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Joining weaker colony to a flowhive colony?


#1

I’ve joined weaker hives together before (only single brood boxes) but now want to put a weaker colony in with a relatively good flow hive colony.

Would I place the weaker colony on top of the the flow hive super after destroying the queen?
Surely not between the super and brood box?

I’ve managed to get through the WA winter with 4 hives and two are going very well but the other two not as good. My aim is to always have three very good and healthy flow hives hives


#2

Are you in W.A.? I would let those weak colonies build up with such a long spring & summer ahead of us. I would be adding a frame of brood from the strong hives to the weak hives every 7-10 days.

That will do two things. Firstly it’s a form of swarm control for the strong hives. Secondly it will greatly boost the weak colonies.

You will end up with 4 strong colonies in no time.

The increase in the critical mass of the weak colonies will determine the fate of the queens. If the queens don’t perform to the expectations of the increased critical mass, the queens will be superseded. That’s the way I see it.


#3

I like @JeffH’s idea, because it will also act as pre-emptive swarm control, which is almost always needed in second year colonies. :blush:


#4

Yes WA, Western Australia.

When I add a frame of brood would that not upset the colonies?


#5

Bees love brood. @JeffH and I do this all the time. It doesn’t upset the receiving colony at all. The brood pheromone overcomes any wish to attack, and they accept and nurture it immediately. In fact, a frame of brood is an excellent way to persuade a swarm to stay in a new hive.

The main bees which fight if mixed are older nurse bees and field bees. Younger nurse bees rarely fight, even if mixed from different colonies.


#6

Hi, no as @Dawn_SD, they love brood. Swapping frames of brood around is a great way to manage colonies. Boost a weak colony & at the same time, hopefully persuade the strong colony not to swarm. It’s a bit of a balancing act this time of the season.

Lets face it. The strong colony might be just on the verge of getting ready to swarm. Adding more bees to it, when in fact we should be taking bees away, is counter productive.

I’m doing a LOT of swapping of brood frames around at the moment. It IS amazing how much difference just one frame full of fully capped worker brood can make to a weak colony. You have to see that for yourself.

Yes now, if you do decide to remove brood from a strong colony as swarm prevention, pick the frames containing the most sealed brood. That will prevent the colonies population from growing, at least in the shout term. That will give you a little bit more breathing space.


#7

Because I’m very new at this, I’m concerned about accidentally putting the queen in the other hive.

That’d be a bad thing.


#8

If I was to move a frame of brood from a strong hive to a weak hive and have to drive 30 minutes to do it, how critical is the time factor in the brood surviving the transfer.
Does the frame have to be fully capped brood or will a mix of eggs and capped brood be ok ?
I guess if it has eggs I would have to take bees also which complicates things


#9

I would take the frame with bias (brood in all stages), minus the bees. I would select a frame that contains the most sealed & emerging brood. 30 minutes is fine, just keep the frame warm but out of the sun & wind.


#10

Thank you Jeff
Ps have been watching some of your YouTube videos and love your work !


#11

You’re welcome. Thank YOU!!!