Sunday, April 10, 2011

Combining two hive into one.

On Wednesday I combined our two hives.

The bees in the Top Bar Hive didn’t have enough bees to survive on their own. Now that the second hive is home we’ll combine them into one.

With George’s instructions and a few videos on YouTube….I felt good about trying it. The main problem was going to be fitting the top bars into the Langstroth (Langs for short) hive. We decided to add extensions to the top bars so they would fit. Jim had them all predrilled for me. All I had to do was set them on the bars..measure for size, drill holes in the bars and then screw them down.

I set my camera on my blue “bee” chair and went to work.

Saturday  I tore the excess paper from around the outside but will not disturb them again by opening the hive  for awhile. ( unless sitting in the chair ..staring at them disturbs them). They can get rid of the paper themselves.

All I have is the photos. It took me over half and hour to complete the move…I edited a lot of it out so it’s under 8 min.

I sat and watched the hive for awhile this morning. I saw several bees come back to it  and look around the top for an entrance, most just flew directly into the hive.  I think they remember getting in up there…but they finally flew down to the deck and entered the hive….none of the bees bothered them. Guess they’ve been accepted.

I will only be a “hobbyist”, with 2 or 3 hives, but my husband, Jim, is going to help me build a raised area for them. This is the only spot I have …  and during the hurricanes and tropical storms it can flood this area for a few days. So…we are going to build a large box, big enough for 3 hives and working area…fill it…and put a layer of concrete wash on the top (hive beetle larva like sandy soil..we don’t want them to be happy).  One and a half feet should get it level with the driveway and that should be enough. If it floods higher than that it will have to cover hundreds of acres…and then we’ll all be living in the boat….

Most people have “raised beds” for their gardening…..I want one for my bees. I really enjoy working, watching,  and learning about them.



  1. Very interesting post. It sounds like taking two households and making one out of it. Is it possible that later there will be some rejections?

  2. Absolutely fascinating. I'm interested in how calm they are -- well, and you too! They are so organized and industrious. Bless the little dears and thank you for sharing.

  3. Bill combining them with the sheet of paper between them it gives them time to smell like the rest of the hive and the other bees accept them. Since there is no Queen with the small hive there wont be any problem there either.

  4. Carol, you are Awesome. This is so interesting. I too like the idea of the combined family.

  5. Very interesting! Hopefully all will go well and everyone will be happy.

  6. I just did a post that shows the difference between brood, honey and pollen pretty well I think ( Splitting a colony)

    I know we commented some last week about it...


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