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Combining 2 brood boxes

Hi All, I am looking for help and this seems to be the best places to get it.
I have 3 colonies, all within 250mm of each other, 2 colonies have good laying queens, one of these 2 colonies is only a brood box.
The third colony is well populated with bees but has been without a queen for the past 4 weeks and has no brood, eggs or larvae left but has 30% capped honey.
I really only really want 2 colonies, (2 Flow hives), both will be Flow2 hives.
What I propose to do is,

1, Place a metal QE on top of the single brood box that has a good laying queen.
2. Place 2 sheets of newspaper on top of the QE.
3. Place the Queenless brood box on top of the newspaper.
4. Place the top board on top of the queenless brood box.
5. Feed syrup the queenless brood box via the round hole on the top board.
6. Hope that the 2 colonies combine with each other after a couple of days.

My question is, will this method be successful in combining the 2 colonies or will it create massive fights ?
Hopefully this will then leave me with 2 strong colonies, if it works.
All advise will be gratefully accepted. Cheers

Hi George

My suggestion is that if one of your hive has queen cells active, to take that frame into the queenless hive.

Once you establish that hive with a queen, if you want to reduce from three to two hives, pick one to sell.

Hi Nick,
I thought of that but there were no frames with queen cells apart from a couple old cells.
I would not want to sell any colonies with a queen and certainly can’t sell one without a queen. Anyway thanks for your interest and suggestion. Cheers

As long as the top box truly is queenless, they should combine peacefully using your method. :wink:


Give it a go George, no reason it shouldn’t work. Kerp is all posted on how ot goes :crossed_fingers:

@Dawn @HappyHibee @Nicholas_Stavropoulo
Thank you all for your comments.
I will now have a bit more confidence in what I am trying to do.
I’m also hoping that Peter and Jeff will let me know what they think.
Cheers, and a happy new year to all

If the queenless one his as you described I would just do a newspaper merge.


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@Rmcpb Thanks Rob
I will do a last inspection on Sunday when the temperature drops down to 28c
Today is 42c and tomorrow 36c.
On Sunday I will make sure that there are no queen cells and no queen, brood or eggs.
If everything looks ok then I will combine the 2 brood boxes.
I was thinking of having 2 sheets newspaper between them with a few nail holes in them to get them started.
Never done a newspaper trick, how long will it take the bees to chew through ?
After they have chewed trough, should I take the left over newspaper out ?
Should I leave the queenless box on, for how long ?

I generally put in two sheets and cut a slot about 3” long in the centre across the frames. Just leave it till your next inspection, the bees will throw out the chewed up paper.


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Thanks Rob, That is what I will do