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Author Topic: I need advice!  (Read 2397 times)
beeginer
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Location: Central Missouri


« on: August 12, 2004, 05:35:48 PM »

I currently have one mediocre hive with a queen. And one very small queenless hive.  I will be recieving a few more bees w/ queen in a few weeks.  These bees are currently hived in a gourd that was supposed to be a birds nest.  

My hive with a queen did not like the new foundation in the super that I gave them a while back and they swarmed, which is how I ended up with the 2nd and now queenless hive.  

Should I:

A) Combine the 2 hives I have now with newspaper, then add the gourd bees to that hive with an excluder and newspaper. Ending up with 1 hive.

B) Leave them both alone untill I get the gourd, then combine them with the queenless hive- using newspaper. Ending up with 2 hives.

C) Or use one of your forthcomming suggestions. Cheesy
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2004, 05:50:19 PM »

One of the main things I'd think about with the hives would be their strength - of course. So think of how big they are now. One weak brood box? Two weak brood boxes? At a minimum you'd want one strong brood box per hive.
So can you give the weak hive the new bees and queen and make them strong? And then turn the swarm that's in the gourd into a strong one brood box hive? Or would that make the "swarm" too weak? Being August, they aren't going to do much more wax building. They also may stop laying eggs (or slowing down greatly) by end of September or October.

Beth
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beeginer
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2004, 06:01:08 PM »

Beth, I am not sure of the size of the swarm in the gourd.  The beekeeper down the road just told me that he had someone contact him to see if he wanted them and then he offered them to me.  So I am not sure if they will be strong enough on their own.  

I would really like to keep two hives if I can, but as you said they need to be strong enough to survive the winter.  My mediocre hive is just about 5 frames. of brood and honey. So I am not sure that I have any option but to combine the three into one.
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Robo
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2004, 08:26:48 PM »

You might want to consider making two hives with a double screen board.  This way you will have the benefit of 2 queens laying and the ability to determine which queen is better.  And combining them into one, if the time comes, is as easy as removing the weaker of the 2 queens.

Running them one on top of the other, also lets them regulate the hive temperature together and basically take advantage of each other.  You would stand a better chance of them making it through the winter this way.
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


Finman
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2004, 12:23:30 AM »

Quote from: beeginer


# I currently have one mediocre hive with a queen.

If your queen is reason for "mediocre", there is no reason to put hives together. Get  a new queen.


## And one very small queenless hive.

You can take a frame with eggs and young larvas from your mediocre hive and let them rise brood before hive get a new queen.

###  I will be recieving a few more bees w/ queen in a few weeks.

I think that it is better to own 4-5 hives as minimum. It is usual, that erythinf is not allright. If you have 2 hives and both are "not good" your hives are 100% "not good".If you have 5 hives and 2 bad ones, you have 60% good.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2004, 01:07:14 AM »

I agree with Finman on this one. I would take a frame of eggs and young larvae from the mediocre hive and give it the queenless hive. They will start queen cells on the frame to raise a new queen. This should help prevent one of the worker bees from starting to lay eggs. If you get the bees in the gourd before the new queen hatches out you can put a screen between them and the queenless hive to run as a two queen hive until you find out which queen is laying the best. Then you can find and kill the worst of the two queens and combine them into one hive by removing the screen. If both queens are laying well and both colonies are growing at a good rate you could then split them by simply removing the top hive body and starting a new colony with it.

I think the most important thing at this time is that since the hives that you have are this weak at this time of the year, you should be feeding them all on a 1:1 sugar syrup to build them up for the coming winter.
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