Combine or requeen?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by NCnewbeek, Sep 7, 2015.

  1. NCnewbeek

    NCnewbeek New Member

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    One of my hives seems to have lost its queen and been robbed. No capped honey and no signs of a laying queen. The population has dropped substantially, to about a quarter of its original number. Wondering at this late date whether it is better to try and combine the remaining bees with another small hive or to requeen. Inspected the hive today and see no signs of them raising a new queen. I am just afraid that they won't have time to build up enough stores to overwinter if I requeen. I am in North Carolina and daytime highs are still in the 80s. Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I would do a newspaper combine I think. Possibly there is a queen who is not laying due to lack of flow/ stores, it would be a shame to have 2 queens battle and perhaps lose both. If there is a queen it is often easier to take a double nuc through winter than a full sized hive, less space to defend and the vertical allows them to move up into feed stores. Good luck whatever you decide.
     

  3. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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  4. Hawkster

    Hawkster New Member

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    It's not often that you lose a queen and there is no attempt to replace it. Did you see a gradual reduction in brood or a sudden disappearance? Make extra sure you don't have a virgin queen running around in there or your combine could be the death of your laying queen.
     
  5. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    Much more often than expected in my experience. I've had several queens disappear this fall with no attempt to replace them. No queen cells in the hives.
     
  6. Hawkster

    Hawkster New Member

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    Interesting! I have had quite a few fail to replace but given brood of the right age I can't remember a hive not making an attempt. Learn something new all the time!
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    they won't attempt with eggs if they have an unmated queen already. I was giving up on a split because they wouldn't make a queen, did one last run through before a combine and found uncapped worker brood, the lady got mated.
     
  8. David34

    David34 New Member

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    Bigger colonies are much healthier and better. I would keep 5 big colonies instead of 15 small colonies.
     
  9. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Bigger colonies that decide to pull a late season swarm tend to become much smaller very quickly. Happens here fairly often