Saturday, 14 April 2012
Uniting 2 beehives
We have had a bit of a setback with our beehives. Two of them are strong but the 3rd one did not appear to be doing too well. The number of bees flying to and from it was falling and we did not see much pollen being brought in, which meant there was no brood which meant the queen was probably dead and not replaced. We checked out the hive and sure enough, there was no brood and no sign of a queen. We therefore took the decision to merge the hive with another as, at this time of year, no one would have a queen we could add to the hive.
The process took a few days to complete. The weak hive had to be moved gradually closer to the strong one. A sudden move would mean the bees flying back to where the hive previous was. They would then find no hive there but have no where to go.
Once the hives were side by side, we opened the strong one, placed a single sheet of newspaper over the frames and put the brood box containing all the bees from the old hive onto the newspaper. We then put the roof onto it. In the time it would take for the bees to eat their way through the paper, they would get used to the smell of each other. The bees from both hives would therefore not feel they were being invaded by another colony.
The result is that we now have a super strong hive and we will be looking to artificially swarm it to get a 3rd hive up and running later in the spring.