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Discussion Starter #1
I have 3 hives and I believe all 3 may be queenless(or at least not laying properly). I have seen queen cells in 2 of those hives and one of those 2 even had a dead undeveloped queen in it. the third hive upon last inspection has alot of drone cells and larva but I think that is all drone as well. Only one larva per cell, so I am assuming a drone laying queen as opposed to a laying worker. I want to give each Hive a frame of resources from my successful hive from last year. Do I shake the resident bees off of the frames before I give it to another hive? thank you for your time and reading my post.
todd
 

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Do I shake the resident bees off of the frames before I give it to another hive? todd
You don't need to as long as you know that the queen isn't on that frame. Does your "successful hive" have enough to spare? And will boosting up the other hives make them much better? Maybe you should combine a cpl of your weak/possibly drone laying colonies.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The successful hive is not booming with population. It is still a single that I overwintered as a single. I am pretty sure that the two hives have raised a new queen and as suggested by another poster, adding frames would be insurance. If I did decide to combine, how does one go about that? and what if 2 virgin queens end up in the same hive ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I should also add. I don't want to do anything drastic either. Mainly because, I am finding out that every time I think there is a huge problem, there either is not a problem or the problem is not as epic as my head thinks lol. Thats why I am leaning toward adding frames as insurance. It doesn't seem too drastic a measure.
 

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Can you describe how many frames in each of the weak hives have brood on them and how big a patch? How well is that brood covered? You may be better off moving what is in each of those hives into nuc boxes until they have out grown them. That, or confining the brood and bees to one side of their boxes w/ a wall of styrofoam sheeting/insulation.

Not seeing what you are seeing makes helpful suggestions difficult.

Here's another curve ball to throw at you. Maybe you would be better off combining everything onto your strong hive. Then split them later. Say, in a month or six weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
there are no brood in the weak hives upon last inspection. They were new packages installed on april 11th. it appears they have superseded their queen. so the two hives have no brood and the 3rd has a lot of drone cells, but kind of spotty. the overwintered hive has tight brood patterns. just a little low on population.
 

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Combine them all. Remove the cover from the overwintered hive, lay a sheet of newspaper across the open hive, put a deep hive body on, transfer frames of bees from the other hives, shake bees from the other hives into the deep above the paper take the now empty equipment away so the field bees don't return to where they came from, reinstall the cover(s). Leave it alone for a week. The bees will sort things out and you should have a strong colony. If there are any queen cells the bees will tear them down.

Best wishes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you. I am not sure if I am going to combine just yet. I want to give them til mid may to see if the new queens mate and start producing. If I decide not to combine, I will still save your post. It is a good piece of info to take with me.

Thank you
todd
 

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I wouldn't combine if you might have virgins around, giving a frame of brood to a hive with a virgin is a little riskier than a mated queen but it may help them get going
 
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