Combining hives = less to worry about

One of my hives was Queenless and the Bee Inspector had advised combining the hives using the “newspaper method”.  The theory behind combining hives is that it will strengthen the stronger colony and help it to survive the Winter.  How would they manage without us?!

The so-called “newspaper method” involves putting one colony on top of the other, separated by a single sheet of newspaper and pierced with some holes.  The theory is that the bees smell each other, eat their way through the newspaper and are then happy to be united as a single colony and not get into fights with each other.

As you will see from the video clips the hives were a bit light which is a bit worrying because it might mean they don’t have much food in there.

Dad was getting a bit confused about his role as Camera Man and my role as Beeman/Presenter/Director.  I think he is still holding onto his role as Parent & I Know Best and his perspective of me as Son & Utterly Clueless. So rather than one long clip where the viewers can decide when they have watched enough, we ended up with Kodak Super 8-style 30 second clips.  Please see the first clip below.

The Combined Hives

Combining Hives

After I had finished there was a lot of flying bees and I could see the hive-less bees trying to work out where to go, but it only took 5 minutes before the scene was peaceful once again.

During this uniting of hives, I added the second dose of Apiguard as 2 weeks had passed since the first dose.  I have been counting the varroa on the varroa board over the last couple of weeks and so far about 300 have fallen off the stronger colony with the high varroa count.  When I have finished the Apiguard treatment I will take another varroa count to calculate the mite population.

My plan is now to leave the colony like this for a week before removing the 14×12 brood box and then a week later, remove the Apiguard and start feeding with sugar syrup.

More On How This Story Panned Out

  1. The course of true love never did run smooth – Read this post to find out what happened next
  2. What Is Going To Kill Them First
  3. Breaking News – No Eggs
  4. Giving My New Queen A Good Home
  5. Regaining My Sanity Without Bees
  6. RIP Bees
  7. Laying Workers Killed My Queen

Relevant How-To Guides

Author: Roger

regaining my sanity through beekeeping

3 thoughts on “Combining hives = less to worry about”

  1. Hope they get together. I did a combination for the first time this year. It seems to have worked well. I combined two – 2 Lang Deep hives and now have one monster 4 deep bahemouth that is doing very well. Seems to have worked.

    I have a Dad that still has a problem leaving the Dad role too. 🙂 There are times when we are conversing about bees and he will make a statement that doesn’t make sense for the bees biologically. I will ask him, “where did you read that?”, or “what observation made you come to that conclusion?” Just remember tri-pods aren’t that expensive. 😀

    Were those sheep in the background? Are they yours? Looking to move soon to a place I can have some.

    Nice video (from across the pond).

    1. Hi Jason,

      I’ll think about that tripod. But would you miss the commentary?

      They aren’t my sheep. My bees are in a communal allotment with farmer’s fields behind.

  2. Great video on how to combine hives, Emily and I combined our hives recently for winter. They are a bit low on stores too but hopefully the combined colonies will benefit from feeding over September and October.

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