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Author Topic: Combining NUC with established but weak hive  (Read 1564 times)
sweetdonna27601
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« on: April 04, 2011, 06:48:36 PM »

Can someone please refresh my memory... haven't done this but once or twice in 5 years and always had my husband around to guide (instruct very forcibly) how to do this, but he is no longer here due to gastric cancer Cry, so maybe some of you can help. I want to combing a very strong NUC that has a good laying queen and lots of brood with a very weak established hive that, I am assuming, has no queen. Saw no new brood for second time in two weeks, so I suppose there is no queen. I am wanting to put the NUC on top of the brood nest with newspaper between and let them merge that way. After they eat through the newspaper, what do I do then? Do I take 5 frames out of the hive and replace with the 5 frames from the nuc? Or put another deep super on and put the frames from the nuc in this? I just  can't remember what we did or if it even worked. Does anyone have any ideas?
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2011, 06:58:27 PM »

Can someone please refresh my memory... haven't done this but once or twice in 5 years and always had my husband around to guide (instruct very forcibly) how to do this, but he is no longer here due to gastric cancer Cry, so maybe some of you can help. I want to combing a very strong NUC that has a good laying queen and lots of brood with a very weak established hive that, I am assuming, has no queen. Saw no new brood for second time in two weeks, so I suppose there is no queen. I am wanting to put the NUC on top of the brood nest with newspaper between and let them merge that way. After they eat through the newspaper, what do I do then? Do I take 5 frames out of the hive and replace with the 5 frames from the nuc? Or put another deep super on and put the frames from the nuc in this? I just  can't remember what we did or if it even worked. Does anyone have any ideas?

Your plan is how I would do it. I would do the newspaper combine and then place the five nuc frames in the hive you have combined with (only after making completely sure that the other hive is 100% queenless).
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organicfarmer
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2011, 08:42:19 PM »

I would place the 5 frames of the nuc centered in a hive body with 5 other frames - your 5-frame nuc is not really compatible in size with your hive, you'd have to create a device to cover the hive body below on each side of the nuc if you were placing it directly above your hive. Place the hive body with the nuc on top of the newspaper, cover with inner & outer cover and voila. Nothing more to do. Once they chew thru, it's combined. If your hive is queenless, you are done; if not the best of the 2 (and it seems to be your nuc's) will take over.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2011, 10:53:00 PM »

I would not chance my good queen to the best of the two wins! Take a frame with eggs from the nuc minus the bees and place in weak hive. If they start drawing a queen cell you know they are queenless. A little more time well spent Wink
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hardwood
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2011, 11:01:16 PM »

Good advice sc! I wouldn't ever try a combine until I was sure that one hive was queenless. Two queens fighting can often lead to no queens at all.

Scott
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