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Should I combine

1203 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Richter1978
Have two hives. One a swarm I caught about a month ago. They are booming and are very ready for their second medium. The other is a hive that came through the winter very week. They have struggled to gain numbers all year and I just don't think there is any chance of them building up enough to over winter. I don't think I should start robbing brood from the swarm hive as they are just really taking off. Figured it might be best to just pinch the queen in the weak hive and combine. They have my only available drawn frames and think it would give even more of a boost to the stronger hive. Your opinions are valued greatly! Thank you, Jason
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First, I'm not an expert. If your older weak hive hasn't been producing meaningful honey, I'd say yes, go ahead and combine them. The weak hive has had plenty of time since the spring to grow but it sounds like your hive has remained in limbo; it probably won't survive the upcoming winter unless it gets combined with a stronger hive. Do it.
I can't say that you should combine, but I will say that you could combine, giving you the benefits you have listed.

You could also purchase a queen and replace your poor performing one, but I'd say that probably should have been done a couple months ago, if you were going to do so. It is getting late in the bee season, especially where you are located... Joining might be the best option, but I can't see from here what you are seeing there.
I don't know that I have advice, just something that I consider in this situation. What is the mite count for the weak colony? It would be a shame to add a bunch of varroa to your new swarm.
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