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As I understand it, the hive with the queen goes on top of the queenless hive with a sheet of newpaper between.

My question is, will the bottom hive move up into the hive with the queen, or vice versa??

Thanks, Robert
 

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I don't think the position of the queen really matters.... although in any tropical location entrances needs to be provided for both sets of bees <personally I like to have these on opposite sides of the stack.

I have no idea who is on first here. I have always assumed that the larger population chews out the most paper. this part of the question sounds like one of those things you might never know with any certainty.
 

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I have always put the queen on the bottom (not that it would really matter it was just the stronger hive and left them in place and brought a weaker hive to them). They will cover the brood no matter where it is at. If there is brood only in the bottom they will cover it, if brood is in both top and bottom it will still be covered. After about 4 or 5 days I try to consolidate the brood frames in one box to make a more compact brood nest. Probably not necessary since they will arrange it how they want, but just trying to keep the queen in one nesting spot, especially if you are trying to get honey supers off of this hive.
 

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I was instructed to do it with the queenright box on top, but the rationale for this wasn't included in the discussion. I agree, it likely doesn't matter.

The only thing I can think of is that the queen will move into down the lower box to lay more readily than she would to move up into the upper. But then again, given that either box would have another queen's scent on it, she'd probably walk the "new" boxes extensively in very short order regardless of placement.
 

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I haven't done the "newspaper combine" but I might want to in the very near future. I've always wondered: how many sheets of newspaper do you lay down between the hives? Never having done it before, I am worried that they will chew through the newspaper too quick, before the two families of bees have gotten used to each other, and the worker bees from the "other" hive will attack the queen.
So, is one sheet of newspaper enough, or do you layer several?
 

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I used one, with a few short 1/4" long cuts with a razor.

I guess you could use more. Particularly if trying to combine with a "laying worker" hive but I wouldn't think this to be the best idea. For laying workers, I'd follow the advice on Michael Bush's web site to just dump them out on the grass in front of a queen-right hive. Then the workers either accept a docile position toward the hive and the guard bees (accepting the queen in the process?) or drift away.

Keep in mind though. Unless you have an upper entrance as well (per the post above), the hive in the upper box is trapped with limited ventilation. You don't want it to take TOO long. Just enough time for both groups to settle down a bit and get used to the new smells.
 

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Like Paul, I have used one sheet. I made a few slits in the paper as well, but they were longer than 1/4".

If rain or heavy dew is forecast, you may want to tear off the excess paper sticking out from between the boxes, so it does not get wet and wick water into the hive. Doesn't have to be perfect, just not 6" of paper sticking out.
 

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This is some good info. Thanks for starting this thread.

Should we use the front page, personals, obituaries, classifieds, or the sports page?:grin:
 

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You really don't need newspaper. As long as the queenless colony is truly queenless with no laying workers just set one on top of the other. They will be too confused to fight and the queenless half will readily accept the queen.
 

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If doing that might consider spraying them with some sugar water with vanilla in it, helps to confuse them a little bit more.
 

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That's right G3. I usually put a few drops of lemon grass oil in my syrup spray bottle and give both boxes a couple of pumps. (if I remember to bring it to the yard). I've done it with and without with no queen fatalities.

Think about it. If you can take a brood frame with bees on it from one hive and place it in another hive without any problems, why couldn't you just combine two boxes as long as one box is queenless?
 

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CarlieB writes:
why couldn't you just combine two boxes as long as one box is queenless?​

tecumseh..
I suspect this is more a matter of the relative numbers of the two populations than anything else. paper combines are quite useful for hobby folks but you could work an entire lifetime in the commercial ranks and never see this done. on most occasions you (that is I while in the employment of commercial bee keeping concerns) simply knock the bees out of a queenless hive and stack this on a well population hive needing space. the argument for doing this is 1) there will be no coming back tomorrow to see how the combine worked and 2) any laying worker or poor performing queen is knocked out on the ground and is extremely unlikely to be let back into any hive.

I commonly set bees and brood into small hives will little downside.... the exceptions to this are what scented sprays (as you mentioned) and newspaper give you some hedge against.​
 

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Tec I like your thinking on that, but like you say the hobby keep has a little more time on his hands and can baby (sometimes too much) a few hives around. It is no different really than combining a laying worker hive, maybe less stress on the bees and you are trying to make sure the bees are going into the hive you want, not the one they pick or are let in.
 

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You really don't need newspaper. As long as the queenless colony is truly queenless with no laying workers just set one on top of the other. They will be too confused to fight and the queenless half will readily accept the queen.
I'm not sure I agree with this. A few years back I moved a hive. I set an empty box at the old site to pick up stragglers. Then something happened in my life and I was unable to get back to them for about 5 or 6 days. At that time I went and picked up the (queenless) straggler box and plopped it on top of their former hivemates, with queen. No newspaper used... they were the same colony, right? Wrong. After that amount of time, they had forgotten each other and fought to the death. There were bee carcasses everywhere.

I got smarter that day, but not in the manner I prefer.
 

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it would seem to me that anyone just starting out with little experience to measure the kinds and number of variable involved in combining population of unrelated bees would profit from Hobbie's concerns.

I have combined population of bees with and without using paper but describing when this will work or exactly how this decision is made is not so easy to convey. at the end of the day and looking a bit down the road preserving the equipment (especially comb) is much more important than a small quantity of bee.
 

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I went thru a hive today and saw no sign of a queen. No brood no capped larve. Did find numerous swarm cells. Shortly after this we found a small swarm. So we decided to combine the two with the newspaper method. Any thoughts good idea or bad. This is the first time I have tried to combine a hive.
 

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Sounds like you did just right. Although there may be other "right" options posted after this one, what you did was fine.

I would look for more swarms from this hive in the next couple of weeks. There may well be more.
 
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