So I had a package where the queen wasn't laying and eventually went missing. I put in a frame of eggs and they drew out queen cells. Then Murphy's law struck and I discovered eggs in my other frames. Wasn't sure if the queen was still there, so I put the frame with queen cells in a nuc with a frame of honey (sugar syrup). Looking back, I knew the queen wasn't there. I'm pretty good at spotting them and I looked all through that hive. Should have trusted my instincts.....
Nuc queen hatched around Monday or Tuesday and is doing well. There are a few eggs already in the nuc, which seems a bit early, but that's not really the issue.
The other hive now has laying workers. If anyone who hasn't seen that before wants to know what it looks like, here it is -
I had this once before and added a frame of brood, did a bee shake (I've learned since then that that procedure is iffy), and put a bought queen in the hive for a week in her cage. Released her after a week and the hive turned into a boomer.
So, I'm planning on following the method of adding a frame of open brood every week for three weeks. A couple of concerns -
Possible donor hives -
2 first year nucs, one is already working on a honey super, the other is still working on the second brood box
2 packages (Installed last Friday in May), both are working on their second brood box
A split that has 7 frames of brood (like the genetics of this hive), just put on a second brood box.
I'm thinking that I'll pull a frame each from a nuc, a package, and the split over three weeks. I'll freeze the frame that I'm swapping from the laying worker hive overnight to kill the drones. Will that work?
So I started with a three pound package and split it when all this started. Will there be enough bees to keep three frames (eventually) of brood warm? That's not enough time for any new bees to hatch if I'm starting with eggs.
I'm open to any other suggestions. I'd really like to put the two back together now that I have a queen, but I don't think that's possible. I split them on Monday if that helps.