A hive that swarmed has no sign of a queen or eggs almost 3 weeks since the new queen emerged. I have a nuc that's exploding that I'dlike to move to the failing queen less hive. What's the best method?
Went through a similar issue this spring with a hive that nearly swarmed itself out of existence, then several failed queen rearing attempts. I tried a few things but landed on the good old newspaper combine. First be sure you are queenless. I was running double deeps and population was getting low. So I shook all the bees out of the top box into the bottom. Put newspaper over top and set the top box back. I even gave a light spray of some sugar water with a touch of honey-b-healty in it to keep them distracted. Might not be needed but it seemed to keep everyone calm during the procedure. Also the dampness kept the paper from blowing around which was helpful.
Then I took 4 frames out of the top deep, nearly all honey as they were back filling everything and put the 4 frames from my nuc in with the queen and all the bees. Closed everything up and they are doing great now. They got that newspaper out in short order it seems. The bottom board was covered in a fuzz that was the fiber from the paper and the area for about 20 feet in front of the hive was covered in little strips of paper.
If your nuc is running out of space and main hive is in "unknown" state, why not to move a couple of mixed brood frames from nuc to hive while waiting? This will give you accurate indication if they have the queen within days- if they don't start queen cells on nuc frames, then all is good and you can sit back and wait. If they do, then proceed with combine planning.
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