The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Hive union results

Diagram of a hive union between a weak and a strong hive.Soon after we united our two weakest hives, the weather turned cool and wet --- bad bee-checking conditions.  Finally, I got impatient and went out to inspect the bees between showers.

Outside the hive, a fringe of newspaper was clearly evident between the merged hive sections, so I figured I'd need to remove the paper divider.  But when I took off the super from the weak hive, I saw that the industrious bees had carefully eaten away the entire newspaper up to the wooden hive walls! 

The hive merge is complete and very successful.  While our other two, formerly strongest hives are still filling up their first super apiece, our newly merged hive is starting to store honey between hatching brood in the big top super!  I can only assume this means that the queen from the weak hive has been assassinated and her workers assimilated into the population.  Although I probably wouldn't repeat my frame swap experiment, the hive merge is going to be added to my toolkit.
Bees ate away all of the newspaper between the two supers.
Note: Mark hasn't been posting because he's a bit under the weather.  I expect him to be back online in short order, but until then you'll just have to put up with me.  If you miss his ingenuity, go visit his homemade chicken waterer site and his homemade deer deterrent site.  There, don't you feel better?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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