both correct, 1 piece and cut 2 or 3 2inch slits in the paper. They will be threw the paper actually within a few hours, and will continue to make the "hole" larger removing all of the paper within a few days.
I use a cappings scratcher through one sheet of newpaper 7 or 8 times. Fold a full sheet in half, lay it on the ground and stick it. It won't tear through with the ground as a backing. If you do a newpaper combine when it's hot you've got to have an exit for the hive on top though. They'll cook otherwise. I've found that even with an upper entrance they'll still be through the paper in 1 to 2 days.
Just be sure that you use only one sheet and definitely poke holes/slits in the paper. The first combine I did I put only a couple small holes and accidentally had 2 sheets of paper. It was around 85-90 degrees out and the bees in the top box overheated and died in a massive pile. It was a depressing sight, scooping thousands of dead bees out of the hive...
Yikes! I definitely do not want to lose my bees......... I am curious to know when you move the one hive to combine on top of the other, will the foragers return to the old hive location or the new "combined" hive.
I have a hive here that I combined. I used one piece and made small slits. There was a huge pile of bees in front of the hive in the morning and I even had a top vent. Anyway, they killed the queen. So, last night I put a nuc on top with 2 sheets of paper and small nail holes. We will see what happens this time. This is the second time that an all out war broke out on a newspaper combine in the last few years.
With small nucs be careful about SHB if you only have 1 queen between the two hives! I lost a nuc with a new queen last week, in two days the bottom hive was robbed out and SHB larve were starting to hatch in brood. Had to pull 1/2 the frames and stick in freezer plus shake out the bees into another nuc. Rechecked them today and all is well, better population, a laying queen and no large number of SHBs. SHB are dangerous right now to nucs with low populations of bees.
I combined a queenless swarm with a recent split by moving the split to the swarm hive location. Swarm on top on a mild temp. night, upper entrance for ventilation. Smoked both boxes after paper was in place, I used 2 pieces of paper with small slits made with a razor blade. I wanted them to have enough time to
'meet & greet' so the casualties would be low. Next morning strips of paper being carried out and very few dead bees.
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