I have had excellent results by doing a newspaper combine with the queenright hive at the bottom.
If you want to add another level of acceptance (repress the laying workers before combining), you could put a double screen board on top of a queen-right colony and your LW colony on top of that for few days before doing the newspaper combine. I just had to deal with a buddies very subborn LW colony that would not respond to adding frames of open brood. Doing what I suggested above seemed to have solved the problem in less than 4 days (as indicated by no eggs layed in empty drawn frames and they started making queens with larvae we provided). Though, because we had been adding open brood for 4 weeks and we had no controls, the test was not very scientific. But I'm pretty sure that if one frame of open brood can fix some LW colonies, an entire colony with many of frames of open brood is bound to do a better job (if airborne scent, not physical contact, is the driving factor).Thanks everybody!
I think that the combining hives is my best option. If my other 11 hives weren't new this year and if I hadn't already taken brood frames recently from my strongest, I would certainly try to let them raise another queen by giving them frames of open brood. I'd like to keep my strong hives strong and I've heard that trying to get a weak hive to raise a queen is a little iffy.
I'll post again here to complete the thread with the results.
Yes. There is no reason at all to restrict their access if you're going to give them a few days above a double screen board. If you're just going to do the newpaper combine, then no, you need nor want an entrance for the LW colony on top. Side Story: I once tried to "encourage" a hive to use the top entrance I put on by closing off the bottom entrance they had been using. The next morning their frustration was audible some distance away even though an equivalent entrance was only 20 inches above them. They never did use that top entrance. Creatures of habit like the rest of us.. . . Does the top hive get an entrance?
I'm sure you have nice flying weather and something blooming down in Calif., so if they have any capped honey at all I wouldn't bother feeding them during this short process (or at all). Like some of these wizened old beeks on this site say, "I have yet learned to enjoy feeding my bees". I'm in the same boat and avoid it unless I've done something unnatural to them. And then only do it until they have something capped. Sugar water in any form is no substitute for honey.And do I continue feeding the top hive (with a top feeder)?