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Author Topic: Combining Hives vs Package  (Read 1469 times)
romduck
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« on: April 15, 2005, 11:39:16 AM »

Went into the Winter with two strong hives and one weak.

The weak one bit the dust early on.

Of the two remaining, one is queenless (couldn't find her and no evidence of eggs or brood) but is otherwise HIGHLY active.

The second is much weaker (was, by far, my best hive over the past few years) and less active but does have eggs and capped brood.

Since I assume that it would be too late to bother with trying to obtain a package this late, does anyone have any thoughts on just combining the two hives into one via the newspaper between supers method?
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2005, 11:41:39 AM »

You could take brood from the one and place it in the other so they can make a queen.
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romduck
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2005, 11:50:46 AM »

I wasn't sure if that would set my weak&laying hive back too much. They have only a couple of frames of brood going.

Of course, maybe that means that its also time to requeen.

Since I'm only a few years into beekeeping I usually like to sit back and see what they do.

That, and the great advice here has steered me right so far.

When it gets a bit warmer here again, I'll see if they have enough brood to spare.
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Rommie L. Duckworth
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2005, 01:38:31 PM »

Your weak hive may not have enough bees to support any more than the couple of frames of brood they have, so it may not be that the queen is bad.
If this is the case, it is doubtful that they will grow enough to be productive this year.

I would recommend combining them and then perhaps making a split later on in the year when they get strong.

Keep in mind though, if your strong hive does have a queen (non-laying),  by combining them with the newspaper method, you risk the stong hive killing your laying queen out of loyalty to their (non-laying queen). Perhaps not a high probability, but could happen.

Even if you give them brood from the other hive,  it will be about 1.5 - 2 months before you will have brood hatching (raise a queen, have her mated, raise brood from her).
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leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2005, 01:41:16 PM »

Rom -

if you are near Mass state line.   Contact Dan at http://www.warmcolorsapiary.com  He was taking orders for packages for delievery in May.    

Sounds like you'd be best to combine these two and get a new queen.

the queen you want to keep should be on top.
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romduck
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2005, 02:27:06 PM »

Thanks guys. I think that I'll try both.

I live on the West side of CT about 40 minute from Mass so I'll give that a try as well.

Of course, with each hive consisting of two deeps, should I end up with a combined hive 4 deeps tall or is there a way that I should reduce them back down?

I haven't seen this spelled out before. Perhaps because there is some common sense point that I am missing.

-Rom rolleyes
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Chad S
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2005, 03:07:36 PM »

In addition to bringing pkg. Bees up from Georia in May, and raising queens Dan is also a great resource, and would probably be helpfull in getting you squared away.
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