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Joining two colonys


#1

So I killed a queen 2 days ago cause she wasn’t laying. Then one of my other hives swarmed and was able to catch it. What did is got the hive that I killed the Queen and shook the swarm into it.now keep in mind the hive I killed the Queen is weak.but before I put the swarm in I checked to see if they started to make a queen cell, and yes they have and I left it. Should I have left it???


#2

Sorry, but not sure I totally follow how many boxes/hives you’ve got so I’m an answer what I know as a general response to combining 2 hives.

What I have been taught is that to combine 2 Hives you place newspaper sandwiched between the 2 hives. The bees that are unfamiliar to the existing Queen will slowly understand her pheromones and eventually chew through the newspaper, at that point they will become one hive and the newspaper could be removed


#3

I killed the Queen 3 days ago. I caught a swarm and put them in the hive I killed the Queen in. But before I put the swarm in the hive i checked to see if they started to make a queen cell, and they have. But I still put the swarm in the hive. Should have I pulled that queen cell off??


#4

What exactly are you attempting to achieve/correct in the first hive? I can understand killing the queen if she was not laying. (when doing this I usually replace immediately with a new queen in a cage, but I know others prefer the bees to create the new queen) … but the introduction of the swarm seems strange. Was adding the swarm an attempt to use the swarms queen to recover the hive more quickly?

If you didn’t introduce the swarm using newspaper etc. , did you end up with dead bees out the front after putting the swarm into the hive? Have you confirmed if there is a laying queen in the hive since the introduction of the swarm?

My other question is, if the queen you killed wasn’t laying, how did the hive find a young enough egg to build a queen cell with?


#5

Greetings,

I’ve done the joining method before successfully. But my reason was I’d lost a queen n after several unsuccessful attempts to requeen my Alder Hive I combined/added this colony to my Birch Hive. By adding a couple sheets of Newspaper n poking several holes to the paper I placed the queen less deep box colony to the top of my double deep strong Cedar Colony. Within less than two days the two colonies has chewed large holes in the paper n successfully merged.

I found that pretty easy to master n do for real. I will do it again someday if I need to combine two colonies to help or strengthen one or both.

Ta ta,
Gerald


#6

Hi Wilba, that’s a good point @RBK made about what egg the hive made a queen cell from. I would let the bees sort it out. If the queen in the swarm is viable, the united colony may destroy the queen cells. I would take a look in a weeks time to #1 see if the queen cells are still present & #2 see if the swarm queen is laying yet. You don’t want that united colony to be too strong for the box, otherwise it may swarm. How did the icing sugar go:)? I never tried it myself, only read about it. The alternative (from memory) being talcum powder, I prefer something they can eat.

If things haven’t worked out too good with either the queen cells or the queen in the swarm, it’s worth remembering that you can add a frame of brood with young larvae or fertile eggs down the track.

I’m not doing much with the bees today, it’s too cold, I’ll ttyl, bye

PS. getting back to the queen cells. I have seen bees prepare to swarm, only to abort the idea mid preparation. That happens quite a bit with a change in the weather. So it’s nothing for the bees to tear a queen cell down if it suits them.


#7

Ok so when I check the hive in a week and the Queen is laying and the Queen cell is still there what should I do to it?? As fare as I know the icing sugar worked well there was a few dead bees out the front of the hive but nothing major. The hive was starting to make a new queen cell out of a fresh frame i put in the hive from another hive.


#8

I think if the queen is laying & you still have a queen cell there, I guess you’d tear it down. If the bees intend on swarming, I figure they’d make a few more queen cells & not rely on one. So check that out. There’s going to be a lot of swarms around. I just arrived home from weakening out 3 reasonably strong hives. Two of them had queen cells with eggs in. I’ll check them in a weeks time.


#9

There’s going to be a lot of swarms around. I just arrived home from weakening out 3 reasonably strong hives. Two of them had queen cells with eggs in. I’ll check them in a weeks time.

And so it begins, Jeff :slight_smile:
Winding down Here and already I can’t wait till spring next year