I have 2 hives that did not make it through the winter. I have 2 packages on the way to repopulate the hives. I still have supers full of honey/sugar water from feeding last fall. Should I leave those on the new hives or remove and feed sugar water?
Hi Mark. Kinda depends on your goal. In my first few years I did not take much honey and concentrated on getting them to draw comb. So, in your situation, I would give them new honey frames/foundation to draw and feed as long as they will take it. Then next year you will have a good amount of drawn comb so they can get to storing honey for you. You can use some of the frames now for feed and any surplus can be used for stores this fall, if needed. I wound up extracting any unconsumed sugar water frames which was "unnecessary" work, but now I have lots of comb. J
What is the actual box configuration? Two deep + supers? Or something else? If you have spare brood boxes, install them on foundation isn't a bad idea as Fivej says. Then after one deep is drawn out, slap 2 more boxes on each hive and let them build into triple deeps. There is really dozens of ways to do it. But packages are good at drawing comb. Good to use the opportunity. Yes the honey is fine to give them BTW. Let us know what your thinking and we will try to guide you in that direction.
It does make a difference what your goals are. Either way, I would start with one brood box with 4-5 built frames in the middle, balance of that box foundation. Then a feeder on top, since it sounds like you have a honey/sugar water super that will be your “feeder”. This gives the queen space to lay in right away, gets you some new frames built and will hopefully get some of the sugar water out of the honey super. The thought here is that a package queen will start laying eggs slower than an established queen, and as others have alluded to, packages are great at building comb. Phase two (after three weeks) will be different depending on your goals. Either way, hope you have a great season.
I finally completely disassembled hives and cleaned them out. Problem is I don't have any foundation. All the frames are built out. Most of them are close to 1/4 filled with honey and pollen. I also have 4 supers filled with honey/sugar water. I'm assuming it's sugar because I can see white crystals inside the liquid. The honey isn't fermented or crystallized so should be good to reuse.
I'm gong to install the packages in one deep box using frames with the most amount of empty cells. Next, I put the inner cover on the hive. On top of this I'm going to put the honey filled deep box and honey supers with what looks like mostly sugar water scratching any capped honey.
Does this sound like a decent plan? I am worried because the deep frames have lots of honey/pollen. Will the bees move this to give the queen room to lay? Should I go buy foundation?
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