Hello from southeastern Wisconsin.
My name is Brian, this is going to be my second season of beekeeping. I started 2012 with 2 colonies of Italian bees, went into winter with two(I thought) strong colonies with plenty of stores to get them through. I now have one colony of Italians (very strong) and I have done the post-mortem on the dead hive. There is plenty of honey and pollen, there was a tiny cluster of bees at the top most place in the hive.......surrounded by food. I was told this might happen. My question to whoever would like to take a crack at it is this; Should I install a new package right into the hive full of honey? Will this cause some unintended behaviors in the bees, or will they just utilize the stores and strengthen faster. I see NO varoa mites on any of my bees, no hive beetles, the remaining colony is quite strong. I would love to hear from other beekeepers who have utilized the prior colony's labor. If this is a bad idea, let me know. May 22 I will be installing a new package of Italians from N. California into a hive full of honey, as long as the other colony does not rob the honey. Either way, these bees will have a head start on the drawn out comb.