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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I opened my hive the other day and noticed a lot less bees in one hive than the other one. I was just getting off of nights and didn't have the patience to search for a queen in a hive of big bees. If I open them up again and do not see any brood, can I take a frame of brood out of my other hive and put it in the weak hive for them to make a queen?
 

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Well, you need to give them a frame that has worker eggs/young larva in order for the bees to make a new queen. Capped brood will not work.

Of course, drones are eventually required as well, but my guess is that Charlotte should have drones ready to mate by the time your virgin queen hatches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am going to pick up 3 new hives on March 17th. Should I just get a new queen if I don't see any brood by then?
 

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>can I take a frame of brood out of my other hive and put it in the weak hive for them to make a queen?

Yes. Assuming you have drones and assuming you have a frame of open brood... too early for either here...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've never had this few bees in a hive before. I would say less than ~1000 to 2000. That is the only reason I am worried.
 

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You must have a frame with new eggs in order for them to be able to make a queen. They must feed higher amounts of royal jelly from the first day they hatch in order to make queens. Be careful bringing too many nurse bees, since the different smell could cause the host bees to kill the nurse bees. In one of my NUCs, I actually separated the new frame from the host cluster, with an empty frame or two, in order to buy them some time to correct smell issues, before they all got together. I believe this helped, however it is still too cold to do that yet. Separating from the host cluster may not produce enough heat on the new frame to keep brood from dying.
 

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I don't know what your weather is like there but as MB said it is too early here.
I've had trouble in the past getting old bees to build a queen just by giving them a frame of eggs. It workes better if you give them a frame a week until they build a queen.

What works best for me if your sure they have no queen is to combine them and pull 5 or 6 frames of young bees and capped brood and install in their equipment once the weather is right.

Personally I won't try to raise a queen until the blackberries bloom no matter what the calendar or the thermometer says.
I've built several queens earlier and they all failed before fall.
 

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I just reread your post about the number of bees you have. I'm of the opinion that any resources you give them will be lost.

If it was me I'd combine with my strong hive and pull a nuc sometime in may.

When I first started I wouldent give up on a hive. I would keep nursing them and giving them brood until they finally dwindled away.

Nowadays I combine at the first sign of trouble and start a new hive in their equipment.
 

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if the weak hive is queenless and there is no brood the few remaining bees were probably reared last fall and aren't very much use to the strong hive. combining could introduce pests and disease to the strong one. if i found one like this i would likely shake it out and reuse the resources (after freezing for a few days) for the new ones coming in a couple of weeks.
 

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I would actually give them one chance with one frame of resources, but I am still afraid it is too early for the queen to get mated properly (if they make one)
 
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