A small colony with a failing queen can be united with a strong colony in the spring or fall. Check the small colony for symptoms of disease. Do not combine a weak dwindling colony with a strong colony until the weak colony has been checked for Nosema or foulbrood diseases. Remove the queen from the small colony.
Open the strong colony and place a single sheet of newspaper over the brood chamber. Use a sharp knife or hive tool to make three or four slits in the newspaper. Place the brood chamber and supers of the small colony on the strong colony over the brood chamber. The bees will remove the newspaper and combine into one colony.