As many of you know in my many bouts of wailing and crying over a weak hive started this year, I finally saw a queen and eggs in this hive two days ago. Much cheering to be had; they had killed 3 prior queens before I gave up and let them raise their own. Out of a single deep, the hive has only drawn out 5-6 frames. However, the new queen is going to town laying. Feeding 1:1 on a top hive feeder to help it along. May possible be able to save this hive after all.
The problem. My brother had to move suddenly and brought 2 very strong hives over to my bee yard while he gets thing sorted out. One of these hives is right next to this weak hive and is "hotter" than any of my hives. Give that I am in a suburban environment requiring a 6 ft fence around the hives, it's a small space for 4 hives. These hives are all Italians started this year. Any trick on how to feed this weak hive without it getting robbed out? To tell the truth, I'm afraid just popping it open to check it is going to advertise a "free food here" mentality with the other 3 hives so close by. Got the entrance reducer in, but I'd like to keep tabs on this weak hive to keep babying it along.
Used enough smoke last time that even my next door neighbor was wondering what I was BBQing. Need to keep adding pollen patties and feed to the weak hive to bring it up to speed. How can I open it without getting the strong hives worked up about it?