What’s the newspaper combine method for uniting two hives?

Q: What’s this newspaper combine method I keep hearing about for uniting two hives?

A: It is a great method for combining a weak hive with a strong one, something you may find yourself doing this time of year. Combining two weak hives only results in a larger weak hive.

Newspaper Combine Method

  • Cut 2 sheets of (predominantly) black and white newspaper to fit directly on the top bars. (Paper sticking out of the sides can wick in moisture and looks unsightly.)

  • Place the sheets that are cut to fit the inside of the box dimensions directly on the top bars.

  • Make 6-7 razor slits in the paper between the top bars.

  • Place the weak colony above the paper.

  • Replace inner cover, vent supers, feeder—whatever you had atop the strong hive.

  • In a couple of days these colonies will be united. You may want to check to verify that the newspaper has been chewed through suggesting that the bees are intermingling. If you do check, removing any residual paper will save them the work of getting it out.

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