I have 3 Nuc's (2 wood 1 Paper), 1 has a full five frames of drawn comb with honey brood, The second has 3 frame full off bees mostly drawn - Captured Swarm a week ago and paper NUC with 2 frames fully drawn full of brood and stores.
What is the best way to combine these into a single 10 frame hive?
Newspaper combine them. Put each nuc into a separate 10 frame box and put put newspaper between each box. You may want to make sure each box has a hole for the bees to get in and out so they don't overheat while they are combining.
The advise above is very good. But, if you have one nuc with five drawn out frames. Why not put them in a 10 frame box of their own. Then just combine the other two. Just another option, cause you are gonna loose two queens if you combine them all, if you make two hives atleast you will only loose one. JMHO
Carson City, NV; if you're going to use newspaper combine, you might want to be sure your hives have a good supply of water and some shade during the combine process. I've had several meltdowns when I tried to use the newspaper combine method. It was unacceptable to me, that I completely lost those I was trying to combine, and had their combs meltdown too.
Was the meltdown simply because the newspaper trapped heat by preventing air circulation from bottom to top and back while they were chewing it out? Just trying to understand since I might end up doing a combine in this way in the fall.
The cause for the meltdown's I experienced is most likely due to our high summer temperatures and intense sun, then too, the bees seem preoccupied by the combine procedure that, for whatever reason, they don't sufficiently cool themselves. It is also likely that the newspaper increases the confusion while reducing ventilation and subsequently inspiring higher internal hive temperatures.
Whatever is the actual cause is uncertain, the newspaper combine procedure seems to be the catalyst, so I have learned to avoid using it.
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