Saturday, 26 April 2014
I had noticed that one of our hives was looking weak. Not much bee activity, especially compared with the neighbouring hive. My guess was that the hive had become queenless. A check today proved my guess to be correct. We have therefore merged it with the neighbouring hive. To do this, we opened the strong hive, put a layer of newspaper over the top of the brood box, then placed the brood box from the weak hive on top of it. The roof then went on top. Over the next few days, the bees will get used to the smell of each other and gradually eat away the newspaper allowing the bees from both hives to mix together in the one colony.
In June we will separate then again. If there are queen cells in the top brood box we will not need to add a brood frame with queen cells from the bottom brood box. The separated brood box will then be set up as a separate hive.