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New package with dead queen absconded, how do I level out my bees across hives?

2162 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  bbruff22
There a lot of threads regarding splits, and I've read several, but my question is pretty specific, so I'd like to ask it.

I'm a newbie and just did three Carniolan package installs a little over a week ago. My third package had a dead queen in it, and while my package source gave me a new queen immediately, the bulk of that package has absconded and the remaining handful of bees died.

My three hives are all together on the same stand about a foot apart. I did my first hive inspections this weekend, and hive 1 looks like it's got a good package of bees and is queenright. Hive 2 has a lot more bees and is also queenright. So, it looks like most of the absconding bees went to hive 2. Hive 3 is empty.

Normal Packed Empty
1 2 3

I'd like to get bees back in hive 3. I'd really like to try to have the girls raise their own queen there, if possible.

How would you get hive 3 going, if you were in the same shape? I know there will be different opinions, and I'm interested in all of them.

Additionally, I've got 6 acres and can move hive 3 a small distance away but not far.

Thanks for any thoughts you experienced beeks might have.

Brent in Kansas
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Opinion number 1:
It takes a really strong hive to raise a good queen. And you won't have a really strong hive at this point with the packages you just installed. One option is to let the two starts you have build up strong enough to take bees and brood out of and start a nuc in your other hive box at a latter date. But I would still get the nuc a queen that is already laying. A laying queen puts a nuc four weeks ahead of one that has to make a queen.
 
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