Swarm and combine

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by james007, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. james007

    james007 New Member

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    Its me again. Yesterday I found hive beetles in a couple of hives so I decided to put in beetle traps. I have had a queenless hive ive tried to requeen with eggs with no luck. Still no luck and the queens are slowing down. Problem one. Problem two was the next hive. It has been three weeks since I had been in this one and found it had swarmed. Few bees and almost no honey reserves. I decided to combine problem one hive with problem two hive. Problem two hive had been strong and had two brood chambers. I didnt know how to combine the two hives and end up with only two brood chambers to winter so I took the brood box with the fewest bees and..........ready.........I shook all the bees I could into the bottom box, put on a piece of newspaper and put the lid on. I left the frames with a few bees left on them in front of the hive hoping they would go back in later. I would like to know how bad I messed up and what is the right way to combine two hives when one already has two brood boxes.
    Thank you very much. It seems like the more I do this the less I know about it, kind of stupid really. Thanks again.
     
  2. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Sounds like you did ok, but I will let wiser heads prevail if any show up. The real judge and jury are the bees, and if they have any sense they will all move in and share housekeeping. Check for a hole in the newspaper today or tomorrow., poke through with a pencil or hive tool if there isn't one.
     

  3. james007

    james007 New Member

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    Thanks. I didnt want to winter a small colony with three deep supers but wasnt sure. I will check later today. Thanks very much.
     
  4. Guba

    Guba New Member

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    If I understand this correctly, you just wiped out the weaker hive. The proper procedure would have been to place newspaper over top one brood box, then place another brood box on top the newspaper. No shaking of bees. By the time the bees chew through the newspaper, they will have accepted each other. I'd be interested to hear how strong this hive is now when you next peak in.
     
  5. james007

    james007 New Member

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    Well, not exactly. In fact, it's a little hard for me to explain exactly what I did but here goes. The strongest of the two weak hives had two brood chambers and the weakest only had one. I didn't want to try to winter them in three brood chambers (not sure why) so I found the brood chamber on the strongest of the weak hives and shook all the bees out into the other brood chamber on that hive. Please don't report me to PETA! I then took a piece of newspaper and put on top of that box. Then I took the single brood chamber from the other hive and put it on top of the newspaper. I fed them just a little of half sugar syrup. The next day I had a few (about 30) dead bees around the hive. By the way, I also have beetles and treated them the same day with the corrugation with shortening on the outside and boric acid on the inside. I don't know if I killed them by shaking them out, they got into the beetle traps, or something else. Also, both hives were queenless. The smaller of the two I had pulled out of a house and didn't get the queen and the other had recently swarmed and for whatever reason, I could not find a queen and the queen cells were tiny, just a little larger than a drone cell.

    I have since installed a new mated queen and she is due to come out of the cage tomorrow (assuming she's still alive).

    I really don't know what the right thing to do in a situation like that is. I've been told I did it right, did it wrong, and was told that it's fine to winter them in three boxes. I'm really confused but having a great time learning. Hopefully the bees will survive my learning curve. Thank you very much for the advice.
     
  6. james007

    james007 New Member

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    Oh yeah, I'm planning to unleash the new queen tomorrow and will update. Thanks,
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hope all went well. I understood the first time and I think you did what I would have done, for what it's worth.
     
  8. james007

    james007 New Member

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    Released both queens yesterday. They seemed to be well and received by everyone. Gave both hives a little syrup. I will check again in a week but am optimistic. Thanks!
     
  9. Guba

    Guba New Member

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    I hope it all worked out.
     
  10. james007

    james007 New Member

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    Thanks. I plan to open them for a minute tomorrow and see. I will post results. Thanks!