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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have two hives, an Italian (purchased) and a wild (feral). The Italian hive is younger than the feral, and the feral was from an established hive (i.e., from a split). The feral hive is thriving and made honey. The Italian hive has been struggling, and when I inspected brood frames the other day I noticed the frames had drawn comb but they were all essentially empty. And I'm fairly certain the bee population is lower now than the last time I checked. (edit to add: I think the queen is gone.) How I should have maintained the Italian hive over the summer is perhaps a subject for another thread...but...

I've been notified of a local building that has bees in the walls and we're planning to remove them. I'm wondering if I could place this feral colony in the Italian hive. Would they get along?

- djb
 

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You can do a newspaper combine with a queen excluder between them also. This will protect you if you missed the queen. That wouldn't free all the equipment, but it would give you top and bottom boards.

Have you treated recently? If they are brood less, I'd do an OAV on them 3-4 days before combining so you don't take a bunch of mites into the other colony.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can do a newspaper combine with a queen excluder between them also. This will protect you if you missed the queen. That wouldn't free all the equipment, but it would give you top and bottom boards.

Have you treated recently? If they are brood less, I'd do an OAV on them 3-4 days before combining so you don't take a bunch of mites into the other colony.
I have not treated, and I don't have OAV equipment. :/

- djb
 

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I have not treated, and I don't have OAV equipment. :/

- djb
Let the Italians die and move on without them (they are likely mite infested).
By combining them you will only bring mites onto the ferals and endanger them (feral are more valuable, better keep them safe).
You are only endangering both hives IF combine (since you do not medicate).
Propagate from the ferals when possible.

Since I do not medicate, I learned to avoid combines anymore (just creates cross-infection from sick hives into good hives).
The routine combine methods are really like intentionaly spreading flu.
You either treat globally non-stop (if prefer to combine) OR you avoid combines and learn how to keep small hives afloat (and just let some of them sink).
 
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