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Discussion Starter #1
I just received my queen from a January order. I didn't really need her now, but couldn't cancel the order, so I put her with 5 bars of drawn comb in an empty TBH (Hive#3). The bees on the comb were from a package I installed into Hive #2 on Apr 20. So once I unplugged their entrance in Hive#3, there was a certain amount of drift back to the old hive #2. I need to add more worker bees to this small colony to get things going. How best do I do that?

If I brush about 2 cups of bees into a small cage (apitherapy box about 6"x6"x4") and keep them cooped up and queenless for a day, can I introduce them to the Hive#3 and hope that most of them are nurse bees and will remain with the new hive?

If I put this small cage inside the TBH on the other side of the follower board, and plug the small cage entrance with grass and let the bees gradually find there way out into the TBH, will they join the existing colony without fighting?
 

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How hard would it bee to switch locations of the two hives? That would ensure a bunch of foragers in the new hive.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can you give them capped brood from the other?
Other 2 hives don't have a bar to spare just yet. Hive#2 just got installed in April, but it has more worker bees than Hive #1 that went queenless in February. That's why I really didn't need Queen #3 at this point. I'm just trying to keep her alive (not massively productive) while the other 2 hives get to full strength. I don't have any experience in queen banking, and I understand you don't want to keep a queen caged for too long anyway. She can be for my display hive to take on talks, but there is only a small handful of bees in the nuc with her and I know there needs to be more than that for her to survive.
 

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Take a comb of open brood from the strong hive to the weak one. Make sure the queen isn't on it. Shake them (only if it's old black brood comb) or brush them (fast hard flicks of the brush) into the weak hive. Put the comb of open brood back in the strong hive.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I inspected all 3 hives today. Took one bar of nurse bees from Hive #2 and gave the entire comb and bees to Hive #3. Also released the queen in Hive #3 as they were just about through the candy and it suited my timetable better to do it today. I also went thru Hive #1, which has more capped brood than the package hive, yet I still haven't seen that queen (or gotten her marked). Since they have rebounded so much and Hive #3 was in need of pollen and nectar to raise their brood, I stole a bar from Hive #1 or Hive #3. Overall, things look very promising with all 3. Now if they would just cap the maple honey, so I can harvest that bar and taste some of it...
 
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