Laying Worker Hives/New Splits
So here is the deal. Multiple 2nd year Carni queens failed to build this spring. I chalked it up to the terrible weather and my first year with Carni's, however 5 hives went queen less and into laying workers on me. Yea, it must have happen as I was away and could not get to my hives for almost three weeks in April. Additionally, two more hives produced supercede cells on me in the last two weeks. All these queens were from the same producer and in their second year. So the past couple weeks I have dropped a frame of brood and eggs into these hives. I knew I had to order queens as this was way to many hives to rely on them making their own queens. I order 7 Carni Queens and they arrived today. I was really hoping to see queen cells being constructed from the frames I dropped in last weekend. No such luck and now I am in a dilemma.
I know these queens would just be killed by the laying workers if I tried to introduce them now. My solution was to leave the laying worker hives in place. I took window screen and placed over the one hive body, then a hive spacer with the hole facing the rear and pulled a frame or two frames of brood from one of my queen right hives. The new queens were added to these new splits. I don't know if this is going to work or not, but I know I had almost 0% chance of just introducing the queens to the Laying Worker hives.
My real question is this: If this works and these small splits take off should I try to combine these spits with the old laying worker hive below? Obviously I would check to see if they were still laying or not. I wonder if several weeks of open brood from the small splits above would suppress the laying workers below the screen? Any ideas or thought? I know these are very small splits but each has capped brood that should emerge in the next few days and I added some additional nurse bees.