I don't really know the answer to your question, but my experience has been that my hives tend to hive a lot of queen cups. Maybe the girls find them ornamental or something. However, the queen cups generally stay empty as long as the brood nest has plenty of space for laying. So my guess would be that putting queen cups into a queen right colony will not necessarily cause the bees to swarm. Bees swarm when they're crowded.
I don't want them to swarm. I have two colonies sharing a long hive. One is going gang busters, the other is queen less and is down to two combs of bees. I have transferred brood over but am thinking even if get them raising queen cells things are a bit late on. So thought it ,right be best to combine. The larger colony is knocking on the smaller one's follower board anyhow. I just didn't know how comb covered in queen cups from the queen less colony would effect things
Yeah, from following your blog, I didn't think you wanted them to swarm, but I thought maybe you wanted the queen right hive to build some queen cells that you could transfer. In any case, I haven't found that queen cups induce swarming. Lack of space will, though, so maybe combining is your best bet.
I am thinking of sprinkling powdered sugar over the queenless bees and the first few combs of the other colony and moving the follower boards later. Any better ideas for combining? Should i just shake out the queenless ones in front and let them return on their own to find the hive combined?
I shift comb with queen cups all the time between my 3 hives with no issues. And I doubt that combining 2 combs of bees from the queenless hive into the queenright one will cause much grief, especially if they are sprayed down with anise oil water or HBH to disguise their pheromones (or lack thereof). I also like the idea of dusting them with powdered sugar, so the other hive licks them down and transfers their scent to them.
And you can always do a split in Sept, if you are wanting the 2 colonies again.
Could you combine your hives, give it a chance to build more, then take several combs...some with eggs and slpit off a new hive a Queen OR just take a few combs with eggs and add to your weak side to make a Queen?
I have done some brood transfer. I just think at this stage there is only so much they can do with that number of bees. The comb in that hive is quite full of stores where they have had no brood to look after. Where as the other side has 18+ bars of brood and no stores. Together they would have about 30+ bars of drawn comb. I think they would be better together.
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