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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Upper Kingsclear, NB, Canada

    Default balancing brood between colonies

    Hi all,
    As with everything bees, there are different schools of thought on whether to do this or not, but if an attempt is made to beef up a weaker colony by adding brood frames from a stronger one, do you just swap in the brood frames leaving all the nurse bees on them? I assume so, as otherwise you'd be adding forces with no-one to look after them. How likely is it that the newly added bees on those frames would be rejected/attacked by the receiving colony? I have one of my 3 colonies that is lagging and I will have to decide soon whether to intervene or not if they are to get strong enough to overwinter. All 3 were started from nucs this summer.

    cheers and thanks for any ideas and opinions,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Medford, Oregon

    Default Re: balancing brood between colonies

    Though I can't speak to balancing brood between colonies because I don't do it, I do often move brood around between colonies for other reasons, often to join nucs or colonies after selling or executing a queen.

    There are usually few problems doing this. Some hypothesize that bees cannot tell the difference between queens, only if they're laying or not. I find that putting two hives into a third so no one is on their home turf helps also.

    While I don't have any problems doing this with nucs or requeening with nucs, I'm not sure I'd want to plop one whole hive on top of another without newspaper or something.

    When you're moving brood, what you have mostly is nurse bees. Any foragers present will likely fly back to their home hive. Nurse bees don't fight much.


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