Combining

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by rast, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. rast

    rast New Member

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    I've got a couple of singles from late fall that have sorry queens. Just maintain 1/2-3/4 8 frame box of bees. I was thinking about combining them (newspaper method, percentage of good results is better than bad using it) with another single that is growing well.
    Should I do them 1 at a time or just slap both on top with 2 sheets of paper? Maybe put the sorry ones together first and then on the good single?
    I need to raise some queens and of course my strong hives are in honey production. With the added bees it may grow strong enough faster to use it for queen production. I'll make splits when I come off the citrus and would like to queens ready.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Before you do, look for a wall of pollen first. Last year a local had 3 hives with 2 frames of brood each. I moved the pollen frames to the outside and all three had full boxes of brood in a week. They will not move pollen and she will not cross it to lay.

    Otherwise, I would remove both bad queens and combine all 3, with paper on top the good hive only.
     

  3. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    very good point iddee. I have always said a lot of good queens go to the gallows wrongly convicted of a crime they had not committed :thumbsup:
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Iddee writes:
    Before you do, look for a wall of pollen first.

    tecumseh:
    yep... happens here quite frequently with the same end results.
     
  5. rast

    rast New Member

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    I went through the 2 hives much more carefully today. One may have solved its problem by itself. I found an uncapped queen cell and a shiny new queen strolling around.
    The other one however has only capped drone cell, I saw quite a bit of larva in a couple of frames, not scattered, grouped together. I went through the frames several times and could not find a queen. I could not find any eggs, I was looking for multiple ones in the same cell. But I also didn't have my reading glasses on. Gut feeling is not laying worker, just queenless.
    Wasn't a pollen problem, but I filed that away. Now what would you do?
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    ""The other one however has only capped drone cell, ""

    I would shake all bees out of it in front of the new queen hive, then add the frames to needy hives.
     
  7. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    "Before you do, look for a wall of pollen first. Last year a local had 3 hives with 2 frames of brood each. I moved the pollen frames to the outside and all three had full boxes of brood in a week. They will not move pollen and she will not cross it to lay."
    Another gem from Iddee!!! Thanks, Iddee!! I've never been in this situation, but this is information I can store in my memory banks for the day it does happen. And it will, I'm sure!
     
  8. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Lots of good tips here from Idee....thanks! :)
     
  9. rast

    rast New Member

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    Yep, that's why I described it like I did. I'll update on what I've done this weekend. Just messing around to learn.
     
  10. rast

    rast New Member

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    Realizing it was a laying worker hive, all drone brood.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and wanting to strengthen a particular hive, I used a double screen board. I put the board (with appropriate shims to convert from 10 frame to 8) on top of the hive I wanted to strengthen. Then put the laying worker hive on top for 1 week.

    [​IMG]

    I brushed the bees off the frames and out of the box mid day. Some say to do this before daylight, but I figure the foragers will come back to the same box area. Lots of bees in the air and went back to the same box, covered the front and 1 side. Sorry, pic not good enough to post.

    A few hours later, all was OK. I checked and queen was not being balled.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Question: In this situation, why don't the members of the two weaker hives (no paper separation) fight amongst themselves?
     
  12. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Bee phenomenon. Combine 2 hives and they fight. Combine 3 or more and they normally won't fight. I have no idea why.
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    excellent pictures rast. so as a learning moment for the new bees how would one distinguish between laying worker and a drone laying queen? what would be the similarities and what would be the difference?
     
  14. rast

    rast New Member

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    I could not find a queen. Usually if its a small single I can. Especially with a dwindling population.
    The scattered laying pattern, I believe that a drone laying queen will group them tighter.
    Lastly, there were multiple eggs in some cells, not centered either in the ones that did have only one. A worker can't reach the bottom of the cell to lay, so it just drops it on the side. I had to put glasses on to see this.
     
  15. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Good deductions. This will be a good post for future beeks.
     
  16. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    to add to rast's discussion of 'what's the diff' in a drone laying queen hive there is only one drone laying queen and in a laying worker hive there are typically multiple laying workers. up to some point the longer the hive is queenless the more laying workers you have. thus the likely reason (as suggest by rast) for the quantity of eggs spread around the hive in vast numbers.