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Uniting at the end of the season

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I've just succeeded in artificially swarming my hive using the trusty Pagden method, and am now wondering what my plans are for this new hive for the rest of the year.

I'm wondering what the process is for uniting the new hive back to its parent in the Autumn, should I choose to do so.

I've read up on the various methods, and the newspaper method seems the most reliable, but I have one major question which none of the literature seems to answer...

The hive is about 12 feet away from its parent, and thus to unite it back I would need to move one of the hives that distance to meet the other. What effect does this have on the flying bees of the hive that I move? Do I do the move in one go, or do I try and move the hive a foot or 2 each day for a week til they're close enough to merge? Is there some process with sealing up the hive before moving?

Thanks!
 

jon 

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You need to have the colonies beside each other to unite or you will lose flyers.
 

bobandbec 

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Move them a couple of feet at a time over a couple of weeks, shouldn't be too stressful for them then. Get them to within two/three feet of each other then the flying bees will find their new home once you do the unite.

Peter
 

Roy S 

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Or you could just overwinter the two colonies?....would be a nice backup in case you lost either one over the winter
 

Hivemaker. 

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Hi Match, this is very good advice from Roy,that is assuming you only had the one hive, much better to have two for a number of good reasons.
 

match 

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Thanks for all the advice.

I already have a couple of hives, and I agree that having more than 1 is definitely good practice - I've already had to take eggs from one to bring on a queen in another when supersedure failed to produce a laying queen.

I'll bring the hives closer together early this summer, so that when Autumn arrives I only have a short distance to finally cover to unite them if necessary.
 

Heather 

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I have a hive that has been queenless for 6 weeks. I introduced a virgin on 27th July - but there is no evidence of a mating... I introduced a test frame 12 days ago- they have ignored and all those eggs larvae are at prehatching stage. Bees are fairly calm. No smoke needed and not very defensive- for August.

I cannot find that virgin, though she was of decent size.

Colony about 6 frames.
I have a good colony that I could unite with it - but don't want to risk losing good queen.

What would you do???
 

jezd 

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I have a hive that has been queenless for 6 weeks. I introduced a virgin on 27th July - but there is no evidence of a mating... I introduced a test frame 12 days ago- they have ignored and all those eggs larvae are at prehatching stage. Bees are fairly calm. No smoke needed and not very defensive- for August.

I cannot find that virgin, though she was of decent size.

Colony about 6 frames.
I have a good colony that I could unite with it - but don't want to risk losing good queen.

What would you do???
shake em all through a queen excluder?
 

Finman 

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That is normal job to me in every autumn.
3 m is not a problem. Choose a sunny day do a job that bees have 2 hours to find the new entrance. If you move both hives, the change is 1,5 m to hive.

if colonies are 1:1 or 1:3 , i just pile them together.
In atun the queen is in danger, and it better to protect under a cage.
Kill another queen previous day.
 

Finman 

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heather, put a larva frame into the hive and perhaps you meet the virgin next day on the frame.
 

JCBrum 

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You are suggesting she is still unmated, are you sure ? have you ever seen any eggs/brood ?
 

Heather 

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You are suggesting she is still unmated, are you sure ? have you ever seen any eggs/brood ?

Absolutely zilch.

As I said I have put a frame of brood in to see if they use- Didnt.

Will do as Finman suggests and see if I can entice the virgin onto brood to grab her. But as is over a month now I presume she will be no use. I have a good spare colony that I can use to unite.
 

Poly Hive 

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I suspect thaty ou now have that most awkward of jobs: finding a virgin Q.

Trouble is she can get through an excluder.

Depending on the size and what kit you have you could split them into three or four lots and give a test frame, the one with NO cells will have her.

Hope that helps Heather.

PH
 

Heather 

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have 3 spare Nucs and they are on 6 frames so that is no prob - but does that mean 3 test frames :ack2:.
 

JCBrum 

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You could try split into two nuc boxes with test frames first to see which one she's in, then try again to find her, if still no luck split that one into two again.

You never know, your luck might change and you find her first go. :)
 

Heather 

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Ha! In my dreams, me thinks- still-off I go to try and find her - it's like 'Where's Wally'!!

Always beat the clock here - off on hol again soon- Lordy, its hard being retired!!:svengo:
 

Heather 

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So far so good (after I realised the Nucs I prepared only took normal brood and the queenless were on deep:banghead:)

Now split into 3 deep Nucs- and one is fanning so that is looking promising:)- but cannot see her yet.:toetap05:

Off to Bookers for cheap sugar then return to see what they are up to and add test to each if I am undecided.

Got her - no test frames needed :cheers2:
 
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Hombre 

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Was she in the Nuc that where the bees were fanning, or was that a diversion?

Glad you found her and enjoy the holiday.
 

Heather 

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She was in the hive where the fanning was obvious:cheers2: Nice looking queen- but a month was a long enough wait at this time of the year.
 

admin 

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This happened to me this spring.
It took me 5 attempts and 2 test frames over 2 weeks to find her.
I had never seen such a small queen..

I got to the point it was beyond funny and had become a mission.
 

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