Swarm combine question

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by d.magnitude, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    Hi guys,
    I just got a swarm call this morning, that I hope will still be around late this afternoon when I can get to it. Thing is, around here it's getting pretty late to build up a swarm to overwinter. The spring flow is over, and we just take our chances w/ a fall flow.

    I assume I'll be combining this swarm colony with another of mine one way or another. Any recommendations? I'm thinking I'll hive it, let it draw a box of comb and then combine (removing one or the other queen). Is there a better way? I guess I could just shake it out in front of my hives, but I'm afraid that may be wasteful (though I don't want to be wasteful with my time, either).

    Thanks for any tips. This is my first year taking swarm calls, and it's been a blast every time so far.
    -Dan
     
  2. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I would hive them and feed them so they would draw comb, (they are ready to draw comb when they swarm) i would them pick the best queen and then combine them the newspaper way. New comb is like money in the bank to a beekeeper. Jack
     

  3. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    Cool, that sounds like my plan #1. I have a queen I like in a nuc I was going to try to overwinter. Perhaps I'll combine w/ this to make a full size hive going into winter.

    -Dan
     
  4. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    Oh well, this will have to be "one that got away".

    Since I wouldn't be able to get out to get the swarm till late this afternoon, I referred the guy to some folks in my local club. He had a prompt taker, of course. I'm happy as long as somebody got them, I was afraid they'd take off by the time I got there anyway.

    -Dan
     
  5. mjrice

    mjrice New Member

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    What is the newspaper way?
     
  6. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    A newspaper combination is when you stack a box(es) with a colony of bees on top of another box(es) with another colony of bees. You place a sheet of newspaper between the two (perhaps with a few slits), and leave a top entrance for the upper colony.

    The bees take some time to chew through the newspaper to access each other, and the idea is that by then, they will have accepted each others "mingled" pheremones. At that point they are just one, larger colony. You may kill whichever queen you deem to be less worthy before the combine, or you can let the bees do it for you.

    That's it in a nutshell.
    -Dan
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    to add a bit of additional detail to d magnitude's post #6 you can add a queen excluder (which here is handy since it holds down the paper in a stiff breeze), provide an entrance at the top of the stack (generally on the opposite side from the bottoms hive's entrance) and have queens working at the top and bottom of the stack. later you can choose which ever queen is best or separate and have two hives.
     
  8. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    Nice Tec. I'd never heard that before, but I like it. Super simple, and gives you a chance to evaluate the queens, rather than just go with whichever is "supposed to be" the better queen.

    -Dan
     
  9. Barry Tolson

    Barry Tolson New Member

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    I sometimes combine a swarm with an established colony by first shaking several frames from the established colony out in front of the hive. As they are walking back in I will then start shaking the swarm out so they can walk back in together with the established bee's. They get along fine under this circumstance, but you end up with 2 queens. The queens sort things out for themselves and I don't worry about them.
    This has worked well for me. It can build up a weak colony and not use up any more equipment
    I used to automatically hive every swarm. When I ran short of equipment one time, I tried this and have used this method with some regularity since. All circumstances are different...this is another option.
    For the record...I one time tried just shaking a swarm in front of the established hive without shaking out some of the established bee's to walk in with them. What a nightmare! Bee carnage! It ruined my day. Won't be doing that ever again. It was a costly lesson as more bee's were lost than were gained.