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jim jam 

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I have a small colony in a brood box which i believe to be queenless as there is no brood and all of the frames are being filled with honey. I would like to unite a recently acquired swarm (Housed in a nuc. box) with them.Can anyone tell me the best way of doing this peacefully, without them wanting to return to their old location just yards away. Many thanks Jimjam.
 

Poly Hive 

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You think they are queenless. Before even thinking about uniting anything to them you need to be sure that they are in FACT Q-.

To do that you need a frame of young larvae, or a frame containing such to see if they do or do not draw Queen cells. Then you can proceed in the knowledge you know for sure.

This is a test frame situation.

PH
 

JCBrum 

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Poly, I don't fully understand. Why exactly must a test frame be used ?

Is it because of the risk of one queen killing another ? or could it cause a swarm ?

JC.
 

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It would be strange if colony is full of honey and no queen.
Normally queenless colony does not work much.
 

Poly Hive 

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If you unite two queen right units to each other there is a risk of losing both queens.

Therefore one should be Queenless.

PH
 

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So what are members choices if one half is queenless ?

I have done newspaper and icing sugar in the past,anyone just tip them in ?
 

match 

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So what are members choices if one half is queenless ?

I have done newspaper and icing sugar in the past,anyone just tip them in ?
I'd always use the newspaper method - having spoken to several people about this who've been keeping bees for years its the one that I've never heard failure stories about - all the others at least one person has had it go wrong.

Just tipping them in is very risky - the hive bees will go on the defensive, and you'll have a lot of dead bees unnecessarily.
 

Hombre 

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It would be strange if colony is full of honey and no queen.
Normally queen-less colony does not work much.
Comment made in the field within the last week, "How unusual, the colony is queen-less (awaiting emergence of a virgin) and the bees have just carried on filling the combs with honey. The books don't make mention of that".

It may therefore not be the rule, but it happens often enough. The colonies were on rape.
It is however accepted that as a general rule a queen-less colony is likely to be idle.

Keen bees, good pasture, what fat queen!
 

Poly Hive 

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I usually use 2 sheets of newspaper but it has to be perforated first by the hive tool corner.

I have successfully also used perfume yes.

PH
 

jon 

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My vote goes to newspaper method.
I think there is more risk if you are uniting a huge queenless colony with a very small queenright colony.

In this case I would spray all the frames and bees with a light misting of sugar syrup from a garden sprayer.
I pierce a couple of small holes in the sheet of newspaper and spray a little sugar syrup on it as well. I have to unite or change queens in several colonies over the next few weeks so I will let you know how it goes. Most of the new queens will be in 4-5 frame nucs. All the old queens are marked so I intend to just lift them out immediately before uniting. It might seem easier to just introduce the queen in a cage but I want to add the bees from the nuc to make a strong colony for foraging.
 
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jon 

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I intend to leave the old queen in a nuc on the old location and this will pick up any flyers that may return. In my case I am basically swapping last years queen for the current model.
 

Poly Hive 

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I have not addressed the question as I am unsure from reading the post what is where? There is a swarm and a nuc. If the swarm was a new one then they could have been located next to the nuc at the time they were collected.

Are they? I don't know and the person has not posted since so I am left *shrugging*

PH
 

jon 

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PH beat me too it as I was about to make a similar post. You can always move the colonies towards each other by 3 feet per day until they are side by side before uniting.
 

Poly Hive 

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Threre is now enough information on this thread to enable a competent peron to unite two colonies.

I would make this proviso. IMHO wetting the news paper with syrup is over kill. By doing so it will allow the bees to get together possibly too fast.

I would suggest using one way or other; mixing methods as ever results in an unwanted outcome.

KISS

PH
 

jon 

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I would make this proviso. IMHO wetting the news paper with syrup is over kill. By doing so it will allow the bees to get together possibly too fast.

PH
Has always worked for me.
I spray a light skiff of syrup on the paper. It's not sodden.
the main problem with newspaper is that some people make massive rips in it and the bees can pour through immediately.
 

jon 

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Finman. I knew you would be along in a minute but not everyone wants to take the risk of just joining 2 halves together. As long as it works it is ok.
 

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