Options for hive combine
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Hamilton TN USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Options for hive combine

    I have a super aggressive hive that I noticed was queenless middle of last week. It had 4 or 5 superscedure cells and one had hatched and no eggs. Besides being queenless and crazy aggressive it is a very healthy hive with pretty decent numbers of bees. My other hive in the yard is a weak package from this spring. They have only filled about 4 frames but they do have a laying queen.

    I looked today and still could not find a queen in the aggressive hive. The newly hatched queen could have been in there but they were after me like they were still queenless. Could I combine the weak queenright hive with the aggressive (maybe queenless) hive and if so which should I have on top and on bottom? I also thought about buying a queen for the queenless hive. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    9,898

    Default Re: Options for hive combine

    Not a good plan to combine because as long as the aggressive one might have a virgin you have a very high risk of losing the less aggressive one.

    And the aggressive hive will also kill any bought queen you introduce, if they have a virgin.

    Best plan for now is wait and see if a laying queen appears in the aggressive hive over the next 2 or 3 weeks, most likely one will. Meantime if you wish, you could put a comb of eggs from the less aggressive hive into the aggressive hive, and wether or not they build queen cells from those eggs will tell you if they have a queen or not.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Hamilton TN USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Options for hive combine

    Thanks oldtimer. I'll check them again in a week and hopefully see some eggs. Do aggressive hives usually chill out once a new queen starts laying?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    9,898

    Default Re: Options for hive combine

    Depends just how aggressive, it may stay that way.

    If there were still unhatched cells middle of last week, next week may be a little soon to see eggs although you may get lucky.

    If a new queen has appeared, it is not impossible that the bees from her can be less aggressive than the bees from her mother, just depends on which egg she was raised from and who she mated with. But most likely the hive will stay aggressive.

    To requeen the hive, it's easiest once it has a laying queen, ie, something you can actually find. If working the hive is just too overpowering for you here is a tip. Carry any boxes the queen might be in to the other end of your yard, or at least 30 meters away. Set up a box or two at the original stand. Then as you go through the moved boxes to find the queen, many of the bees will fly back to the original location and you will have less angry bees to look through.

    Downside with this method is you could then have some pretty angry bees for the next few days so do it at a time there won't be much outdoor human activity for the next few days, such as the beginning of the work week.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

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