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Author Topic: Combine or not to combine  (Read 326 times)

Offline Dougman

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Combine or not to combine
« on: August 12, 2018, 02:12:56 pm »
I have 3 hives all started from nucs late in season (June). 1 me hive is doing pretty well and I've added second brood box. The other two came queenles and with very little capped brood, no eggs or larvae. I requeened those hives. Now today the two hives are struggling, Queen is laying but only two frames have brood. One of the hives is being robbed by other bees and yellow jackets. Hives have way too little bees. Should I remove one queen and combine the two hives? Or do something else. I am feeding 2:1 daily. Any advice would be appreciated. P.S. brood pattern that is there is not very solid either.

Offline Van, Arkansas, USA

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Re: Combine or not to combine
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2018, 02:21:33 pm »
I would combine or relocate the weak robbed hive 2 miles away. 

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Combine or not to combine
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 02:40:23 pm »
Doug,
It is a toss up. It really depends if you have a good flow of goldenrod coming in soon. If you do, you might give them a chance.
You say the brood pattern is not very solid. PM me a picture of the brood, I will post it for you. Now a days we don?t want a completely solid brood pattern. We want the bees to remove any problems.
If it is half empty, as many empty cells as capped, that is an indication that the queen mated mostly with her brothers.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Dougman

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Re: Combine or not to combine
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 03:46:18 pm »
Can't figure out how to send image in pm but here is brood. Only two frames filled with brood.

Offline Van, Arkansas, USA

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Re: Combine or not to combine
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2018, 05:37:41 pm »
Is that all drone brood???  I can?t enlarge as the pic goes out of focus and blurrs.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Combine or not to combine
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2018, 07:19:25 pm »
If it is not drone brood, then in my opinion the queen is not good enough.
If the other small hive has a better brood pattern then bump the queen with the poor brood and combine the hives as there will be more bees and some extra brood to hatch.
Reduce their entrance down to 3-4 bees wide.

Offline Dougman

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Re: Combine or not to combine
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2018, 07:20:47 pm »
No it's worker brood

Offline Dougman

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Re: Combine or not to combine
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2018, 07:25:12 pm »
No it's worker brood
This is the stronger of the two hives. Irony is both queens are new and from reputable dealer. Thanks for advice.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Combine or not to combine
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2018, 07:34:11 pm »
Show the dealer the pictures and tell him what you told us. Hopefully he will fix it.

Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Dougman

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Re: Combine or not to combine
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2018, 08:08:10 pm »
Thanks I will

Offline beepro

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Re: Combine or not to combine
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2018, 09:22:39 pm »
I don't think it is the new queens' fault.   The fact is you requeened too late in the season.   Had this issue gone back
4 months ago then you can blame on the new queens (no good queens.)    I see it as too late in the season when the
flow is over.   Without sufficient food source, some queens will be forced to shut down this late.

Also, I'm not sure of the mites level which might have an affect on how the queens are able to build up for the Autumn flow.  It is just
not having enough bees from the previous hatch to support the current new queens' operation.   All of my hives are going through our
summer dearth now.   Some of their situation are what you described so far.    I double up and feed them now!    Hope it is not too late for that.

Offline ed/La.

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Re: Combine or not to combine
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2018, 02:45:45 pm »
Bees will not put up with robbing very long. They will leave. An option is put weaker hive in nuc with small easily defendable entrance. Like 1/2 x 1 inch.  See if that helps. Reduce entrance on other hives. Treat for mites. If you have brood you can spare give it some. It sounds like no spare brood so put empty frame of comb in middle of brood of strongest hive. Remove in 3 days and give to nuc All you are giving is eggs so will not hurt donor hive. . This might give them a jump start. You may still have to combine before winter but at this point you have little to lose. If you do combine nice to know what queen to keep. Your photo looks like drone brood. Perhaps a better photo.