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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have heard fom experienced beeks..

Use newspaper to combine bees even if originally from the same hive and apart for a week or so.

If adding frames of bees to hive shake off all clinging bees or they will fight

If adding bees to a hive it is OK if they are from 3 hives but will fight if from 2 hives

BUT if you want equalize hives you simply place the weak one in a strong hives position.

I have a row of hives..all very close together...that consist of this years packages, nucs and swarms. Before winter I would like to group those that are in deeps and those that are in nucs. I was hoping as they are all in a line to pick a cool rainy weel and simply move to where I want them in the row and let the field bees equalize the numbers.

Can someone with experience please advise on the validity of the above comments and let me know if moving my hives as proposed is functionally feasible.

Thanks
 

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WBVC - I'm not sure exactly how to put this but here's the short and sweet of it. Oldtime beekeepers had their thoughts on how things would work and practiced those thoughts. Newer beekeepers and scientists have disproved many of the oldtime beekeepers thoughts on things. One such thought was that the queen flew straight up out of her hive and went as high as she could and only mated with the drone that followed the furthest. MYTH!

So with that I give you my knowledge of what I know. I routinely work my bees and make splits using several hives at a time. I DON'T shake bees off frames, nor do I have fights between them. The Foragers WILL return to their old home unless you move the new hive miles away, however the nurse bees and brood stay put. You can make splits up using however many hives you want. Give a frame from each if you want to, it doesn't matter. However I will say that if I make splits using several frames of brood/bees from diff hives if given the chance each will try to make their own queen cells. But if you are giving them a queen cell just give them one day of being queenless, and if possible, hopelessly queenless and they will take what you give them happily...

When all else fails you working with your bees, do an experiment on your own and test those oldtime thoughts a little.. lol.. you'll be surprised as to what you figure out... Talk to Michael Palmer about using frames of bees/brood from diff hives together to boost a population.. Get on Youtube and search him.. He makes it clear..
 

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drlonzo is right about some of those old sayings. I too have made may splits using different hives with no problems. What I have done that has worked well for me is, if it's needed, I put 2 drops of vanilla in a spray bottle of syrup & mist all the frames of bees with it. The deal here is that it makes all the bees smell the same & by time the smells wears off they have accepted each other. Has worked well for me.
 

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>>>Use newspaper to combine bees even if originally from the same hive and apart for a week or so.
Yes, hives quickly gain a unique scent and will fight even if from the same mother. Even 3 days can cause hideous death matches in my own experience.

>>>If adding frames of bees to hive shake off all clinging bees or they will fight
No, nurse bees caring for open brood are given a pass. Bees on honey comb are targeted. Just don't move the queen with the nurse bees (one strategy is to shake off, replace in the source hive for a minute or two, and remove a second time.)

>>>> If adding bees to a hive it is OK if they are from 3 hives but will fight if from 2 hives
Not really, Blown bees (ie bees shaken into new packages or nucs) can be combined from many hives, and more is better. Two hive -- too much hive recognition, a bunch --- confused bees don't fight. Heavy, heavy Smoking or heavy spray of the spearmint lemongrass concoctions will mask the scent and make the blown bee combine less troublesome. Also will smoke the bees into the hive so the blown bees can be made up and moved without flying.

>>>>> BUT if you want equalize hives you simply place the weak one in a strong hives position.
Yes, returning foragers are accepted generally with no questions asked. Robbing however can be induced (the foragers inspect the new hive, find their old one, and recruit robbers to return to the interloper hive). Best to equalize hives before any sense of dearth develops.

>>>> I have a row of hives..all very close together...that consist of this years packages, nucs and swarms. Before winter I would like to group those that are in deeps and those that are in nucs. I was hoping as they are all in a line to pick a cool rainy weel and simply move to where I want them in the row and let the field bees equalize the numbers.
Yes, this works beautifully, but see the provisio about induced robbing. Also so many foragers can crowd into a weak hive and fill it with bees and nectar that swarm impulse is triggered, make sure they have drawn comb to store the newly expanded supply on. Not sure what the cool rainy week means, exchanging positions works best when there are foragers in the field. If the bees are cooped up, they will re-orient on first emerging and the exchange will fizzle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The cool rainy week was to try and keep most of the bees with their hives. I expect some drift regardless so would put weak hives where stronger hives were.

Thanks so much for the responses:)
 
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