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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All,
Two of my hives are struggling. One is a split I made that is taking forever to build up. It has a laying queen but the hive population is not high. Last week, I added a capped brood frame from another hive to this one to get it to build up. My other hive had good numbers about a month ago but is now queenless. When I inspected it yesterday, they had just sealed a queen cell but the hive looks like it was robbed out.
My question is should I let the queenless hive continue trying to make a queen this late in the season? I noticed drones are being kicked out of the other hives and wonder if there is enough time for the new queen to develop, get mated and start laying (around 20 days). Our goldenrod flow has not started yet but will begin in about 2 weeks or so. I could combine them so they have enough numbers to take advantage of the upcoming flow.
What would the more experienced beeks do in this situation. Should I combine?

Thanks!
 

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It's sometimes an odds game. Two weak hives that may not build up in time for winter season, or one stronger hive that has a better chance. I'd combine them, that way the combine might be strong enough to get some stores off of you upcoming fall flows. Kill all queen cells first, then do a newspaper combine, is the way I'd go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for confirming my thinking, Ray!
I just hope the existing queen gets off her butt and starts cranking out some eggs to build up for the flow.
 

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Ditto on RayMarler's advice, I am also in Georgia and you do have time for them to produce a queen, which would work if your hives were strong, since they are not I think your best chance to save your bees is to combine them. The reason your queen isn't laying well is most likely because the population is too low to take care of more larvae, I'm betting that after you combine and raise the number of bees your queen will suddenly start laying much better. May need to feed for a couple of weeks until the tall goldenrod shows up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Stan.
I have both hives in the same yard now and will combine them tomorrow morning. I assume the queenright hive will be the bottom box with an entrance and the queenless hive will be on top with no entrance. Is that correct?
Which hive actually chews through the newspaper? Or do both hives chew the paper, simultaneously?
Thanks again!
 

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Yes as Stan.Vick says, it takes bees to make more bees.
Both hives bees chew through the newspaper, makes a common task between both hives, helps them join together peacefully.
 

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I would definitely combine now. It gives you time to keep an eye on things as we get closer to the fall / winter.
 
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