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Combining colonies

 
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BridgetB
Scout Bee


Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 355
Location: UK Cornwall, Falmouth

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:45 pm    Post subject: Combining colonies Reply with quote

I have a small late cast and a small colony (from the trapout) and I plan to join them. At present they are located at the same site on top of the hive they will be in. I plan to open both colonies and dust them with fondant icing sugar and then put them together into the hive. Any comments?
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1569
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bridget

I'm doing a similar thing and I have swapped the two hives positions so that foragers from each hive have returned and been accepted into the other as I think this will help with the final integration along with sugar dusting. Good luck with it.

Regards

Barbara
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AndyC
Scout Bee


Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 289
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So that I understand this, the cast will likely have a virgin Q and the trapout a laying Q.

So do you intend to remove one or other before combining?
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BridgetB
Scout Bee


Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 355
Location: UK Cornwall, Falmouth

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a good plan Barbara to swap, and do the combing in a couple of days.
Andy - this is the thing - I am not very good at finding queens, and totally squeamish about killing them. The caste has probably got a laying queen, but don't know yet. The trapout has not been going as well as it should and looked as though it was superceding, so not sure about the state of that queen. I was hoping they would sort it out amongst themselves!

I read so often re conventional beekeepers, killing one of the queens and then finding themselves queenless. I know I wouldn't be able to tell which queen to keep if I was able to find them both.
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AndyC
Scout Bee


Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 289
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh no worries, I understand.

Maybe best to leave them to it then.

It's a quandary if you don't know the traits of the two Qs so don't know which one to use.

I can't squish them either so use the cowards way out of a matchbox and freezer.

Good luck.
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BridgetB
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Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 355
Location: UK Cornwall, Falmouth

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before I had bees myself, I went to an apiary meeting and was totally shocked when the instructor, without so much as a by your leave to the hive owner, caught and squished the queen. I expect it was something to do with swarm control? I don't go to any apiary meetings now!
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AndyC
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Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 289
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am an old softy and give them away to fellow beeks at the local BKA apiary at which I am a member.

We try and divvy them out if their traits are OK if not they are sacrificed but no one I know does it quite as callously as I have seen it done and you describe.

It's one if those necessities in certain types of beekeeping and not to everyone's taste.

In the less invasive method of beekeeping the danger at this time of year is a queenless colony with no eggs and thus no chance of surviving the winter.

A balance has to be struck.
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