I inspected a new package today (1st time in 5 weeks, except to remove queen cage). We've had some wild weather, so I haven't opened the hive. Looks queenless: no eggs, some spotty brood at various stages, looks like a lot of drones.
Can I just put a frame of brood from my second hive (a 2nd year bunch looking good) and expect the bees to raise a new queen?
You should realize it takes up to a month for the queen to be raised, mated and ready to lay. Meanwhile you colony population will be dropping unless you keep adding broodframes. If you buy a queen you should be good to go within a week!
I think it will be wiser, now that I've thought for a couple of days, to just combine the new pkg (weak hive) with my strong one from last year. I don't think I was ever meant to have more than 2 hives. I had to combine hives last year, too.
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