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Today was quite a day of hive management. Around 10am, bees from one hive took to the air in a swirl and bearded the front of the hive. Eventually they seemed to settle down and go back into the hive after about thirty minutes. I don't think the hive swarmed. At least I didn't see a swarm cluster anywhere all day. What was that about?

Around noon the weather improved and was sunny so I decided to add three frames of brood from the strongest hive to the hive that had no queen based on my inspection last Thursday. I'm not sure I did it right. I ended up putting three frames of foundation in the strong hive and three frames of brood in the new hive but did so by adding an entire new deep hive body. I placed a sheet of newspaper in between the two deeps. I think there may be too much empty space in the hive now. I hope the weather remains mild or it will suffer chill brood. But I couldn't figure out what to do about the existing frames of foundation so that's why I added a give deep.

After the whole affair, the bees were quite aggressive. They fought with each other for several hours in front of the hive entrances. They also were on a warpath to anyone that walked around the backyard. So I finished mowing the back property line of scrub reeds and vines in order to turn it into a bee yard. This evening I moved the three hives to the new bee yard. Everything went well. The odd thing is that the first hive I mentioned had a bundle of bees crowding outside the entrance, though they were not disturbed by the move and were gentle. I'm thinking of adding a deep hive body tomorrow. I suppose they are crowded. But again, I worry about too much space since I had a terrible time last year with wax moths due to weak hives and poor queens.
 

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I think you wanted to take three frames of foundation out of the weak hive and replace them with the three frames of brood. You'll want the three new frames of brood to "mate up" as well as possible with the existing brood nest, so you may need to move some frames around a little.

You'll get a number of different opinions on how to add frames of brood - IIRC there's a thread going on now discussing this. Some like to add the brood frames with adhering bees. Others like to shake all the bees off at the entrance of the hive, then add the frames. I'm sure there must be other variations as well.

Good luck!

-Pete
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Sounds like adding the frames of brood didn't go so well for you since they were fighting. Some of this is dependant on many different things. A really weak hive is more accepting of new bees than a moderate hive is. It's a bit safer to shake them on the landing board (assuming there is a landing board) so the nurse bees can wander in and the field bees return. Another is to take just emerging brood and shake the bees off in the donor hive before you take them. They will emerge shortly and boost the population on the weak hive.

So you added the brood to the new hive with three frames in their own box over a newspaper? I do hope they can keep them warm.

>If it ain't broke, I'll break it!

At a fencing (swords, not chain link or barbed wire) tournament I saw an armourer with the tee shirt "If it ain't broke, tear it apart and rebuild it."
 
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