I started 6 new colonies with swarm cells 3 weeks ago and the new queens started laying about a week ago. The population of workers is starting to decrease and there is not brood ready to hatch for at least two weeks.
Can I take a frame of brood with bees from another colony and place it in these new colonies to help build the worker population?
Or must I remove all bees and only add the frame of brood?
Also, the bees are filling the cells with honey where the new queens are starting to lay which is restricting her from laying. They only have four drawn hive body frames so the space for her to lay is limited. They appear to be more interested in storing honey in these frames than drawing out the new 6 new frames that are also in the hives.
What are my options?
I have some drawn super frames, should I place them in the bodies to give her some laying room now and them move them up to the super when the colony is built up enough for one?
Also, what is the general rule for hive bodies in Florida, one or two? I have all mine in only one body.
I try to remove most/all bees from the frames that I'm going to transfer from one hive to the other. I just brush them off with my bee brush.
As far as the workers not drawing out the frames. Try putting a undrawn frame from the side into the middle of the 4 drawn frames. The queen should take to it laying eggs and the workers will be right behind her. Or you could use the drawn frams that you were talking about, in the middle.
I'm going to 2 deep brood boxes this year, in North Ga. I'm not sure about Florida. Should be about the same though.