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Author Topic: Merging hives with newspaper and queen excluder?  (Read 1702 times)

Offline damienpryan

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Merging hives with newspaper and queen excluder?
« on: September 25, 2018, 05:10:37 am »
Hi All,

Can you merge two 1 box hives by placing newspaper and queen excluder between them?
(Maybe spray the newspaper with some sugar water).
My first aim is to remove one of the queens (They are both feral). 
My second aim is to know which box the queen is in by which has the brood in about 20 days time. 
It is Spring time with light flow.

Cheers

Damien

Offline beepro

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Re: Merging hives with newspaper and queen excluder?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2018, 08:28:07 pm »
Yes you can definitely do that.  But I do it without the
newspaper.  The weak hive with less foragers will be on
top of the strong hive.  This way they will not fight as much as
all the foragers from the weak hive will fly back to its original location.
If you move one frame of bees at a time over the entire week into the strong hive then
they will not kill the remaining queen. 

Because I have the gentle queens this season, I just use a QE between the 2 boxes and combine the 2 hives together without using any newspaper.  Then when the queens have laid up, I just remove one queen from the bottom box for split.  I will only use this method once I know that I have the gentle queens otherwise they might balled the queens.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Merging hives with newspaper and queen excluder?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2018, 01:56:36 pm »
Hi All,

Can you merge two 1 box hives by placing newspaper and queen excluder between them?
(Maybe spray the newspaper with some sugar water).
My first aim is to remove one of the queens (They are both feral). 
My second aim is to know which box the queen is in by which has the brood in about 20 days time. 
It is Spring time with light flow.

Cheers

Damien

Yes.  I do this sometimes.   I pay no attention as to which is the weak or which is the strong of the two boxes as to which is on too or the bottom. I do use a coloured tack to mark which of the boxes has the queen in it.

As a reference. This is what I do.
Find the queens first and decide which one you want to keep. Remove the other. Put her in a cage and keep as contingency or kill her, whatever.
Pick which location is where the combined hive is going to be and which is going to be the bottom box. This is typically the stronger one but not always and not necessary to be so. Put a tack or marker of some kind on the box that has the queen in it. 
Open up. Expose the bottom box. Clean off the top bars of the frames, scrape clean and flat best you can.  Put newspaper on.  Fold the four corners of the paper in so there is a small triangular passage in the 4 corners  just big enough for 2 bees to pass. Make only 2 or 3 slits in the paper elsewhere near the middle 3 frames.  Put the queen excluder on top of the paper.  Tip up the second box, clean the bottom bars of the frames.  Scrape clean and flat best you can.  Place the box on top of the excluder.  Put the lid on.  Leave them alone for 1 week.

Come back in one week.  Separate the boxes. Go into the box that does not have the queen marker. Search it and destroy queen cells. The newspaper and the queen excluder block bees and queen pheromones. If there were any eggs or brood in the queenless box it will now have queen cells, guaranteed. Destroy the QCs.  Go into the box that has the queen marker, locate the queen or evidence of her by eggs, just for your assurance that all is well.
Put the box with the queen on the bottom, reversing the boxes if necessary.  Put the queen excluder if you still want it in place. Place upper box and close up.   Done
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Offline beepro

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Re: Merging hives with newspaper and queen excluder?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2018, 10:32:51 pm »
I don't use newspaper to combine anymore because I want the bees to
choose their strongest queen out of the 2.   This is another way for the hive to
ensure a strong hive lineage.   If you put 2-3 mated queens in the same hive they will
chose the strongest one to head the hive.   Bees will not tolerate imperfection!

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Merging hives with newspaper and queen excluder?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2018, 11:13:32 am »
A good way to cause a lot of unnecessary casualties.
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Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Merging hives with newspaper and queen excluder?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2018, 11:16:54 am »
A good way to have a lot of unnecessary casualties.

I don`t use a newspaper either, but I do make sure there is only the one queen I want. The survivor of a fight might still be injured or even die. Having the queen in the top box might make it more safe.

Offline beepro

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Re: Merging hives with newspaper and queen excluder?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2018, 03:05:55 am »
Well, I don't want to pinch the extra mated queen.  So this is another way for them to
choose a strong queen out of the 2.   Somehow they did not fight and the weak queen
disappeared from the hive.  I believe that the workers know how to protect the stronger queen.

Offline damienpryan

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Re: Merging hives with newspaper and queen excluder?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2018, 09:19:57 pm »
Now I've done some more requeening I'm getting better at finding queens so pinching the queen seems a better solution.
I think my problem was more on how to deal with an agressive hive and my solution was to try to avoid the finding the
queen in a big 3 X 10 box hive.
I think though a better solution it to separate the boxes with queen excluders and then split the hive up to reduce it then find the queen in the last box, pinch and merge to a gentle colony.

It was also kind of based on one of my beekeeping practices that I think is just wrong.
My old way (I think I was taught this) to find a queen in a 2 or 3 box hive without a queen excluder was to take the top box
off, put a queen excluder on, then check each frame in the top box and shake the bees off in the front.
The idea is the queen then ends up in the bottom box if not found.
However it is a lot of disturbance and not a happy experience with an aggressive hive.
Much better to put queen excluders between the boxes then come back in a week and check the box with uncapped brood.

Cheers

Damien

Offline beepro

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Re: Merging hives with newspaper and queen excluder?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2018, 06:29:09 pm »
Finding queen in an aggressive hive is another story.  I like to
separate the boxes first.  Leave the first box in the original
location for the foragers to go in.  The 2 boxes take them to a
nearby location.  Then separate the 2 boxes again leaving one at
the original location and another one in a new nearby location. 

The box that did not make the QCs is the one with the aggressive
queen in it.   Simply donate hive resources to the gentle hive.