Installing packages into dead-outs
So, I have five hives that are empty, all with frames of drawn comb (less than 3 years old each). Many frames of honey and pollen. Many empty.
Five colonies that didn't survive the winter. All were wintered in double deeps.
1. One died early winter. It was weak and I should have folded it into another hive.
2. One died in an ice storm - arrived at the bee-yard and the entrance was completely iced over. I think the girls got wet and froze.
3. Lost three during the late winter/early spring yo-yo in Alabama temps. I think the clusters were broken apart in warm weather and the cold snaps caught them unaware.
These five hives were in a bee yard far from my house. Others did okay. The two hives at my home did well, as I could add bee-blankets when I saw a cold snap coming.
I have packages on the way.
What is the best way to set up the hives to maximize the use of existing pollen and honey for the new bees?
For example: "Two frames of honey on the outside. Two frames of pollen just inside that. As many open frames as I can scrounge in the middle."
North Alabama, USDA Zone 7b