Merging beehives

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by omnimirage, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. omnimirage

    omnimirage New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had a weak hive in a nucleus with about 250 bees in it, with what appears to be no queen. I then had an even weaker hive with about 100 bees in it, that did have a queen.

    I heard of a trick when merging beehives, to stack the two hives on top of each other, and seperate the two colonies by paper. Then, cut a few slits into the paper. The idea goes is that the pheromones from the two colonies seap through the slits, and the bees become accustomed to each other. The bees then eat the paper, and by the time they do so and reach each other, their pheromones have mixed and they don't attack each other and instead, work together.

    So I opened my 250 hive nucleus, and put paper inbetween the super and lid. I then took the 100 bee colony and all of it's waxcomb, which is about the size of my palm, and placed it on top of the paper, inside the lid. Days later, nothing much has happened. The bees don't appear to be eating the paper at all, and I feel that I made a mistake by using two layers of paper, when the hive is so incredibly weak. I'm not sure what I should do. Should I leave them as is? Should I open it up, make much bigger slits, to the size that bees can crawl through? Advice much appreciated.
     
  2. camero7

    camero7 Member

    Messages:
    713
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    sounds like neither hive is strong enough to make it. I would shake them out and let them merge with my other hives. If you don't have any other hives then pull the paper and let the bees sort it out.
     

  3. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,887
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Camero has it right
     
  4. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
  5. omnimirage

    omnimirage New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I checked the bees yesterday, and figured it'd be best to provide photos, instead of descriptions:

    http://imgur.com/a/lcttT

    The merge was successful. There was a rip in the paper, and they must have tunneled down into such.

    The other two frames of the four frame nucleus had no activity. This was midday, there probably was some flying out. I must have underestimated how many bees their was, but note, this is the two hives combined.
     
  6. camero7

    camero7 Member

    Messages:
    713
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    If the queen doesn't start laying very soon this hive is doomed.
     
  7. danl

    danl New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Just did the same thing yesterday had a hive with a queen that was not laying so and low numbers. I squished my bad queen and layer paper with slots onto a stronger hive and put the weak brood box on top. Hoping all works out.
     
  8. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,887
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Any brood in that hive? But you are in Australia so this is your April - do you have a flow? I see they are putting up honey, but if not enough flow you need to feed syrup. Are they bringing in pollen?
     
  9. omnimirage

    omnimirage New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I might have to do the same danl, but I'm hoping this one survives. There's a chance that they might have some sort of disease, something I'm entirely unfamiliar with, so I'm hesitant to do such.

    Nothing other than what I showed in the photos. There's some brood in that honey comb, but I'm starting to wonder if a worker laid that instead of a queen. One of them was bringing in pollen, before the merge. What does this signify?
     
  10. danl

    danl New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If a worker laid the brood it would be drone brood only. Does the brood have a bullet shape? I have had week hive still bring in stores. So I wouldn't read into that too much. Mine had just a few cells of brood, low numbers and no honey. That's why I decided on the combine.
     
  11. camero7

    camero7 Member

    Messages:
    713
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    not much, a queenless hive will also bring in pollen.