bee keeping question

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by d1, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. d1

    d1 Songster

    May 9, 2009
    History: I have two hives I started last year they never really got strong enough for a second brood chamber, though they sustained themselves. this year I started checking on them in January when the weather was warm andhave had larva capped brood in the hives. about two weeks ago I found one of them had swarmed/split so I caught them and started a "NEW" hive after inspection saturday I noticed that the two old hives had no eggs or larva though they have honey and pollen stores. the new one had honey,pollen and eggs(best i can tell with my eye site even with glasses on) the first two hives have 7-10 frames of comb in one brood chamber, the new one has one and half frames of comb.

    My question is: what is the simplist way to combine these 3 hives?

    I have read how to use paper between boxes and understand how to do. I am looking to combine the two old ones first then the new one to them, is this the best way to do it or should I look at a diufferent way of doing this?


  2. KBlue

    KBlue Songster

    Apr 21, 2011
    Katy, TX
    You'll have to get rid of (dispatch) the extra queens. If the hives are close together the workers of the queen-less hives will likely move themselves over to the active (queened) hive.

    It's been awhile since I've done beekeeping, so my memory of this process is sketchy, but may be worth a try.
  3. bee_wrangler

    bee_wrangler Songster

    Sep 13, 2009
    Not sure if I understand 100%... only because it is late and I am tired. If I do understand, you had two hives that survived the winter. One of them swarmed so you caught the swarm and made a nuke. The hive that swarmed would have had the queen in the swarm, so when you put it in the nuke the original hive that they swarmed from would no longer have a queen but should have a few queen cells. Now the queen would have to hatch, run around for a few days, then mate before there will be any eggs, so when you checked it and did not see any eggs that is because there was no fertile queen at the time. The hive should be fine, I would let it run its course. The second hive that survived the winter should have eggs if it did not swarm... is it possible it could have swarmed and you did not notice? Take a good hard look for a queen, never go by eggs. If you do not see a queen but you see queen cells then your good to go. If you are 100% sure there is no queen and no queen cells then take the inner and outer cover off the weakest hive with a queen and put about 6 sheets of news paper with pin holes in it on top of the hive then put on the inner cover, then the other hive. You want pin holes so they can get use to each others scent. Or you could get a queen and introduce her to the queenless hive. It sounds like you might have old queens, they tend to want to swarm as they age. Might be a good idea to requeen the three hives. I would take a really good look in the two old hives, I bet you will see a queen.

    Reason I say use the news paper is because I made a mistake of thinking the workers would make their way over to the hive beside them when I lost a queen the first year I started beekeeping. Rather, they stayed in the hive and a worker started to lay. Workers can only lay drones... what a mess that was!
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013

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