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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a double 5-frame medium nuc that is doing well and a few 3-frames with new queens.

For now I'm thinking of adding a booster package to the double-nuc colony when I move those bees into the 8-frame boxes.

...But I'm also entertaining the thought of dumping a second package in before the Black Locust bloom. After the Black Locust bloom I would share some of the boosted hives resources with my nucs.

Any comments or suggestions?
 

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as long as you give then about a week to sort things out you should be fine with this. all you are doing is combining a queen right and a queenless colony.(so to speak) do a newspaper combine and you will be ok
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If I wanted to give my 3 frame nucs a little boost of bees, is it safe to shake in a cup or so of bees?

It will most likely be Italians being added to Russian-queened nucs.

If there is any risk I'll just wait and add brood when I move them into 5-frame nuc bodies.
 

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Sure you can do that, a cup of nurse bees.

To get nurse bees, you can divide a good 2 box hive with a queen excluder. Make sure the queen is below and the upper box has all the youngest larva. Wait 2 to 4 hours or the next day, and the bees in the top box will be mostly nurse bees, taking care of the younger larva.

You can then take a frame of larva from the top box, and shake or brush the nurse bees off into the nuc you want to boost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK...

I was thinking about a little shake of bees from a queenless package. But I guess that's risky. I think I'm better off adding some frames of brood when I move my 3-framers to 5-frame nuc boxes.

And what about mixing bees from two queenless packages??

If I place newspaper over the exsisting hive, can I shake two booster packages into the next hive body. I guess I might smoke them a fair bit and possibly give them a light misting of very light syrup. I might fill some of the combs with some syrup to make it welcoming.

Will the bees from the queenless packages "play nice"? And is this a good time to use two sheets of newspaper?
 

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It sounds like you are trying to do a lot with a little. If you have queenless package bees, try adding to your weakest nucs by the cupful, yes. What else are you going to do with them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm doing everything I can with what I have.

Besides giving my little nucs a modest boost of bees I have a double nuc that is going into it's 8 frame hive (today). The Black Locust bloom is two or so weeks away, so I'm giving this colony a big boost. I'll have three strong hives at that point.

I think I might just let my small nucs be small for a while and then give them more resources in a month or so.

My greatest concern was for the safety of the queens in my little nucs. If the strange bees (booster) were any threat to them I wouldn't add them. I'm in no rush.
 

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If needed, I'll take an entire frame of capped brood with nurse bees, and add it to the hive or nuc that needs a boost. Works well for me.
I've done the same - added a frame of capped or open brood with attached bees and never had a problem introducing them into a new hive (especially if the new hive is still less than full size). Never seen any signs of fighting though it is safest to do this in the middle of a nice day when most of the foragers will be out of the donor hive doing there thing...

-fafrd
 

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I've played around with adding frames of bees/brood and combining, etc. I've never had fighting that I am aware of. At what point does what you do risk fighting or killing of a queen?
 
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