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Kiwifruiter

Masses of bees sitting on front of hive after combining....

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So, I have decided to have a play with double queening hives so I have taken a strong single (the security beehive) and a very strong Nuc (was well ready to be transferred into a single). I combined them a few days ago with newspaper and a queen excluder and there is like a heap of bees sitting on the front of the hive.... (Hopefully pic attached). We have since had plenty of good flying weather and the bees are still sitting there.... What do you guys think? Both hives were very full of bees however I would have thought the extra 5 frames worth of space in the second box would have given them plenty of space....

 

[GALLERY=media, 1054]Odd result of combining.... by Kiwifruiter posted Dec 29, 2016 at 15:54[/GALLERY]

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I think you're needlessly mucking about just like a hobbyist

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I think you're needlessly mucking about just like a hobbyist

Probably.... At least I am not a pink cat....

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Probably.... At least I am not a pink cat....

Perhaps you're just crazy like me :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

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Perhaps you're just crazy like me :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

I keep bees, play the cello and grow kiwifruit. A decent amount of crazy is A given.

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Can you see evidence of chewed paper? I'd give them a box on top & make sure they are moving through the excluder, solve all your problems.

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Can you see evidence of chewed paper? I'd give them a box on top & make sure they are moving through the excluder, solve all your problems.

Yes there is chewed paper around the hive entrance... if they are not behaving normally I will open them up tomorrow and see if they have gotten through etc....

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What do you guys think?

How many sheets of newspaper did you use? How many, if any, slits did you cut?

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How many sheets of newspaper did you use? How many, if any, slits did you cut?

2 sheets no slits

 

Almost exactly the same method I have used dozens of times before without problems.... Hence the post lol

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I tried to combine a hive and even after I had solved all the issues that were causing problems , i.e a queen I had failed to find. They still did not get along .

I tried again with lynx.

In the end I stuck a small twig between the second and third box and a whole heap of bees that had been on the landing board started going in and out that entrance .

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So, I have decided to have a play with double queening hives so I have taken a strong single (the security beehive) and a very strong Nuc (was well ready to be transferred into a single). I combined them a few days ago with newspaper and a queen excluder and there is like a heap of bees sitting on the front of the hive.... (Hopefully pic attached). We have since had plenty of good flying weather and the bees are still sitting there.... What do you guys think? Both hives were very full of bees however I would have thought the extra 5 frames worth of space in the second box would have given them plenty of space....

 

[GALLERY=media, 1054]Odd result of combining.... by Kiwifruiter posted Dec 29, 2016 at 15:54[/GALLERY]

 

I have got a similar thing happening on a cell builder hive I have set up but is not currently in action. The bees are clustered outside the area where the Queen excluder is located and where the cloak board would go in. The bees leave from this level to forage and when they return they land on the "pack" and then burrow their way in through the other bees to get inside.

 

It is a very busy hive but there is room in the boxes and it is not hot here at all. The bees are weird in that on the face they all face straight upwards.

beesoutside.jpg.f03409399f789d3d953cf5fd73c9cd89.jpg

beesoutside.jpg.f03409399f789d3d953cf5fd73c9cd89.jpg

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kiwifruiter, my guess is that it's the two queens that are causing pheromone problems - this is not a natural situation for bees to be in. Remove one queen and I suspect they will behave normally.

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kiwifruiter, my guess is that it's the two queens that are causing pheromone problems - this is not a natural situation for bees to be in. Remove one queen and I suspect they will behave normally.

I have double queened before without these issues.....

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I have seen whole apiarys hanging out because there were to full and I have seen the same thing when they were empty. You also get it for a few days after you take boxes of honey off even when they have plenty of room. High humidity doesn't help. I wouldn't too much but Kaihoka's idea of a top entrance is something I normally use when two queening and should help.

Does all this spraying with scent really help? I have been uniting hives for over 40 years and have never used anything other than newspaper.

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I have seen whole apiarys hanging out because there were to full and I have seen the same thing when they were empty. You also get it for a few days after you take boxes of honey off even when they have plenty of room. High humidity doesn't help. I wouldn't too much but Kaihoka's idea of a top entrance is something I normally use when two queening and should help.

Does all this spraying with scent really help? I have been uniting hives for over 40 years and have never used anything other than newspaper.

I had never used scent before , only newspaper, I only used it because I was trying anything to fix the issues with combining the hive.

I could not say whether it made any difference .

But the scent spray is very useful to spray on any area I get stung So I am glad I experimented with it .

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We use scent all the time. Newspaper is a pain in the bum and scent is simple and instant.

When we double queen we have an entrance at the excluder to let both the foragers come and go and more importantly let the drones out.

As @kaihoka said put a small twig between the excluder rim and the bottom of your top brood box to create a space for bees and drones to come and go

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We use scent all the time. Newspaper is a pain in the bum and scent is simple and instant.

When we double queen we have an entrance at the excluder to let both the foragers come and go and more importantly let the drones out.

As @kaihoka said put a small twig between the excluder rim and the bottom of your top brood box to create a space for bees and drones to come and go

do you air freshener, or lynx spray etc

or does it not matter much

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I run afew double queeners the trick is to unite them as weaker nucs and let them expand together they seem to accept each other better have lost quite afew queens combining stronger units and they are annoying to overwinter as double queeners

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I have only seen bees behaving 'oddly' in front of a hive that has plenty of space as a result of suspected high virus loads and the colony collapasing due to varroa. Once the varroa problem had been sorted out and new bees emerge, the issue went away. I doubt it to be the case in this instance if you didn't have a problem before uniting.

 

Double queening hives is something that doesn't seem to be done in the UK. What are the advantages and disadvantages of it?

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@kaihoka we use air freshener.

We regularly double queen as part of swarm management otherwise we end up with too many hives if we split them off completely.

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We regularly double queen as part of swarm management otherwise we end up with too many hives if we split them off completely.

Now there's a solution I could use. Do you move the two queens together then add cells to the queenless halves?

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Not sure I understand that question about queenless halves @Rob Stockley.

We double queen by splitting a two broodbox hive in half with a split board. Sometimes it's old queen in bottom box and cell top box or vice versa depending on how close to swarming the hive is. If the cell up top fails to result in a mated queen we will intro a queen. When the flow begins the split board is changed over to an excluder and the two brood boxes united with air freshener.

At the end of the season the old queen is pinched the excluder removed and the new queen is left to winter over

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When the flow begins the split board is changed over to an excluder and the two brood boxes united with air freshener.

At the end of the season the old queen is pinched the excluder removed and the new queen is left to winter over

I thought you promoted single brood box honey producers ?

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Absolutely but we have hives that go into pollination and that's how we manage them. If we have enough gear we will split them off, if not then they stay as two queeners.

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