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Offline Janemma

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Combining two weak hives
« on: July 27, 2008, 10:33:35 PM »
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? 

Offline Robo

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Re: Combining two weak hives
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2008, 09:09:05 AM »
 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.
Did you dispose of one of the queens before combining?   If so, give them a week or so before you inspect.   They will chew the paper and drag it out of the hive.  You can tell how well they are doing by the debris in front of the hive.

Quote
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? 

It all depends on how strong (or weak) the combined hive is.  Sometimes just the added population of the combining boosts them right up.   If you think they still need help,  giving them brood is much more beneficial than just adding bees.  Just don't weaken your strong hive too much trying to save it...
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison



 

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