I installed packages on April 3rd in 2 top bar hives. One got off to a rough start and at least 2/3 of the bees drifted to the other. Both hives are queenright, and have eggs, larvae and capped brood. One has comb on 11 bars already, 5 bars completely built, and is growing like crazy. The weak hive has comb on only 6 bars none of it full size yet. I want to take some brood from the strong hive and put it in the weak one. The problem(if it is a problem) is that the brood is mostly on the full size combs, and I want to slip one of these into the center of the built combs on the weak hive. As this comb is bigger than that in the weak hive and the weak hives combs are all built to the right of center some of the brood will be exposed and some probably lost. Is this a problem, should I wait another week or so? Or just wait and see if it can catch up by itself?
What are your opinions?
I tend to leave them alone unless they are in trouble. I'd just wait and see.
Like Michael said, just wait and see. A stronger hive builds up faster than a weaker hive. If you split the brood up now, the strong hive would build up slower. If you allow the strong hive to continue building at full strength you will have even MORE bees than if you split them up now. You can always give the weak hive some brood AFTER they have built up some more.
If you have extra brood from your BEST hives, its best to give them to your NEXT BEST hives and move on down the pyramid. The weakest hives are given supplimental brood last or never. If they don't make it, maybe there is a reason for it. The buildup will MUCH faster this way and you'll have more bees and brood to distribute later if needed.