I had 80% losses this year so I am down to one hive left. I am trying to be very conservative with the resources of the hive. I set up a starter for queens and have recombined it with the main hive above a queen excluder. Now my hope is that the main hive will finish the queen cells. My question is about transferring the queen cells to mating nucs. I am planning to get one frame with open brood to put with a queen cell. I will add honey (from the various dead hives) as I can along with feeding. I have had problems with the bees leaving and flying back home making the mating nuc very light in population. I am hoping the open brood will keep them in the nuc, but I will not have enough frames of brood for each of the queens. What else can I do to keep the bees from absconding and leaving the queen behind?
When the hive is broken into mating nucs is it common to confine them to the nucs for 24-48 hours? Does that help give the bees a new sense of home? I have tried putting them into their new home with grass over the entrance but have not had good luck when done from the start. does confining them help? How long would you recommend confining them? Can I just put a cup or 2 of bees in a hive if they are fed well with thin syrup. I will be using 2 deep frames in a box with a reducer board.