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Author Topic: Combine two packages?  (Read 456 times)
strider
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« on: May 14, 2013, 09:03:01 AM »

If one were to combine two 3 lb. packages of bees and install what looked like the best queen, would the two groups of bees kill each other off, or would they combine to form one large group of bees? huh
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Finski
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 09:11:14 AM »

.
Take another queen away into cage with assistant bees.
Then next day just put frames into same box.

Give smoke on bees that they are a little bit upset.
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iddee
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 09:38:31 AM »

If you remove the queen from one package for 6 or more hours before combining, then introduce the other queen over a 3 day period, it should work fine.
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 10:00:14 AM »

Why?  You pay a premium for queenright packages.  Why do you want to combine? A package will grow at the rate the queen lays brood and a young swarm will double quickly under favorable conditions of flow.  This growth (doubling period) is somewhat dependent on the initial swarm, but bumping from 3 to 6 lbs. will not be a linear doubling of growth rate.

Besides maintaining 2 colonies is far preferable to a single colony.  All the manipulations of brood and location that depend on exchange need a second donor colony.

There is sort of a cult of have multiple queen hives, but this is more a "proof of concept" trick than a practical husbandry approach.

Packages have hive loyalty (queenright) . Bees from different queenright packges will fight to the death, though somewhat ameiliorated (and masked) by the chaos of early swarms.

You can do a newspaper combine on stacked nucs, and when establish drop the double nuc to a 10 frame.  I have a divider board with a mesh insert, for a direct combine in a deep.  Have only used it twice.
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Finski
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 10:47:34 AM »

Why?  You pay a premium for queenright packages.  Why do you want to combine? A package will grow at the rate the queen lays brood and a young swarm will double quickly under favorable conditions of flow.

Surely not. The laying capacity may be 15 frames but in 5 frame hive it is only 3 frames.

When I started beekeeping, I bought swarms as much as I found. I noticed that 8 lbs swarm is the best. Bees fill 2 langstorth boxes. It brought first one box honey and made one box brood.
8 lbs swarm brought 80 lbs honey and drew 3 boxes foundations.

It takes 4 weeks that new bees start to fill the hive. Before that original swarm had lost 50% of its bees.

If you have 5 frames of bees, they can make 3 frames brood.

If you have 10 frames bees, they are able to make 7-8 frames of brood. It is 50% more than in 5 frame hive.

When a box  is full of brood, it takes about 6 weeks  that it is able to forage surpluss.
with 5 frame package it takes at least douple time.

Swarm or package does not douple quickly. It takes 4-5 weeks.
Then it takes 3 weeks that new bees start to forage.
It takes about 2 months that that kind of hive is able to forage real surplus. It is so small that it fills the frood area and cannot handle 2 boxes of space.

..
Of course I can get surplus from 3 frame mating nuc. It can bring 6 lbs honey and the rest 1,5 frames are brood.
Nucs are not productive hives.
When I carry my bees to main flow, I join two hives 4+4 boxes to one unit. Idea is that hive has one queen and douple amount of bees.  That hive is able to handle  150 lbs honey in 2-3 weeks

..
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 11:00:14 AM by Finski » Logged

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dfizer
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 10:59:12 AM »

Why?  You pay a premium for queenright packages.  Why do you want to combine? A package will grow at the rate the queen lays brood and a young swarm will double quickly under favorable conditions of flow. 

Surely not.

When I started beekeeping, I bought swarms as much as I found. I noticed that 8 lbs swarm is the best. Bees fill 2 langstorth boxes. It brought first one box honey and made one box brood.
8 lbs swarm brought 80 lbs honey and drew 3 boxes foundations.

It takes 4 weeks that new bees start to fill the hive. Before that original swarm had lost 50% of its bees.

If you have 5 frames of bees, they can make 3 frames brood.

If you have 10 frames bees, they are able to make 7-8 frames of brood. It is 50% more than in 5 frame hive.

When a box  is full of brood, it takes about 6 weeks  that it is able to forage surpluss.
with 5 frame package it takes at least douple time.

very good point!  especially in colder climates where summer is relatively short.
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Finski
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 11:03:58 AM »



very good point!  especially in colder climates where summer is relatively short.

Our summer is 3 months long but main flow is only 3 weeks long.

A small colony is able to get few lbs honey. That is nothing.
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 11:09:15 AM »

Finski,
Thanks for the perspective from the upper latitudes.   My own location has the "problem" that flow never ends, and hence the parasite treatments (winter cluster, honey supers off) that depend on dormant colonies are not available.
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Finski
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 11:10:22 AM »

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Nuc is very different 5 frame nuc has 3 frames brood and that brood gives 3 times more bees.
After 3 weeks a nuc has allready one box full of bees. In package bee number has dropped to half.

After 4 weeks package has same number as at the start but nuc has almost 2 boxes of bees. = 4 times.
It depends how well you have succeeded to stuck brood area with sugar.

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Finski
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 11:14:27 AM »

Finski,
Thanks for the perspective from the upper latitudes. 

Location: south central wi is quite up.

Main problem is that a beginners should get a queen which is adapted to local climate.
Otherwise the colony does not see next summer.
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strider
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 03:24:53 PM »

Thanks all.  Finski, it is always GREAT to see your information on northern hives!!!!  Yes we do have a winter, sometimes much worse than others. grin
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