Re: 2nd year, buy packages or Nuc's
Buy the 3 package of bees this season. Then use those
bees to increase your production colonies bee numbers to get you
some honey for your kids. Watch out for swarming though.
Then put the old queens in a small 3-way nuc so that they are
in a temporarily holding place. Just before the flow is over you can
even out the hives and prepare for the coming winter. When
you have a very strong hive you can make a small split so that
they can raise a new queen too. Or you can make the new splits along
with a new order mated queen. There are so many ways to do this if you
know how. I like the flexibility and creative side of beekeeping.
Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?