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Author Topic: To combine or not to combine  (Read 4831 times)

Offline Billybee

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To combine or not to combine
« on: May 26, 2012, 03:14:09 PM »
I bought to nucs on the 19Th (last Saturday). If you look at the post titled "Installing nucs a question or 3" you can get the lowdown.

Each nuc is in a 10 frame deep with a small slice of foundation on the 2 end frames in the boxes. I have then on 16 inch stands with screened bottom boards.

The short story is 1 hive had a dead queen and lots of dead bees. The hive with no queen is drawing comb slowly and from what it looks like to my amature eye a queen cell. The issue with the folks that sold me the bees is unresolved as the customer service has given me the run around ALL week then told me to contact the people they bought the bees from.

Upon the first time I have looked in the hive with the queen today I see they have 3 frames almost drawn out and a 4Th on the way and no crooked comb :-D. All looks good even though I didn't pull every frame out to look. Didn't see the need to interfere.

I currently have entrance feeders on both.

I have read several combining articles and think it may be the thing to do. The only thing I don't like is everyone says to put the queenless hive in the bottom. I just can not see disrupting things by doing that.

My plan is to take the lid off of the queened hive,  place a piece of newspaper over that, then I am going to put a queen excluder over the paper, (I cant imagine any good coming of her heading up top but, then again I know very nothing) then sit the queenless hive on top of that, then I will put a baggie of feed in for the queenless bees until the paper is breached. I will have a screened queen excluder for a ventilation lid on the queenless hive and if rain is coming i will protect accordingly.

Once they are in I would take drawn comb from queenless hive, place it in bottom hive, tap any remaining bees into the bottom box and close things up.

or do I let the queenless bees build away until I get a new nuc then if any left combine with them?

There is my idea,

I am greatful for any input

Bill
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 03:36:14 PM by Billybee »
Can somebody tell me where I can find a foundation tree?

Offline buzzbee

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Re: To combine or not to combine
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2012, 04:35:43 PM »
Did you contact Brushy on the dead queen
 And we have confusion on the terminology.You installed a package of bees into a hive. A nuc is a small colony with brood eggs and a laying queen.If you decide to combine,I would move the foundations together into the center.Especially if the rest of the frames are foundationless.

Offline buzzbee

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Re: To combine or not to combine
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2012, 04:37:30 PM »
You may receive more response if you post these questions in the General forum.
If you are going to combine,take the top off of the queenright hive. Cover with newspaper. Cut a few smakk slits in the newspaper. Put box from queenless hive above newspaer. Put inner cover on. Put outer cover on.
Within a day or two they will have combined themselves and you can manipulate the foundation into the queen right hive.Once most frames have drawn comb top to bottom you can work on removing or relocating frames with foundation to the outside edges for eventual removal.
Give the bees time t establish.

Offline Billybee

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Re: To combine or not to combine
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2012, 06:02:49 PM »
I posted here due to the foundationless issue. I will post more on general for broader based stuff.

I did not know the difference between packaged and a nuc. Thought they were one in the same. Is the queen in packaged bees ready to lay eggs?

Guess this is what I get for  getting bees from removing them. Its the only thing I know and that is minimal.

Will combine in the morning. Then I will order a new package from a local guy I spoke to Friday who told me about the combining thing.

Thamk you!

Can somebody tell me where I can find a foundation tree?

Offline buzzbee

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Re: To combine or not to combine
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2012, 12:28:36 AM »
Foundationlees is not only a natural choice. People choose foundationless for different reasons.But having an installation issue is somewhat urgent to get a reply sometimes. Some members do not venture into the natural beekeeping section on a regular basis,so I was just trying to help you get more responses to a problem you may be having.
Good luck on the combine,the queen right colony will definitely benefit from the workforce.

The queen in a nuc is already in with the general population and acclimated to the colony,whereas the queen in the package is most likely not any relative to the bees shook in with her. Thus,she is caged up and given time to let the bees in the package accept her.There is also two other scenarios that could happen,one is that the queen is not breed properly and two, a queen could have been inadvertently been shaken into the package from the colony that was shaken for bees.
But in answering your question,the queen sometimes takes a couple days to start laying even after being released from the cage,even though she probably is physically able to almost immediately.
Don't give up, and don't be afraid to ask questions. We've all been there before! :)

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: To combine or not to combine
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2012, 02:17:35 AM »
I would give the possibly queenless colony a frame of eggs as insurance and see what happens.

