I have inherited 2 hives in the Philippines and the task of multiplying those as fast and as best I can to build a livelihood support program here. The project had foundered last year, partly due to illness and dropped from 25 hives to 2. So I have plenty of 10 frame Langstroth bodies, tops and bottoms. Sadly, nearly all the frames of drawn foundation were riddled with wax moth as they weren't stored properly. On the bright side, I have hundreds of sheets of new foundation. The thing I'm most short of is time. I have until next January to do what I can.
Two weeks ago I created 2 splits from the first two hives, introducing 2 new queens to them and took them to a 2nd site I have in 4 frame travelling nuc boxes. I also fed them 1:1 sugar syrup at first. After 1 week I transferred them into full sized lang boxes using follower boards to keep the brood frames compact. I gave them a sheet of foundation each to get busy on and changed the syrup to 2:1 (by weight) to support the wax makers.
My question is about how best to introduce the new sheets of foundation to maximize their building comb on them and hive expansion. I'm not trying for any honey this year. My overriding focus is creating new colonies. Anything you can do to assist will be much appreciated
What has been people's experience? Is it best to build up from a 4 frame nuc 1 frame at a time, or just put the extra 6 frames of foundation in and leave them to it. Some say put the new foundation sheets at the outer edges and some say put them in the center of the brood nest, others say 2nd from the edge where the wax makers are and the field bees exchange their nectar with the house bees. In the past I've added single sheets towards the edge but thy were largely ignored until I put them in the center.
I haven't yet found anything that specifically addresses this issue.
What say you and why?