Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I bought six packages this year hoping to increase honey production. However, they came two weeks late and were mostly dead. I didn’t take the proper steps for replacement packages. Now I have a couple of strong hives, a couple of ok hives and a couple of weak. The weak ones are hopeless unless they get some serious help. I was planning on combing the 6 to make 3 strong hives but I couldn’t think of what to do with the queens expect kill them.

I am wondering if it is worth it to set them up in two queen systems. The weakest hives go over the strongest, and the ok hives are combined.

All the bees are (2) 4 frame boxes, deeps. I would put an empty of comb between the stacked colonies with 2 queen excluders.

Worth it or should I just combine them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,056 Posts
I would say "Go for it". I would use my Snelgrove boards since I have them but very simple ones can be made up from inner covers and 2 patches of screen. The box of empty comb and excluders works but creates more empty space and heigth.

If it does not work out you can still combine later. Makes for an interesting adventure. Keep us posted with a blow by blow!
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,002 Posts
I bought six packages this year hoping to increase honey production. However, they came two weeks late and were mostly dead. I didn’t take the proper steps for replacement packages. Now I have a couple of strong hives, a couple of ok hives and a couple of weak. The weak ones are hopeless unless they get some serious help. I was planning on combing the 6 to make 3 strong hives but I couldn’t think of what to do with the queens expect kill them.

I am wondering if it is worth it to set them up in two queen systems. The weakest hives go over the strongest, and the ok hives are combined.

All the bees are (2) 4 frame boxes, deeps. I would put an empty of comb between the stacked colonies with 2 queen excluders.

Worth it or should I just combine them?
Hi Paul

I do not have any 4 frame excluders, if you do great. 4 narrow boxes would seen tippy to me.

If you plan to go to 8 or 10 frame setups, I would put the 2 strong hives in the 8 or 10 frame set up, put 2 wood bound excluders on top, then the 2 weak ones in the same size box. The heat will rise and help the small hives keep warm, and the bees as the bottom grows will slowly work up and join the top queen, In time the whole thing will be full of bees. Do place a single sheet of newspaper in between the two hives, below the excluders will allow it to be drug out easier.
I also advise an upper entrance, the slot in the inner cover will suffice. Else the drones will not have any way out, and will in time plug the excluders.
IE 2 stacks of 2 boxes each box with 1 queen, all excluded from each other.

I do this a lot , Hatch a queen in a 2 or 3 frame Setup, place it on top of a strong hive wait for equalization.
I would not kill the queens.

In time move one hive to a new location, be sure to add a box at the old location as the foragers will all go back the perceived "home" location.

GG
 

·
Registered
6a 4th yr 7 colonies inc. resource hive
Joined
·
521 Posts
I would strongly suggest checking out Support/Resource hives (Michael Palmer type design- two queen system). Dadant has a great one that's already assembled. Since your weak hives may not have anything to do with having a weak queen it would be great to put them in a setup they can succeed in. I have two of them. Your instincts to put them in something smaller to start are spot on. I would also put them on drawn comb if you have it and feed feed feed. I successfully over wintered a mid August swarm in one half of that bad boy. Highly recommended.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
648 Posts
I am trying out Ian's multiple queen system this year on a limited basis. It is 3 6-frame nucs pushed together under 2 10-frame supers with a queen excluder over the nucs.

Sounds like a good experiment for your 3 iffy packages.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,645 Posts
I would combine them all into just 2 hives. That would give each enough strength to actually accomplish something. You could always make up some 4 frame splits in late summer or early fall after you get some honey, if you get any. You could over winter the single fours with mountain camp as backup queens with support staff, as Mike Palmer says. That's just what I would do, there are other options as others have pointed out. Choose your road to travel on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I would say "Go for it". I would use my Snelgrove boards since I have them but very simple ones can be made up from inner covers and 2 patches of screen. The box of empty comb and excluders works but creates more empty space and heigth.

If it does not work out you can still combine later. Makes for an interesting adventure. Keep us posted with a blow by blow!
I’m thinking I will probably give it a shot, I’ll let you know how it goes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I am trying out Ian's multiple queen system this year on a limited basis. It is 3 6-frame nucs pushed together under 2 10-frame supers with a queen excluder over the nucs.

Sounds like a good experiment for your 3 iffy packages.
That was essentially my plan with two four frame setups. Still kinda the idea, but maybe less hives
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I like that idea, but I’m trying hard not to kill queens. I’m trying to build up my hive numbers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I like that idea, but I’m trying hard not to kill queens. I’m trying to build up my hive numbers
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top