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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Caught and installed a swarm 4-19-20. It was about the size of the 3lb packages i Had purchased. The Queen is laying, has eggs, larva, and capped brood. They have some honey, pollen stored. They hive is eating pollen patties, but is no longer taking syrup. they have drawn out about 4-1/2 to 5 frames out of 8.

It seems they are just existing and not progressing.

My new packages are going crazy as I just added a second deep to each. Would it be ok to take some capped brood from the packages maybe 1 from each and add it to the swarm?
 

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Some variables are possible here. That swarm could very possibly have the old worn out queen so it could be time to replace her. Eggs and brood are a good sign if it's a good solid pattern, but if it is a spotty, weak pattern it could be due to disease, like EFB. Are you seeing any dead brood? Is the brood pattern ok? Have you treated for mites? A frame of brood w/ nurse bees is a good way to bolster a colony. So is replacing the queen. As the above post mentions, be sure the brood frame doesn't have the queen from the donor colony on it.
 

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The bees will not build up until they have a population that is capable of doing so. I have found that there may be an initial build up and then it stops. I think what is happeneing is that there just aren't enough young bees to really take advantage of the situtation and buikld comb and care for brood. Once that first generation of new bees emerges, I think you should start seeing a huge boost in growth. If you installed them in April, they may have had a delay in getting started and pushed back that emergence date, I know my swarms did!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies, I guess I will look through my other hives and try to find a frame of brood from each one. If I leave the "nurse" bees on the frames what will keep the new hive from fighting with them?
 

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I have never known nurse bees to be aggressive. A gentle shake dislodges some of the older bees and sends some of the foragers flying. If you are still concerned about acceptance from the hive being donated to use a little smoke. I probably would not put the added brood in the very middle of the brood nest though.
 

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6a 4th yr 7 colonies inc. resource hive
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Another idea- they may be rejecting the way you are feeding syrup. In a pinch I'll put wax paper down on top of frames, pour sugar on top and spray with water creating a slurry (great cold weather technique). In my limited experience I haven't had bees reject that unless you are in a flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When i first put them in their hive they were taking syrup for a couple weeks then just stopped... Ill try the dry sugar and some brood frames. If that doesn't seem to help maybe requeen.
 

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Be sure to spray the sugar lightly with water. It helps them to metabolize it. I do slurry mixes a lot in winter. You would be surprised how important mixing water is when you are trying to get them to eat. That tip alone will save a hive from starving.
 
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