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Author Topic: Newspaper combine went bad  (Read 364 times)

Offline Duane

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Newspaper combine went bad
« on: July 26, 2020, 10:09:56 pm »
Wonder what I did wrong.  I had a hive with lots of bees, actually the one that I removed all but one queen cell, and there were never many eggs laid.  Then queen cups and queen cells formed, and then no eggs.  10 days ago, I noticed another hive with a queen laying eggs, but had little stores, and just not looking well.  So I combined them with newspaper on the other.  I couldn't find the queen, but figured the stronger queen would win.  (Is that where I went wrong?)  Now I look in, the newspaper is chewed up, no eggs, and a few queen cells in the box that was queen right.

I've looked on other threads and it's combining a strong queen right hive with a weak hive.  But this is adding 1 box of queen right to two boxes of queen wrong.  And what if you don't have time to look for a queen you don't think is there.

What did I do wrong, what should I have done?  Or do some things just not work out?

Online .30WCF

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Newspaper combine went bad
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2020, 10:42:13 pm »
I?m the last person to give advice on this. I?ve never done it. I think I understand that you moved the queen right hive to the location of the queenless hive. This was done without finding the queen or putting her in a clip.

This week I found to of my queens up in the honey supers after I had already set them on the ground and went right to the brood chambers. Normally, they are with the brood frames, not up in a full honey frame. Lucky I didn?t lose them out on the ground somewhere banging around boxes I didn?t think would have the queen.

Did you combine the brood boxes with paper and just stack the honey supers all on top together?


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Offline Acebird

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Re: Newspaper combine went bad
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2020, 09:36:30 am »
Only combine hives together when there is only one queen involved.  To do otherwise will result in unknowns.  A laying queen is at a disadvantage against a queen that isn't laying.  If the guards can be overtaken then you good queen is lost.
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Offline Duane

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Re: Newspaper combine went bad
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2020, 11:48:13 am »
I had newspaper over the box with the queen.  But there were more bees in the boxes above without the queen.  So maybe once they came through the newspaper, they couldn't stop the other bees from killing the queen.  I didn't know that so will remember for next time.  So a virgin queen has an advantage over the older queen?

So what should I have done in this case?  I felt rushed for time as I didn't want laying workers.  No eggs for 14 days, then a few, then no more for 10 days.  I didn't think there was a queen, couldn't find one, and so assumed it was gone.  How long do you look, how many times through the boxes to verify no queen?  Is this a case where you have a double screened partition between them would be best?  But what if there was still a faulty queen there after a period of time?  What do I do next time?

I did learn from past experience that trying to save a faulty queen and trying to limp a weak box along doesn't come out well, so knew I needed to do something.  But what?  There are queen cells, break in brood, plenty stores, drones around, so it may work out, but if not, then I'll need to combine this with yet another, so how do I do it?

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Newspaper combine went bad
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2020, 12:00:22 pm »
"Wonder what I did wrong.  (I had a hive with lots of bees, actually the one that I removed all but one queen cell, and there were never many eggs laid.  Then queen cups and queen cells formed, and then no eggs). "

You lost me right there. I do not understand what you are trying to say, or describing.
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Online .30WCF

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Newspaper combine went bad
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2020, 12:17:03 pm »
I think you were fine in the idea to combine hives. It?s getting kind of late to be hoping for a new queen to mate well. If you were combining, the queen cell should have been pinched first.
I suspect that all the bees in the supers got combined with no paper and started the confusion and some fights before they even knew the newspaper was there.
Next time pinch the queen cells. All of them. Then put the paper over one entire hive, then stack the next hive on.
If it?s really a lot of lot of bees, maybe you put paper between every box just to keep them entertained.


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« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 07:18:41 pm by .30WCF »

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Newspaper combine went bad
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2020, 01:16:55 pm »
You can combine bees using newspaper.  You cannot combine queens using newspaper. 
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Newspaper combine went bad
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2020, 05:55:35 pm »
But what?  There are queen cells, break in brood, plenty stores, drones around, so it may work out, but if not, then I'll need to combine this with yet another, so how do I do it?
If you have queen cells you have a queen.  So you have to decide if you will let the queen cells emerge or do away with them.  If you introduce a queen by combining you have to make sure you get every cell before doing so.  I would be inclined to not combine with a hive that has a queen.
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Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Newspaper combine went bad
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2020, 08:50:34 pm »
You can combine bees using newspaper.  You cannot combine queens using newspaper.

That's one of the reasons I inspected my failing backyard hive today.  Thought, perhaps, that a queen survived, had bred, and was laying since the last time I looked.

Nope.

So, they will welcome a queen this week.

Wish I could give them frames with bees but a battle would ensue, eh?

Online .30WCF

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Re: Newspaper combine went bad
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2020, 12:28:11 am »
So, what are the rules?
Does the queen need to be in the original or bottom hive?


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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Newspaper combine went bad
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2020, 12:43:27 am »
So, what are the rules?
Does the queen need to be in the original or bottom hive?
I don't think it really matters if the queen is in the top or bottom of the combine setup.  What matters is that there is only one queen/queen cell.   
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Offline Duane

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Re: Newspaper combine went bad
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2020, 08:20:29 pm »
"Wonder what I did wrong.  (I had a hive with lots of bees, actually the one that I removed all but one queen cell, and there were never many eggs laid.  Then queen cups and queen cells formed, and then no eggs). "

You lost me right there. I do not understand what you are trying to say, or describing.
A previous mistake.  I had removed all but one queen cell, (have since been told the bees would sort it out), and it appears that the one that survived was a faulty queen since she didn't lay many eggs and more queen cells were produced.  I'm not sure there's a queen in them, could be drones since there were quite a few drone cells prior to that.

So trying to correct the previous mistake, I appear to have messed up again.  And now I don't want to further cause more problems with fixing this with my other hives.  They all seem to be pretty good.


I didn't plan on combining two queens.  I didn't want to.  But if I can't find her, do I keep waiting until I can?  What if she's not there?
I had queen cells.  Capped queen cells.  Does that mean the queen is there?  No eggs for 10 days.  Would it be reasonable to think the queen is there?  But then again, if not, where did she go.  How does one prove she doesn't exist? 

I had added the single box with the good queen below the two boxes with no/or faulty queen.

I knew not to kill the queen cells as I might make it a worse situation if things went wrong.  But did the queen cells convey to the faulty queen hive that they didn't need a queen?.  I figured the added queen would take care of them.  But this is an important future question, if adding a queen and her box to a box that's queenless but has queen cells, do I need to make sure there are absolutely no cells left?

Online .30WCF

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Newspaper combine went bad
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2020, 08:37:20 pm »
I don?t know if there was a queen or if one emerged and killed the queen? Or if the got smashed in the process of moving boxes around or fell on the ground. She may have been getting ready to swarm, and did so, but having combined hives, there was no discernible drop on population due to the introduction.
I look at mine about every week or two. I found no eggs in one hive a couple weeks ago. There were queen cells, and third time through the frames, I found my well marked queen. Big green paint dot right on her back. Sometimes they are just hard to find, even marked ones. The get covered up or hang out between the comb and the frame... she was getting ready to swarm.
I don?t think there is a right answer as to how long to look. Look until you feel confident. Sometimes your wrong.


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Offline Acebird

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Re: Newspaper combine went bad
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2020, 08:57:34 am »
do I need to make sure there are absolutely no cells left?
Yes.
In your situation I would have tried to determine if the cells were supercedure or swarm based on location and number.  Supercedure I would leave alone.  Swarm I would split.
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