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Author Topic: combining hives  (Read 1721 times)

Offline TLWalters

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combining hives
« on: June 01, 2005, 03:59:54 PM »
Hi All,
I'm still dealing with my queenless issues. I have combined the hives using the Newspaper method. (If this is "news" to you here it is: Put the queenless hive on the bottom, cover with one sheet of newspaper, put the hive with the queen on the top). In theory they are supposed to chew through the paper. The question: HOW LONG DOES THAT TAKE?

I can't find a reference in any of the materials I have for how long it takes them to chew through.

Tomorrow I have a new queen coming so will requeen this combined hive as well, which is why I'm asking. I hope the answer to the question is 2 days.

Offline Miss Chick-a-BEE

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combining hives
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2005, 04:05:22 PM »
I'm not sure of the answer, but I had my bees do quite a bit of damage to a piece of strophome on a lid in just a week. They might go through the paper in just a couple days.


Online Michael Bush

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combining hives
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2005, 07:02:53 PM »
They will chew through it overnight, at least enough to be combined.  They will finish it over the next couple of days until it's all lint.

Was the queenless half just queenless or had laying workers?
Michael Bush
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Offline L. Osborn

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combining hives
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2005, 11:58:51 PM »
Actually, early in the year or during a reasonable honey flow you can combine, shake or move bees around without much risk of fighting.  If it is a fair day and they are flying you should have no problem combining frames of bees or even boxes of bees.  I do it all the time without an issue.  Remember the field bees are out and nurse bees are not going to fight so moving frames of bees is not a problem.  Switching a weak hive with a strong one will cause the large field force to be lost to the weak hive.  This can be of value when you have a strong hive wanting to swarm and a weak hive that needs a boost.  The field bees will enter the hive and find a good queen laying on her brood pattern and leave her alone.  
You don't need the paper but they will start mixing in minutes and have large patches open in several hours.  A better and quicker method is to spray them with a squirt bottle of sugar syrup and scent such as anise oil.  They will all smell the same and be unable to identify who is not part of the hive. :lol:

Offline TLWalters

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combining hives
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2005, 12:04:42 AM »
Thanks for they replies on the newspaper. I imagine it will be chewed then by tomorrow when the new queen arrives.

The queenless hive did have laying workers. So that may complicate things.

I love the Anise and sugar water idea! I'll write that down. Hopefully I'll still have bees in the Spring. This has been a rocky road so far. Wanted to start with more hives for this reason, but thats always a tough call when just starting out.   Oh well.