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Discussion Starter #1
I did a queenless split six days ago, it looked like it was going well then we got some cold nights and rainy days. The new hive with the queen has chilled brood. The old hive without a queen is doing well and has plenty of capped queen cells. I am worried about losing the new hive.

Can I shake bees from the old hive in and close the entrance for 3 days? Or has too much time passed and they will fight/kill each other?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I have had pretty good success shaking nurse bees into another hive. Try to find a frame with open brood and no queen cells to shake in.
 

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Probably that hive has lost almost all its foragers. A shake of young bees will help to raise the new brood that the queen will lay but they will need both pollen and honey or fed syrup. When the bees are covering brood they will starve before leaving it, even if food is only an inch away. Locked on brood is a term often used to describe it. Three days is enough to starve a high percentage of the population.

I dont know whether it could be done easily for you but putting that colony back on top over a double screen board would give them some heat and maybe save the queen. Lots of info if you do a search on "Snelgrove Board". That has been my main way of getting splits and new queens.

Young bees can be shaken in without problems at this season in OZ.
 

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I normally wouldn't split this early but there are more flowers this spring than we have had in years, and it has been warmer much earlier than normal. Then we had rain and a couple of 'cold' nights. I did the split assuming I would lose all the foragers, but I thought enough nurse bees would be present to cover the brood and it wouldn't be long before the nurse bees graduated to become foragers. Given the spring we are having there are no limit to resources.

Some of the nurse bees have now begun to forage, they started foraging about day 2 or 3 after the split. The issue is I lost too many bees when I did the split, then had a few surprisingly cold nights, and now the brood is not covered and is getting chilled.

A few minutes ago I shook in a frame of bees form the old hive, and gave them a frame of honey to boost supplies. Should I close the entrance to prevent foragers from returning to the old hive?
 

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That scenario has been called "false spring". Going on the early side is a bit of a gamble; sometimes it does not pay off too well.

I would not close off entrance. It will upset the bees and anyways the foragers who would return, already have.
 

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could put the queen , weak split , over another hive, with 2 queen excluders, at least 1 needs to be wood bound. need a "space" between them to prevent queens fighting on the wires.
I often place 2 frame splits with a queen over another hive, in early spring. AS the bees move up to use the "super" they help and join the upper nest. also heat from the hive helps keep it warm.

GG
 
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