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Last week I removed a feral hive from a section of a tree that had been cut down. The combs in the tree limb had been squished together and the limb had been on it's side for a day or two before doing so. I moved the comb and bees to a nuc, which has been active since. The bees cover about 4 of the 5 deep frames. I looked at it over the weekend and did not see any queen or new eggs/brood, and fear she was lost in the process. I plan on looking for her again more thoroughly in the next day or two.

If I can't find a queen, I'll combine the hive with a nearby hive that can use some more bees. Do I need to do a newspaper combine or can I just move the frames into the hive? I could do it one frame per day if that makes any difference. I don't really care about foragers as there are several hives nearby that they can move into.

Thanks!
 

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The safest way is a newspaper combine. I myself use newspaper if I'm unsure of the queen-rightness of either hive. If I'm sure one of the two are queenless, and it has not bee queenless for so long that they've made queen cells or have started laying worker, then I don't use newspaper. If unsure of any of the above, then I use newspaper.
 

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I almost always use newspaper to be safe and its so easy to do they will breach one sheet in under an hour and usually have all the paper cleaned out in a day or two
 

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Using newspaper gives both halves a joint project to do between them, a common goal, I think it helps give smooth successful joins more often.
 
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