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Combining laying cast swarm with queenless hive

 
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heathervale
Nurse Bee


Joined: 19 Jun 2015
Posts: 27
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:03 am    Post subject: Combining laying cast swarm with queenless hive Reply with quote

Hello again. Needing some advice...

Our first hive seems to be queenless as there is no brood except about 10 capped drone cells spread randomly through the colony.
They have lots of honey and pollen.

Our 2nd hive has 2 colonies , one of which is a very small cast swarm, a month old, and with some stores and brood.

So, the question is, can we move the small colony over to the first hive to provide a queen and brood?
If so , HOW?! and how do we get all the bees to then fly to the first hive.

We had moved a comb of brood into the first hive about 18 days ago, hoping they would raise a new queen, but all the brood has hatched and still no queen.(sorry for multiple postings!)
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I would just take the combs out of the cast and put them in the queenless hive. If you do it in the evening then most of the foragers in the cast will be at home. You can move many or all of the bars at the same time by putting pieces of wood at right angles to the bars and underneath them, in effect carrying them on rails ( using a top bar for this purpose might do if you have ten or fewer bars ). This means they stay warmer during the move and you're very unlikely to lose or damage the laying queen. I'm assuming the two hives are walking distance apart, and that you have room in queenless hive.

If the colony you're moving them into really is queenless, then everything should go fine.

Some of the foragers from the cast might get confused and try to go home, but they will probably find their way in to the colony in the other end of the hive that currently has two colonies in it, which is fine.

You could use the trick of putting grass into the entrance of the newly created combined colony, forcing all the foragers in that colony to re-orientate, but I'm not sure that's necessary in these circumstances, since losing some of the foragers from the new hive is no disaster anyway.

Adam.
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heathervale
Nurse Bee


Joined: 19 Jun 2015
Posts: 27
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much Adam for your swift help.
Just one question: where will we put the cast swarm combs in relation to the combs of the Queenless colony? In the middle? Or at one end?

It' a beautiful day so hopefully we can do it this evening.

The 2 hives are just a few feet apart.
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

heathervale wrote:

Just one question: where will we put the cast swarm combs in relation to the combs of the Queenless colony? In the middle? Or at one end?


Not sure !

I would probably keep the cast bars together as far as possible, and put them in roughly the same distance from the hole in the new hive as they are now.

If the queenless colony consists mainly of stores, I might put the stores further away from the entrance than the stores of the cast.

Something like hole -> cast brood -> cast stores -> queenless stores.

But that's only my guess.

Whatever you do, you should keep the cast brood together, with at least one of its own honey bars. That way you know the queen is OK.

Are the two hives completely identical ? If not, you may find that the combs don't fit, in which case you might need to be prepared to do some trimming. That will complicate and slow down the whole operation.
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heathervale
Nurse Bee


Joined: 19 Jun 2015
Posts: 27
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The hives are identical, though the cast swarm has built 5 combs only half the width of the TbH.
The cast swarm are presently using the rear RHS entrance so we could open that hole in the hive we are moving them to??? and put their comb at that end.
The colony already in there is using 3 front holes and one LHS rear hole!
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