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Yesterday I found a hive queenless with no brood an a few capped cells. I am getting packckage bees next Sunday (1 week). Can I install a package in the queenless hive as if I were combining two hives? Or should I start combining the queenless hive with another and do a split when queens are available?
 

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You should give it frame of open brood to make Sure they are queenlessness. Being pretty sure is no good. If they don't start a cell on it within 3-4 days they have a queen. If they don't have a queen the brood will help keep them in the hive, and prevent laying worker - and you can decide then what to do.
 

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There's always the possibility that the queenless colony (especially if it's been queenless for a long time), has developed a problem with laying workers. If that's the case, then it would possibly be ill advised to attempt to directly combine the package with the queenless colony. I can think of several ways that might reduce the risk. If when you have the package, and it's time to install it, you then carefully examine the queenless colony, to ensure laying workers have not begun filling cells with worker-produced eggs. You could also place the package queen, in her cage, with the queenless bees, and observe how they respond to her. If they respond with excitement, fanning, and moving in coordinated patterns or do they immediately begin attacking the cage and trying to kill the bees in the cage, including the queen. Attacking bees will cling to the cage so fiercely, that it is difficult to dislodge them from it. Accepting bees, though they show great interest in the caged queen, can easily be pushed around while they're on the cage, though it may be difficult to remove them.

Other possibilities, include installing the package, adjacent to the queenless bees, separated by a double screen board, either above or below them, giving them separate entrances. Then, once the package bees have combs with eggs, swap a frame of eggs, with an empty from the queenless bees. Once the frame of eggs is capped brood, they should be ready to remove the double-screen and combine them.
 

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First drop in a frame with brood and eggs into the first hive. Then I would install the package in their own box and in 10-14 days when they start to supersede the queen I would use that cell in the queenless hive. About 50% of my packages last year supersede their queen within the first month.
 

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You might try starting the package in it's own box and in a week or so, combine the laying
worker hive on top with the newspaper method.
Last summer I had a laying worker hive, and a strong 5 frame nuc in another yard. I did the
paper combine with the nuc on top of the paper and it went fine- I think the #s may have
been about equal and all was fine from there on out....Note- I did not shake out the laying
worker hive and they both seemed to combine ok, maybe I was lucky..lol..

==McBee7==
 
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