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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About four weeks ago one of my hives had numerous supersedure cells. I created a four frame split with one frame of cells and a frame of stores, plus two frames of foundation. I figured this would give me a better chance of saving the hive.

Last week the nuc had a laying queen. Yesterday the nuc has three frames of drawn comb with every cell having an egg or larvae, some cap brood. They are working on drawing out the fourth frame. I gave them some syrup yesterday to help them with drawing out more comb on that foundation.

Last week I did a quick check of the main hive and didn't find sign of a queen. I gave them a frame of mixed brood. Today I went completely through the hive. No sign of a queen, just a few capped cells. All of the supersedure cells were open except one. That one was dark, not sure why or how it was there. No new cells on the frame of brood I gave them. There are still a lot of bees in the hive, and a lot of foraging going on, tons of pollen in there. Just no sign of a queen.

The question, what is the best way to combine the nuc with the main hive? And when? The young queen is doing great, should I give her a bit more time in the nuc before I go back to the main hive?
 

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Sounds like there might still be a virgin in the main hive even though it's been four weeks. She may just be slow getting up to speed. If there weren't any queen cells made on the new frame it may indicate she's in the hive hiding. Give them another frame with eggs and young larva if you have it available. I've had that problem also, can't find the queen on several inspections then all of a sudden you find eggs and larva. I have a nuc that I expanded into an eight frame hive today. There were larva and capped brood but I haven't seen the queen in there yet. You can do a newspaper combine. I like to have the queen right box on the bottom but that's just my preference. I don't think it really matters. Nuc would have to be on top unless you balanced the main hive somehow, depending on how large/high it is. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I went back and checked my notes, it been just three weeks since I first found the queen cells and made the split which is doing so well. I decided to take a frame of eggs, larvae, capped brood from a double nuc I established with bought queens a few weeks ago. She is a laying machine, I just added a top nuc box yesterday to give her room so I think that nuc is going to be strong enough

Thanks for the advice Gary. If still nothing next week then I will start thinking about doing a combine using the news paper method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I checked the hive today. The capped queen cell has been opened, no queen cells on the frame of brood, yet no sign of a queen, no eggs, no larva, but then I found a queen. It's getting late in the year for her to get going. I'm thinking I should have grabbed her a do the combine with the productive nuc. I'll give her another week to get to work.
 

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Take an empty drawn brood frame out of hive with no brood put it in with laying machine queen and let her fill it with eggs then put it back in broodless hive with young queen. will boost hive and give workers something to do and won't hurt laying machine hive much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Did an inspection yesterday, found some capped brood, along with eggs and larvae on the frame where I found the queen last week. I must have missed seeing eggs last week. Looks like I have a healthy and happy hive at this point. Now I need to figure out how to get this one, along with the four frame nuc I started, up to winter strength.

I like that idea about taking an empty frame out and let another queen fill it, just may give it a try. Thanks Sterling.

The small nuc though, that is just a four frame. I could try and build it up into a 4x4, but I don't have the drawn comb or resources to help build it up without risking the health of the other hives. My other hives are one full single deep packed with bees and with honey supers on top, and a double nuc 4x4 ala Mike Palmer which I started mid July and I am trying to get full before winter.

Not bad though, five healthy hives from the two nucs I bought in the spring, and two queens I bought in July. When the thought of bee keeping first entered my head last winter and I ordered my first nuc I never expected to be here at this point. I was thinking one hive is more than enough... :)
 
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