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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Don't know how I missed this...maybe because I haven't bothered the three newly hived bees during our recent Canadian cold front. Yes, it snowed here in Central Wisconsin. One week after sunburn weather.

Anyway...we had a spell of slightly warmer weather today, so I opened hives (3 packages hived 2nd week April). Two hives had drawn comb, eggs, sealed brood, one even had Pierco green drone frame drawn with actual sealed drone (great for my future IPM plans). The third didn't have any sealed brood and had a few supercedure cells started. Lots of pollen and syrup in drawn cells.

I'm guessing you'all will suggest that I split the queenless hive between the two good hives and add the drawn comb and stores to them as well. I'm also guessing that since that will make those first brood boxes nice and full I should add my second brood boxes? So how do I get the bees in the two stronger hives to accept the new bees? Do I spray them with syrup at dusk and dump???? Do I remove old hive until I find a nuc to fill it? Gosh, do I feel newbee here. Any advice will be extremely appreciated.

As an aside, I have used waxed Pierco frames for all of this and the (good hive) bees have drawn some wierd comb on a couple of frames...basically anchoring a nice football on the Pierco, but they are actually independant combs, so I can't inspect the reverse. Should I just leave these since they are in the brood chamber, or should I remove them? Remember, these are waxed Pierco frames and so I probably shouldn't replant the stray comb on wedge frames...at least, from what I read here.

Thank you , thank you, thank you for this forum!!!
 

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Why not feed the hive with no queen and let them finish raising their own queen? Could be a good learning experiance for you.

as far as the plastic frames go, my question to you is did you spray the plastic frames with sugar syrup when you added the package bees to the new hive? This really helps... at least in my case. It seems like (knock on wood) that my bees are taking to the plastic. I think it has to do with the fact that they were coated with wax and sprayed with sugar syrup.

I would let them raise their own queen. but that is my opinion
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Howdy Chef,

Can they raise their own queen if they didn't have any brood? Should I "borrow" some capped brood from another hive? If there are no queen laid eggs will the queen be a worker laid egg? I mean, what the heck do they think they are going to put in the supercedure cells?

Yes, I sprayed the frames well with syrup before installing, and except for the two wierd frames, everyone else is drawing nice comb on the plastic. Do you think I should do something with the semi loose comb?

Are you a real chef? Do you do Provencal?
 

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Sounds like you did what I did,hung the queen cage in between the frames.When you leave them there for more than a week it leave extra space between the frames which causes the bees to suspend a frame of their own in the middle of the two plastic frames.I just learned you must keep plastic frames pushed tight together with any extra space on the outer two frames,between frame and outside wall of hive.Keeps the bee space correct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yep, that's what I did. I removed a comb from each queen cage and thought that was all there would be, but guess I learned that lesson too!
 

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The problem with even adding a caged queen at this point is the package was hived a month ago. Since worker bees have a useful life in the active season of 3 to 6 weeks much of that has been used. Soon there won't be enough workers to draw comb, support brood rearing, gather nectar and pollen and guard the entrance. At this point the population will continue to dwindle making it a total loss. Save some value by strengthing your other hives. Stealing brood from new hives is a bad plan if you have any hope of getting a crop the 1st year, especially with the weather or in some years even getting the hives built up for winter. This is especially true in light of the weather stress you speak of.
 

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Joel has a good point but you can take some capped brood and eggs and put it in your weak hive and than shake some bees into your weak hive. They will than build a queen cell and raise their own queen. You will notice a decline in population and it is somewhat of a risk and you will need to feed a lot but that is a risk I would take since it is ealy in the season still. However, if it was... say August I would just combine.

If you have any beekeepers near you, maybe they would sell you a frame or two of bees, capped brood, and eggs. I have done that before too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the input...I will make some calls today and see if I can find some bees. If not, I will blend the hives and add a nuke if I can find one to the third site.
 
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