Uniting query.

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

robbohenn 

New Bee
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Number of Hives
2
I have 2 hives both which were colonised this year. One has a medium sized colony (that I purchased in june with a marked queen)., the other was a donated swarm which is a much smaller colony in which I have failed to identify the queen, but as they have been resident for nearly 4 months she must be there. The larger colony occupy about 6 deep brood frames but with very little stores. The small colony occupy about 3 deep brood frames and about 2 with stores. I have started to feed both colonies but wonder if I should be uniting them so they make it through the winter. Should I keep the Q/E between them and the Ashworth feeder above the top brood box? I will be using the newspaper seperation method.
Thanks for any advice.
 

Boston Bees 

Bumblebee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
1,463
Reaction score
1,415
Location
West Yorkshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-20
I wouldn't unite them personally. If something goes wrong with the remaining colony you arrive in spring as a non-beekeeper. No reason why colonies of those sizes can't make it.

Just feed both, treat for varroa properly (if you haven't already), house them appropriately, and see how they go.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

International Beekeeper of Mystery
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
28,201
Reaction score
5,944
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
:iagree:
Why do you think the both wouldn't make it through winter as separate colonies? Both sound fine to me, just treat, feed and keep an eye on them
 

Wilco 

Village idiot
***
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
492
Reaction score
362
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-ish
Agree with the above, no reason you can't get them through winter as two separate colonies if using the above advice and probably more sensible. Have some fondant handy late winter just in case. Make sure they're well insulated.

Only need QE if being used to provide beespace between BB and feeder. Most people have removed QE at this point.
 

hemo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
1,757
Reaction score
1,105
Location
West Sussex /RH.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
Dummy down the smaller colony as they will be trying to heat extra space they don't really need or place then in a 6 - 8 frame nuc. One can always make up a wide dummy board out of PIR or ply/correx to fill the unneeded space.
 

hemo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
1,757
Reaction score
1,105
Location
West Sussex /RH.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
One can use an existing too bar/ frame or two to make a wider dummy board sandwiching PIR or even correx/ply cut to make up the required width, 4" ali tape is useful as well.
 

robmort 

House Bee
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
141
Reaction score
46
Location
Bosham, W. Sussex
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4+
If you haven't seen the queen in the smaller colony, how do you know there is one? Seen eggs/lavae?
 

robbohenn 

New Bee
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Number of Hives
2
:iagree:
Why do you think the both wouldn't make it through winter as separate colonies? Both sound fine to me, just treat, feed and keep an eye on them
It was just that the smaller colony seemed to be low on numbers in comparison to the other one.
 

robbohenn 

New Bee
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Number of Hives
2
If you haven't seen the queen in the smaller colony, how do you know there is one? Seen eggs/lavae?
I have seen a bit of brood, but I don't get enough time to look for the queen as they get quite narky!
 

robbohenn 

New Bee
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Number of Hives
2
Thanks for your advice. I will carry on feeding, remove any undrawn frames and and fill space with wider dummy boards.
 

Latest posts

Top