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Due to a couple of unexpected swarm captures I've ended up with more hives than I'd planned for (or want!) so I'm thinking of combining one or two of the swarms with a weak hive. The weak hive is from a split I'd done earlier in the year that's just getting going in a single deep, and I hate to kill off a good queen. So I'm thinking of moving the split queen into a nuc with a couple frames of bees and brood, then do a newspaper combine with the swarm hive (putting the swarm on top of the split hive).

If I do this, how long should I wait after removing the queen to make the combine (if at all)? Since the hives will be separated by the newspaper it seems to me that I could do the combine immediately.

My plan would be to do the combine in a week or so to make sure the swarm hive's queen is laying.
 

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Most folks say wait 24 hours after the queen is removed. If they (whichever hive you're removing the queen from) do not have eggs and/or young larva (less than three days old) they probably won't try to raise a new queen before they eat through the news paper. I would remove the queen, place news paper between the boxes and combine them. By the time they get through the news paper they will think they only have one queen.
 

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On you tube I saw a successful newspaper combine where the beekeeper
do an immediate removal of the old queen to make the combine. She
did not wait 24 hrs just combine them right there after putting the
newspaper between the hives. It only takes several hours for the
bees to find their queen missing.
 
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