If you insist on a combine, it really doesn't matter which is on top.
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Offline buzzbee

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Re: To combine or not to combine
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2012, 07:15:07 AM »
The queen that came with one of his packages was DOA.And it has been a week since installing two packages .
 I am not sure if he has the eggs available.
On the right side of this page is a navigation area with some good explanations and terms.
http://agdev.anr.udel.edu/maarec/
Hope it helps.

Offline Billybee

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Re: To combine or not to combine
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2012, 11:26:05 AM »
No eggs available so I am headed out to the yard and doing the combine.

Then I will ponder getting a nuc from someone local who actually got back to me. I bought a ton of hive gear so I wouldnt mind more occupants.
Can somebody tell me where I can find a foundation tree?

Offline buzzbee

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Re: To combine or not to combine
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2012, 11:31:44 AM »
ASwarm seasons not over yet. you might get lucky!

Offline JP

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Re: To combine or not to combine
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2012, 11:37:47 AM »
If I am doing a newspaper combine the queen right hive is always on the bottom. 86 the queen excluder idea. Why make it tougher on them to combine? Queenless hives desperately want a queen (unless they have accepted a laying worker as queen) Allow them to go down & they will.


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Offline Billybee

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Re: To combine or not to combine
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2012, 08:43:49 PM »
Took a look today. I did not 86 the excluder. They are through. I see no sign of a war :)

So tomorrow I am going to take the top box off (it only has 1 frame that the queenless bees started drawing on), put the frame from top box in the bottom to replace one of the empty frames, maybe take a peak around for crooked comb, (if I get home from work far enough from dark), put the lid on and post the video so everyone can blast me for all of the things I should have done.

I know everyone is gonna tell me to start shuffling frames to the center or something. Not gonna get any more bees this season (unless I luck into a cut out or something) and just see how this hive takes off round these parts. Just gonna sit and look at 500 bucks worth of brand new hive bodies frames and such and fire off a letter to the folks who have been giving me the run around ALL week last week and NO news this week.

Thanks for beeing here folks,

  Billy
Can somebody tell me where I can find a foundation tree?

Offline buzzbee

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Re: To combine or not to combine
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2012, 07:05:12 PM »
We're not here to blast you. We are only trying to help.The addition to the work force should help tremendously.

Offline annette

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Re: To combine or not to combine
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2012, 02:30:03 AM »
If I am doing a newspaper combine the queen right hive is always on the bottom. 86 the queen excluder idea. Why make it tougher on them to combine? Queenless hives desperately want a queen (unless they have accepted a laying worker as queen) Allow them to go down & they will.


...JP

I just combined a laying worker hive with a queenright hive. I thought it would work because the laying worker hive was very tiny, just a few frames of bees. Well it was a disaster and most of the bees in the laying worker hive were killed on top of the newspaper.  Will never do that again.


Offline kathyp

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Re: To combine or not to combine
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2012, 12:24:45 PM »
Quote
The issue with the folks that sold me the bees is unresolved as the customer service has given me the run around ALL week then told me to contact the people they bought the bees from.

it is the responsibility of the company which sold you the hive, to communicate with you and resolve this.  sometimes mentioning something like "i have a lawyer on retainer for my business", or "i will have to give you negative reviews online", will get the ball moving.

annette....window screen   :-D
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Offline annette

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Re: To combine or not to combine
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2012, 05:15:10 PM »
Yep!!

Offline Joe D

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Re: To combine or not to combine
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2012, 10:36:09 AM »

Billy, I am fairly new to beek also just got my hives the end of last year.  Lots of people here are still learning.  Some know a great deal about beek but you don't have to worry about getting blasted.  They will try to help, and there will be things that you will pick up as you go along that someone else hasn't ran into and you will be able to help.  Good luck with your bees


Joe