Hello all - it's been a while - hope you are all doing well and having a great summer!
Today I decided to combine my two weak hives Flora and Fauna. I figure they are just NOT going to make it through winter if left alone as they are REALLY struggling and to be honest we could have just another 6 weeks left before the first snow fall - we often have the first snow fall around Sept 16th or so - it doesnt last but it often falls then....by the end of August its getting chilly at night for sure....our Summer has not been a good one - we've had a few hot days but to be honest it hasn't been a great summer weather wise at all
Spring arrived very late, then Summer has been dry but cool and the plants here have NOT done well
I have had to feed the bees all Summer long
Gardeners here have been complaining too
My apple tree didn't have even ONE apple this year
We had one VERY late frost that killed off so much too
Anyway - the bees still haven't filled the brood box let alone needed another super! Things are NOT good
So.....today we combined them - I used the newspaper method and I put a couple of small slits in the paper (not gaps just slits) and now I'm wondering how long I leave them before I inspect them again.
On a high note, my swarm hive is doing FABULOUS - filled the brood box and one super and will need a new super in another week or two
Would any of you advise me to give some of the swarm bees to the other hive before Fall or some of the brood at least? To boost numbers? Or will combining the two smaller hives be enough?