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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I did a little experiment this spring. On May 6, I I removed the queen from a strong overwintered hive, plus two frames of emerging brood and relocated this this nuc to another yard, leaving my original hive to rear its own queen. I think I timed this ok, as I've seen hatched and capped drones and we were having good weather and flow(?...bees were working a lot and a lot of dandelion/ fruit bloom). I'd like to supplement the queenless hive with brood so that the bee population doesn't decrease drastically and eliminate my honey yield while the new queen matures, mates and starts laying. What would be a reasonable number of brood frames to give the hive every week or so? Would you suggest open brood (allowing the possibility of bees to raise a new queen in case of queen failure) or capped brood (not taking any resources to raise). Also, when would you suggest I start adding brood, keeping in mind that I'd like a brood break for mite control (the hive has been queenless for 1 week). Thanks!
 

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Hard to say what your current population is without a pic. I am thinking from a 10 frame hive? Depending on how low this hive population is, it is better to give a frame of capped brood and a frame of open brood to the q-less hive when the population decreased to 3 frames of bees. Three frames of bees will keep this hive going but might not produce honey for this season.
Of course, the more the better to keep this hive strong during this transition if you want honey. There is a saying that either you
want the bees or the honey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry for not being clearer, this hive was two 10 frame deeps with about 8 frames of brood......if I transfer open brood do I need to also transfer the nurse bees?
 

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I do open brood as my first choice. Both if you can spare it. With or without bees can work, just make sure the queen isn't among those bees. If you're not sure you can guarantee the queen isn't on them, then shake them off first.
 

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It is better if you also transfer the open brood with the nurse bees altogether. It is a matter of timing here.
The nurse bees will give you a temp. population boost while the open broods will
follow in a few weeks. This should keep the colony going until the new queen
is mated and laying again. If I have plenty of nurse bees I would brush off many
of them into the hive for an instant population boost. No need to keep them waiting.
These nurse bees will turn into foragers by the time the new queen is laying. This is exactly what is happening to one of my
strongest hives now. :) They have a mated queen now. And the new batch of larvae coming from the new queen should
all be well fed and strong healthy bees too.
 
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