Adding larva/brood comb to weak hive
I have a queenless hive and a very strong hive. I'm on a waiting list for a new queen for this or next week. The hive has been without a queen for at least 2-3 wks. Queen cells didn't work out.
I'd like to add a frame of young larva/brood to the weak hive, so they could perhaps make a new queen themselves. My question is do I just take the frame minus the nurse bees, right? I would imagine if I put the frame, bees and all into the weak hive it probably would be quite a fight?
If it were my own hives, I'd give them two frames from the stronger hive - one frame of eggs and young larvae, one frame of emerging brood. Be 100% certain the frames you are giving them, do not have the queen on them, otherwise leave all the nurse bees on the frames when you transfer them - I've been doing this for quite a while and haven't seen any major fighting, yet. You could simply swap the frames, giving the frames from the weak hive to the stronger ones and vice versa. And you may even consider including a third frame, a frame of honey and pollen, if the weak hive is low on food stores.
You say it's been about three weeks since they had a queen?
Any evidence of laying workers?
Thanks Joseph. Yes, Dr. Wax, I've seen a fair amount of drone brood on one or two frames, like most of the frame. Also spotty, here and there larva on the only frame I did see larva.
They are both 1st year hives. The good hive is on two deeps and just started a super a few days ago. The weak hive was actually the fastest to draw comb, and is on two deeps. We discovered a problem about 2 1/2 weeks ago. A visiting beekeeper from Germany noticed the problem, no queen and many supercedure cells. Had me get rid of all but one (the largest and biggest). I opened that hive yesterday and the one queen cell had completely vanished. No evidence of queen, lots of drone brood, and saw a wierd amount of drones wandering around, in my opinion.
Last edited by Budvar; 06-17-2008 at 03:23 PM.
my 2 cents worth
"many supercedure cells and no queen"
Where was the cells located on the frame. Since there was many queen cells It sounds more like your hive swarmed. IMO I wouldnt have destroyed the queen cells. If there was a cell in there 2 1/2 weeks ago depending on when it was capped there may very well be a queen in the hive that has not yet began to lay or has just started and you missed the eggs. A hive will produce more drones when it sets out to swarm. This could explain the extra drones. Also drones take the longest to develop in the cell and emerge. which may be the reason you are seeing only capped drone cells. I would put a frame of eggs in the hive to see if they start a new queen cell before trying to requeen.