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I’ve done many hive combines weak queenless with a decent colony or say a frame of brood and bees into a queenless colony. Yesterday I combined a cutout with a late summer split. The late summer split was 6 frames of bees and comb and brood and the cut out was three frames of comb no brood no apparent queen but quite a bit of older bees. I tried to requeen the cut out using queen cells but they never took it’s been about a month since they should of emerged.

Yesterday to combine I took the cut out hive and stuck it on top of the split with newspaper and let the top cracked for upper entrance. I checked a couple hours later and it was all out warfare. There’s a strong golden rod flow on now they shouldn’t be fighting for that issue. I guess maybe they had a queen? Has anyone seen this and seen a queen and hive make it through the ordeal?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Usually a newspaper combine works fine. In fact, usually you can take a queenless colony and combine with a queenright one with just a lot of smoke. But sometimes even the newspaper combine fails. A lot of smoke will calm them and confuse them.
 
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