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Author Topic: Ok to keep 2 hive in one TBH for a period of time?  (Read 1404 times)

Offline nietssemaj

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Ok to keep 2 hive in one TBH for a period of time?
« on: September 15, 2011, 03:57:15 PM »
I'm in the process of getting started with TBH's. My wife, doesn't see the need to have more than 1 hive. I would like to have more then 1 in case one fails.

I'm thinking a short term solution would be to put 2 separate hives into my TBH with a space between them. Would that be a problem?

I realize as time goes on I will need the space and I could probably get away with a 2nd separate box.

BTW, I'll be building my TBH out of a plastic 55 gallon drum so it is going to be huge.

Offline Grizzly8119

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Re: Ok to keep 2 hive in one TBH for a period of time?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 04:16:19 PM »
Do u plan on having a devider between them because th most Likely outcome to that is the stronger hive taking over the weaker one and killing off the smaller queen. Two hives two separate hives to put em in

Offline caticind

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Re: Ok to keep 2 hive in one TBH for a period of time?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2011, 05:09:04 PM »
Yes. I do this all the time, for unexpected splits and temporary holding while I build new hives, and sometimes for overwintering smaller hives (1.5 deep equivalent or less).  

Three things to keep in mind:
1) Each hive must have a separate entrance, preferably at opposite ends and/or facing in different directions.
2) You must have solid divider(s) between them that separate the halves of the hive.  Ideally a "follower board" that fits flush to the inside of the hive (less than 1/8" clearance).  
If that is not possible, less perfectly fitting follower(s) and a multi-bar honey barrier on each side should keep the queens from hunting each other down and reduce drifting.

***If you do not manage both of these things, you will end up with just one big hive within a few days.

3) Except in the most carefully managed of hives, this is a temporary solution. Eventually they will get big enough that you can't keep them together in the space, or one or another queen will disappear.  With a lot of care and being ok with losing the occasional queen, we have done this for up to 5 months at a time.  You are still going to have to convince your wife eventually.  :)
The bees would be no help; they would tumble over each other like golden babies and thrum wordlessly on the subjects of queens and sex and pollen-gluey feet. -Palimpsest

Offline nietssemaj

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Re: Ok to keep 2 hive in one TBH for a period of time?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2011, 05:19:12 PM »
They would definitely be separated with a follower board or two. Entrance on opposite sides for sure. I may not even do it, but was just throwing the idea around in my head. The 2 hives entrances would be further apart than most bee yards I've seen pictures of.


Offline windfall

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Re: Ok to keep 2 hive in one TBH for a period of time?
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 08:25:43 PM »
We have been doing this in a long hive since mid july. We had to do a false swarm split so just used the far end with tight followers. They sure ate up the spare room fast and we will definitely have to move one out or recombine come spring (assuming they make it). So I would have to agree regarding temporary...unless it's a really really long hive.

Offline nietssemaj

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Re: Ok to keep 2 hive in one TBH for a period of time?
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 09:06:58 PM »
It will actually be fatter than wide. And yeah it would be temporary. Maybe not even 1 entire season. Really would depend on how well the colonies go.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Ok to keep 2 hive in one TBH for a period of time?
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2011, 10:16:33 PM »
>I'm in the process of getting started with TBH's. My wife, doesn't see the need to have more than 1 hive. I would like to have more then 1 in case one fails.

More than that you need more than one hive to have the resources in case you end up queenless.
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Offline nietssemaj

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Re: Ok to keep 2 hive in one TBH for a period of time?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2011, 10:22:55 PM »
Yep. I was considering a missing queen to be failed.