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Beekeeping: Meeting of families and racking

Beekeeping: Meeting of families and racking

At any time during the bee production season, there may be a need to bring families together because they are too small, weak or unproductive.
In these cases, the honeycombs can be dispersed in several hives in order to strengthen them, or the whole family can be reunited with another weaker one. Since bees are able to recognize bees from another family, by bringing them together there is a risk of triggering a fight that would result in the death of thousands of bees, for this reason there is the Miller method or the newspaper.
It is carried out at sunset when all the foragers have returned to the hive, the attic is removed from the hive to which the family is to be reunited, a sheet of newspaper is spread over it (making some holes with a pin to speed up the meeting) and the nest of the hive to be joined is inserted, if with a movable bottom; otherwise if the hive has a fixed bottom, the honeycombs are transferred into a double melarium or two superimposed which are placed over the newspaper and closed with the attic.
After 48 hours the bees will have already gnawed part of the paper and the meeting will have taken place without trauma because after this period the smell of the two families will have become one. At this point the two parts can be separated and all the honeycombs containing brood can be joined to the nest.
In the event that the meeting was held because a family was orphaned, there are no problems, if instead both queens were present, the poorest one is sought and eliminated before the meeting, or when the queens meet they will fight and the weaker will succumb . If, on the other hand, we insert a queen-exclusion between the two nests, the two queens will continue to lay both.
The simplest transfer that can be made is that between two equal hives: instead of the hive to be emptied, the empty one is placed and the honeycombs are transferred each respecting the order and the verse, at the end the bees remained hung on the walls are brushed of the old hive.


Pouring of the core into the hive


Video: Are Feral Honey Bee Colonies Healthier - Margarita López-Uribe - Alternative Beekeeping Conference 2 (September 2021).