Two Hives - combine?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Philadelphia, PA

    Default Two Hives - combine?

    I have two top bar hives.

    What I was considering the stronger of the two has enough honey stores and some open brood (eggs and larva) but a bad case of mites. The weaker one has little honey stores closed brood and no visible signs of disease or mites.

    At this point what is my best option for the upcoming winter? Should I treat the stronger one with the open brood even though it's late in the season? Should I combine them? Should I sacrifice the weaker hive and throw its capped brood in with the stronger hive?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Spokane, Washington, USA

    Default Re: Two Hives - combine?

    They both have mites.

    Based on the little information I have, I suspect they are both headed towards death this winter. Again, based on little information, i would rather have one strong (and mite free) colony at this point rather than two with death sentences.

    So, assuming my understanding of your situation is correct, I would combine, treat agressively, and feed agressively. Maybe the combined colony will make it.

    Do you have an experienced mentor that can help you decide?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Isle of Wight, VA

    Default Re: Two Hives - combine?

    You don't say how large each hive is or how many bars of brood or stores each one has. I've found smaller than normal colonies can overwinter, as long as they are healthy and you watch the food in them. I'd recommend sugar blocks on the floor of the one that doesn't have many stores, and keep feeding.

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