queens, created and fed in the best possible queen-less resource from the combined dinks;
    - likely the queens will be better than the original dinky queens (late June/early July - a very good timing to raise/mate local queens in most places);
    - you have enough time to grow a viable unit around each of these queens

    PS:
    if you got an outside queen coming - you then plug this queen into the queen-less resource (skipping the details);
    external mated queen maybe a better choice IF available and the source is desirable
    if you have a better material source to raise queens in this queen-less resource - used that instead for new queen material
    (ensure that QCs are created from the desirable source, not the dinks, in this case)
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Combining 2 Dink Hives

    Greg
    I will have to read this a couple of times, but you did a great job with your explanation.
    Thanks

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Combining 2 Dink Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    I would off one of the queens then put her box on top of the other with newspaper right away. The ones on top will figure out they are queenless before they get thru the paper. I did a couple that way this spring, they were not growing the way we wanted so they got combined with a better performer and then split when we had our first queens of the season ready.
    This will work fine. No need to wait or over think the process.

  15. #14
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    Default

    Although I don’t have years and years of experience I’ve found that Bees for the most part are survivors. I’ve combined weak hives and swarms etc no newspaper at all just smoke em and throw them in a box they will not all fight to the death and probably all that happens is the most aggressive fight each other. You don’t care about the queens they are bad so no need to worry about them. Just requeen.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Combining 2 Dink Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by amk View Post
    Although I don’t have years and years of experience I’ve found that Bees for the most part are survivors. I’ve combined weak hives and swarms etc no newspaper at all just smoke em and throw them in a box they will not all fight to the death and probably all that happens is the most aggressive fight each other. You don’t care about the queens they are bad so no need to worry about them. Just requeen.
    Well, one part (most significant maybe) of a successful combine is to NOT abruptly create a clearly defined battle plane (us vs. them) when the conditions are explosive.
    As long as you follow this idea - you are fine, however you manage to do it (newspaper/light fabric, intermix the frames, use strong masking smells on them, dance and sing, mix them all into a single container (a package-like), do the combination of any).

    There is difference between dump-mixing two fresh swarms into a single container VS. setting two strong colonies on top of each other during the dearth and no paper.
    Context matters.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  17. #16

    Default Re: Combining 2 Dink Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    However you combine the two dinks, plan on requeening. One dink queen plus one dink queen equals one dink.
    I was going to say a double dink.

    Let me add that here, this late after the end of our nectar flow I look carefully to be confident that the dinks aren't a result of an fb. If I am sure that they aren't.....I simply shake them out and put their comb on other hives for preservation. Then I make my splits next spring.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  18. #17
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by amk View Post
    Although I don’t have years and years of experience I’ve found that Bees for the most part are survivors. I’ve combined weak hives and swarms etc no newspaper at all just smoke em and throw them in a box they will not all fight to the death and probably all that happens is the most aggressive fight each other. You don’t care about the queens they are bad so no need to worry about them. Just requeen.
    Well, one part (most significant maybe) of a successful combine is to NOT abruptly create a clearly defined battle plane (us vs. them) when the conditions are explosive.
    As long as you follow this idea - you are fine, however you manage to do it (newspaper/light fabric, intermix the frames, use strong masking smells on them, dance and sing, mix them all into a single container (a package-like), do the combination of any).

    There is difference between dump-mixing two fresh swarms into a single container VS. setting two strong colonies on top of each other during the dearth and no paper.
    Context matters.
    Why would you combine two strong colonies . Two weak colonies are basically expendable put them together and be done with it bees will survive and requeen later.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Combining 2 Dink Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by amk View Post
    Why would you combine two strong colonies . Two weak colonies are basically expendable put them together and be done with it bees will survive and requeen later.
    People routinely combine strong colonies for honey harvest.
    One way (probably the best way) - dump together 3-4 swarms and super them up as high as you can reach.
    A draw-back - have to have those swarms handy and at the right time.
    Everything must come together at the right time and have to have all equipment handy.
    A benefit - easy combine - dump them, mix them, give some smoke and mb spray with something smelly - done.
    They figure out the rest and put up lots of honey.
    So, this is a classic "why" to combine strong colonies.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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