Join two hives with Queen's?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Lindsay, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    32

    Default Join two hives with Queen's?

    I see conflicting information whether I should join two hives and leave both Queen's to decide who lives or if I should dispatch one first. My fear is if they fight it out, is there not a chance that they sting each other near the same time and both end up dead or that one is killed and the other is badly wounded and doesn't make it either? The other issue is it is too cold to due an inspection here in southern Ontario so I would rather just stack the hives with minimal disturbance.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Queens, NYC
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Join two hives with Queen's?

    Have you considered joining the two hives with a double screened board and run a two queen hive? After the two colonies get used to each other - before you remove the screen - place an excluder between the two hives. The queens can't get to each other, you have a large colony, and you have time to decide what you want to do. I haven't tried this for overwintering but I've done it to keep an extra queen on hand during season.
    I'd be curious to know what others think.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Lindsay, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Join two hives with Queen's?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2Sox View Post
    Have you considered joining the two hives with a double screened board and run a two queen hive? After the two colonies get used to each other - before you remove the screen - place an excluder between the two hives. The queens can't get to each other, you have a large colony, and you have time to decide what you want to do. I haven't tried this for overwintering but I've done it to keep an extra queen on hand during season.
    I'd be curious to know what others think.

    Thanks for the reply but in this case it would not work as there is little to no honey stores in the weaker hive. I have done this in the summer time here but in a cold climate durning winter even with two strong hives I am not sure how this would work since the bees would have to keep two clusters to stay with the two queens. Would the bees know to keep two equal size clusters with each queen or would the majority go with one queen (perhaps where the food is most plentiful) and the other cluster could be to small to survive?

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