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Should I Take My Hive Back Inside?

 
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Bees Knees
House Bee


Joined: 25 Oct 2015
Posts: 13
Location: Chesterfield, UK

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 6:24 pm    Post subject: Should I Take My Hive Back Inside? Reply with quote

Hi everyone recently I put my new empty hive outside so everything is in place for when my nuc is ready and in the good weather I have noticed scout bees visiting my hive. I have wax foundation on the frames and that seems to have attracted them. At first I saw just a few but over a few days more and more have become interested and they are really checking it out spending lots of time inside and around the hive. I have a nuc reserved but I was told it will be a little late this year and I wanted the nuc for the head start. What happens if I get a swarm can I merge them with the nuc somehow or do I remove the hive?
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Adam Rose
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't merge the two colonies. That's only something you would do if one or both were dwindling for some reason. People tend to do that in late summer or early autumn, if they think two weak colonies are less likely to survive the winter than one strong one.

I would buy a second hive if you can afford it and have room ! Beekeeping is a lot easier if you can compare and contrast. If the swarm is a prime swarm, it arrives with no comb, no brood and no stores, but it will be very vigourous. On the other hand the nuc arrives with comb, brood and stores, so the contrast will be interesting. You could look after them both for a while and sell one on. If you go into the winter with two, it's more likely that you have at least one survive the winter.

But of course you shouldn't count your chickens before they've hatched, or your swarm before it has moved in. Scouting doesn't necessarily mean a swarm will move in.

Adam.
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Smorning
Foraging Bee


Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 150
Location: Faversham Kent UK

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few scouts does not mean a swarm will move in, but there is nothing better if it does as it means you are doing something right. I would leave as is and see what develops. Two hives are better than one in any case. Best wishes on the beekeeping.
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 447
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good advice above. Time to knock up another hive just in case

Cheers
Rob. Very Happy
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, start building now. Even if the swarm doesn't arrive, you will most likely need another hive next season, so well worth knocking something up now, just in case. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. I know of colonies that have over wintered in plastic planters as long as you give them a bit of insulation on the top and you can always strap polystyrene sheets to the sides. I used two square planters one year and cut the end off each and then used small screws to fix the two open ends together to make a double sized planter bait box to over winter a swarm in and it produced 4 swarms the following year, so it obviously came out of winter very strong. If you do use plastic planters, make sure there is plenty of drainage holes in the bottom as the hive sweats and water puddles in the bottom and then dead bees and pollen and wax, fall into it and start to rot and it becomes an unpleasant mess. Once you have good drainage and a bit of insulation and screw some laths crossways to the bottom to stop them from getting blown over, they work pretty well.

Good luck with attracting a swarm. It is amazing to see how they build up.

Regards

Barbara
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