More questions: What two are you planing on combining and what are the physical sizes. Large and small are not descriptive enough to offer advice.
Last year I put some weak hives together so they could build and separated the queens with excluders. They worked pretty well. You usually find that one queen will be favored over the other. I found that it seemed to be the one in the bottom box, not sure if positioning has anything to do with it, just an observation.I also read an article where he combined the colonies but put a queen excluder between them in case there was a second queen.
I'm sorry, Ace. I'm considering combining the hive with a queen and a very small cluster, (just two or three frames of bees of bees) with the hive that has decent numbers (five or six frames of bees) but has no brood at this point. I have no intention of doing anything with my two strongest hives. At this point I'd rather have three colonies than try to keep all four and end up with two. I hope I explained it better this time. English composition was not my best subjectMore questions: What two are you planing on combining and what are the physical sizes. Large and small are not descriptive enough to offer advice.
The dilemma I have with bees is making decisions for them or let them make the decision. You can't always assume that the lager cluster will do better than the small cluster. Which queen are you going to keep? If you combine and add a new queen the results might be more predictable but if you just combine, I don't know. I wouldn't right off the larger cluster being queenless right now. Maybe other would.At this point I'd rather have three colonies than try to keep all four and end up with two. (
In all cases I have given them full frames of honey from the dead outs. The weak hive is quite thin in numbers, yes you can easily see the brood. I've been watching the brood less hive on and off all day, They're waddling in with pollen that I collected last year mixed with Ultra Bee from Mann Lake. I hope that is a good sign.2 or 3 frames would be a good nuc, so not that bad in March. Got to ask everybodies favorite question. Mites? How close is the brood to hatching, if well capped they will be getting #s soon. Are the bees covering the brood or can you see brood through bees easily? Did you move honey frames right next to brood?
Not really spring there yet is it? If other hives are hauling in pollen but not for broodless that is bad sign.
In your non laying hive, how much stores?
I hope you are correct! This was my favorite. They are quite pleasant to work with, they started as a four frame nuc and built steadily throughout the year and made nearly perfect comb. I was looking forward to splitting them, I would indeed be disappointed if I lost that queen.Leave the one alone that have good numbers of bees but no brood yet. I bet they have a queen that hasn't started laying again yet.