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To merge or not to merge?


Hi everyone! Sorry if this has been asked already, I did some reading on the forum but still wasn’t quite sure what to do so I thought I’d ask.

I have one hive that was installed from package this year and something go wrong with the queen. Whether defective or virgin or what else but two weeks after she was out of the queen cage I checked on the hive and found random capped drone brood, emergency queen cells and no queen.

I have another hive installed from a Nuc this year that is doing very well. Young, but growing strong.

Question, do I let hive 1 go through its own requeening process which is already under way? Or merge the hives?

If I merge hives do I get rid of queen cells or the bees will do that on their own once they’ve been merged successfully?

So many things…




I believe many if not all face this delimmia ! If your strong hive has just one frame you can borrow … Look for a frame with some eggs n maybe staged larva n capped brood.

See if you can relight that colony… A colony will often build supercedural cells n place a fresh egg in each. If all goes well they’ll produce a new queen or more.

I’ve got several hives so additional resources. But you do have the one so you should have one good stab at it. If it truly fails then go to plan #2. Then you can combine. But try plan #1 relighting the colony. It’s a great learning exercise too.

Go for it. Just take your time n good luck !!

P.S. Right now I’m working on relighting my Flow-hive. I was successful last year doing this. Lucky for me I have 6 full hives n 2 5 frame Nuc’s so I can try this plan several times. If that doesn’t work I’ll look for a new queen but I want to try it Plan #1


I second this, on your strong hive and I had to do this earlier in the season as well. Remove one if not to frames of fresh eggs from your strong hive make sure everybody is off of them and place them in your queen this hive. Place them in the middle. If by chance they have a supercedural cell already created do not remove it, place the two frames of fresh eggs near it. The frames you removed from your queen this hive, could go in the hive that you just remove the two frames from.

This actually does work, again I did it earlier in the season as well


That’s cool Marty - how many hives do you have now?

I’m gathering info on this now & just posted about it because I have what I believe are swarm cells in my slower hive, which puzzled me. For now I’m planning to go back in tomorrow to look for any larvae etc inside the cups, check for new eggs laid by old queen etc. and now I have an additional - and stronger - hive to help it out with if I need a frame or two!


I have 2, I will go and look for your other posts and reply to it. Do you have extra boxes? Again I’ll go and reply to it and read what you’ve asked. You may need to do a split right away.


Marty n Eva,

I’ve had to do three splits already this Spring up here in Puget Sound country. I only wintered over 2 of my five hives. Mites got to them early on last Autumn.

So I started with two winter overs (my Flow-hive n one double deep five frame nuc). I picked up four additional 5 frame Nuc’s (4/15) … I’ve had to make 3 splits. I’'m presently at 6 full hive (3 8 frame n 3 10 frame hives) plus to additional self-started 5 frame Nuc’s. Having drawn comb in all hives to start really bolstered my colonies this season season. Here’s pix’s of my 3 different successful splits thus far.

The full 8 frame first split was from my over winter Flow-hive that just exploded. I moved it out to my daughter’s house about 12 ms away. I built a strong stand there to hold up to two full suzed hives as I need room. I’ll move them back here at the end of the season.

It’s been a fun but busy beekeeping season thus far here S.E. of Seattle about 20 plus ms in the foothills.



Thanks for the split info Gerald - always appreciate the guidance! I’m planning a re-inspect of my ‘weird’ hive tomorrow, and will have equipment ready to make a split if needed. Hopefully I’ll take some pix too…wish me luck!


All of the luck that heaven will allow, @Eva! :heart_eyes:


So after checking in on my struggling hive again, I found more cause for alarm. The queen cells, which were uncapped last week, were completely gone this week but no queen was in site anywhere in the hive… AND… I found multiple cells of comb with multiple eggs in the bottom. Which (correct this newbie if he is wrong) is indicative of egg laying workers. I figured these girls were in desperate need of a queen and decided on the merger. I used a brown paper bag with a few slits in it, two days in and there isn’t a pile of dead bees… soooo fingers crossed that they are making friends! Thanks for all the info though. I think if these two hives merge successfully I will have a really strong hive going into the summer!


Thanks @Dawn_SD - I posted on Martha’s thread just now, it went well!

@Craig_DeCicco I hope this works out for you - I just rechecked queen cells in my one hive yesterday & was relieved nothing was in them, and lucky to find new eggs properly laid by an elusive but live queen. Keep us posted!


Hi all! So after a few days I peeked between the boxes and the paper was entirely eaten through in many large areas and there were minimal bee deaths in front of the hive! I’m going to consider this a success. I’m debating whether to open up the hive this weekend and make sure all is well or have I bothered them enough lately and need to let them do there thing for another week?