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Unite Apidea to queenless colony

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Repwoc 

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I have a queenless colony but fortunately I also have a mated queen in an Apidea mini nuc.

I have attempted to unite the mini colony with the queenless lot using the newspaper method. I put a sheet of newspaper over the brood box, pierced it a few times then placed the mini nuc (less floor) on the newspaper. I then put a brood box on (to surround the mini nuc) and a roof.

Two days later I have just had a quick look but the newspaper is still intact. The bees in the mini nuc have been busy though; they have extended the comb from the mini frames about an inch further down.

Can I do anything to persuade them to chew through the paper? I think if I spray it with thin syrup it will just be a papier mache mess in no time.

Thanks
 

victor meldrew 

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Closing the mini nuc entrance would leave them with only one option .

John Wilkinson
 

Midland Beek 

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Newspaper always needs starter holes, or else they will never combine.

And why not just introduce the queen?
 

Repwoc 

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Closing the mini nuc entrance would leave them with only one option .
Oops - missed that bit - the mini nuc entrance is closed.

Newspaper always needs starter holes, or else they will never combine.
I had pierced it a few times - I've punched a few larger holes in it now.

And why not just introduce the queen?
Well, I thought about both ways and decided to unite, mainly because I don't have to catch the queen and get her into a little cage. If they insist on being stubborn though I guess that's the only way.
 

Eyeman 

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Two days later I have just had a quick look but the newspaper is still intact.
It's the queenless colony that needs to be encouraged to go up and greet the apidea- yours may be too weak- try making more holes in the paper all over the brood area and see if that helps. Some sugar spray on the newspaper should also help get them started. Once they get through you will need to physically move the queen out of the apidea into the main colony as she usually stay put.
 

Haughton Honey 

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The stronger colony should be above - they have more impetus to break through towards the entrance. Not the other way around (which, reading your post, you have done). Put a few more slashes/holes in the newspaper.
 

Eyeman 

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The stronger colony should be above - they have more impetus to break through towards the entrance. Not the other way around (which, reading your post, you have done
Should this not read the queenless colony should be above when uniting with newspaper?. When I unite I alway put the queenless/ usually weaker colony on top as you are invariably moving this colony to a new position/site.
This thread talks about combining an apidea to a 'full size' brood box. How to you propose to balance the brood box on the apidea?
 

Haughton Honey 

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Should this not read the queenless colony should be above when uniting with newspaper?. When I unite I alway put the queenless/ usually weaker colony on top as you are invariably moving this colony to a new position/site.
This thread talks about combining an apidea to a 'full size' brood box. How to you propose to balance the brood box on the apidea?

Balancing acts were never my thing, but I appreciate your identifying the physical difficulty.

I'd still advocate stronger colony (i.e more bees) above.....how you set it up is an entirely different matter.
 

Poly Hive 

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FWIW I advocate the queen right part above as they have more need to get out and about and so will work harder at getting through the paper.

Also in this instance it means you can put an empty super above with the paper, prick it and put your mini nuc upside down on top of that.

KISS

PH
 

Eyeman 

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FWIW I advocate the queen right part above as they have more need to get out and about and so will work harder at getting through the paper.
Thats interesting- there is always more than one way to crack an egg.
Within an apiary if I'm uniting a weak colony to a strong one I have always moved the weak on to the top. This was done becauase I always moved the weak colony to the site of the strong colony, expecting to lose some flyers from the weak colony when they returned to their old site.. I see your reasoning and agree that the strong colony can still stay on it's own site but go ontop of the moved weak one. I will try this next time.

This is a great site for getting new ideas and adapting or changing ones old ways.
 

Repwoc 

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Also in this instance it means you can put an empty super above with the paper, prick it and put your mini nuc upside down on top of that.
That's pretty much what I have done. I used a brood box instead of a super (because I don't have a spare super right now - more being made) and I put the mini nuc in downside down but with its floor removed.

I put more holes in the paper yesterday - I'll check them again later and see how they have got on. If they still haven't taken the hint then I'll read up on queen introduction.
 

Poly Hive 

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Slow down. Just leave them alone for three or four days then look. Constant pricking and prodding does no good and possibly a lot of harm.

PH
 

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