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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seems experienced beeks swap frames of brood around with no concern. As long as the brood is all capped will the new hive and queen accept the new bees with no problem when they hatch? Is there a danger that the new hive will reject the bees from the transferred frame? Does the frame have to be fully capped, or can it have larva and eggs that the nurse bees in the new hive adopt? Should the frame include honey, or does it matter? I understand that the frame cannot include any hatched bees. (I am deliberately not posing questions of introducing mites, beetles or other problems of that nature.)
 

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The bees generally get along with each other, usually. Nurse bees in particular won't raise a fight.

If you just want to add brood, you can take a frame, give it a shake to knock the bees off, and stick it in their new home. They'll hatch out thinking thats where they came from, no problem. If you're trying to bolster a new hive that doesn't have a lot of numbers, you can add the brood frame with nurse bees and they'll integrate into the new colony just fine as well. Guard bees and foragers will pick a fight, but nurse bees are pretty cool about it. One trick to making sure you've just got nurse bees is to take your frame of brood and shake the bees off, then put it back for a couple minutes. The nurse bees will run to get back to it. Double check that the queen didn't suddenly decide to be on that frame, then move it over nurse bees and all.

And of course if you do it in the middle of the day, most of the forager bees will be out foraging anyway, so you should have mostly nothing but nurse bees left in the hive anyway.

Generally speaking, a frame with brood on it will also have some stores along the top of the frame as well. So if you're starting a package, a frame of brood from another hive with it's nurse bees can go a long way towards getting them established in short order.
 

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Oh, and the main reason you want to move capped brood over is that they don't have to be fed. Uncapped brood still needs to be fed before they're capped. A fresh package won't have the resources to do that right away. Capped brood requires no additional attention though.
 

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The biggest risk giving brood frames is getting the queen. If you're not sure you can find the queen if she's onthem, then shake off all the bees and just give them the brood, or put it above an excluder for an hour andn then take it.
 

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I've had few issues transferring a frame of bees and brood. Eggs don't seem to transfer well, the bees eat them for some reason but it may not always be the case, but you can test the theory out yourself and transfer a full frame of eggs and see how it looks once it's capped. I did lose a newly mated queen trying to bolster a new nuc last year that was quite surprising, the new frame of bees opted to raise their own instead, but that's the only time I've lost a queen doing that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys. I know that is probably basic beek knowledge, which is why BeeSource is my Mentor. Very helpful.
 
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