This year I ordered 4 packages wanting to try out some new genetics. It also happens that I have a shipment of queens coming in the same day.
I'd like to get them as strong as possible, as quick as possible, so here is what I had planned:
- 7 day or so before the packages arrive I'll pull 8 frames of capped brood (without bees) from other hives and "bank" them above a queen excluder in a very strong colony (so I don't get eggs/ young larvae)
- Once I receive the packages/queens I'll add one frame of brood to each nuc, again, without bees from the donor hives
- I'll split the 4lb package in half, adding the queen in the package with half, and add another queen with the other half (doing the other half some distance away, if that matters?)
This should give them some young bees rather quickly as well as increase the amount of bees in each nuc within their first week or so. It will also give the queen somewhere to immediately lay, but I should have enough drawn comb in storage to add another empty frame to the nuc as well.
As such, I"ll end up with 1 frame of capped brood, 1 drawn frame, and likely a frame of wax foundation and 2 with starter strips.
My main concern would be in having 1.5-2 lbs of bees keeping a frame of brood warm, but with low temps in the mid 50s I should be entirely fine?
I've always heard of people splitting out packages, but never really with brood. If you have experiencing doing this, am I on the right track?
Also, in my experience of adding bees to a new hive with a new queen and eggs they will always draw out queen cells. Is it wise to make sure I don't have eggs/larvae in the frames I add?