Combining late season swarms with queens?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Northeast PA
    Posts
    121

    Default Combining late season swarms with queens?

    Some of my hives continue to swarm. I have caught 2 large swarms, but it's already nearly the end of July. I live in the northeast, so the season is about halfway over.

    Seems unlikely to me that each individual swarm will be able to draw out 20 frames and get a large population by the end of September.

    Here are my options:

    1. Newspaper combine 2 large swarms, both with queens.
    2. Set up 2 separate colonies, and newspaper combine before winter.

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,418

    Default Re: Combining late season swarms with queens?

    Start them off in nucs and add a second 5 frame deep as they grow. A 5 over 5 nuc will do just fine in your area. Probably get away with a single 5 frame deep if you keep the feed on them. To put it in perspective, I am still making walk away splits here in Richmond and our climates are similar. Mine will overwinter as single 5 frame deeps. I was 9 for 9 last year doing this.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,465

    Default Re: Combining late season swarms with queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    Some of my hives continue to swarm. I have caught 2 large swarms, but it's already nearly the end of July. I live in the northeast, so the season is about halfway over.

    Seems unlikely to me that each individual swarm will be able to draw out 20 frames and get a large population by the end of September.

    Here are my options:

    1. Newspaper combine 2 large swarms, both with queens.
    2. Set up 2 separate colonies, and newspaper combine before winter.

    Thanks.
    They will draw - not a problem, be it even August.
    Just be sure - there is a flow (either natural or artificial; feed, to be safe).
    Swarms are ALL about building - they will - but they must have flow to build upon.

    Well, if don't care about increase - then combine.

    PS, as JWP said - you don't need 20 frames for winter; 10 well set frames is all you need.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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