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2 new packages installed april 15th. requeened with Russians on may 15th. both hives accepted new queens with no problems. Hive 1 drawing out comb very well and booming brood and bee numbers. Hive 2 drawing out weird comb and having to scrape some weekly to try and get them to draw normal comb. Because of this, slower to draw out frames and slightly behind in bee numbers.

Hive 1 4 weeks ago had 9 frames drawn in bottom and 7 frames drawn in upper. Added a super because they are Russians give them lots of room right?! 3 weeks ago noticed more bearding on this hive had not drawn out any of the super frames drew out one additional upper frame. Very hot here in the 90s. removed sliding panel in bottom for better airflow, cooling, tons of eggs brood etc. 2 weeks ago saw the queen fewer eggs laid, two swarm cells, removed them still had not drawn anything out in the super. 3 days ago no eggs in hive 6-8 swarm and supercedure cells and the queen is nowhere to be found About 1/2 the bees are also gone.

Hive 2 is kicking butt drawing out all comb in deeps still no drawing of the super and we are headed into a dearth until the knapweed blooms. No signs of queen cups or cells so I feel pretty good about this hive.

So I was not prepared to make a split which I will be next year, other than that what could I have done differently? All the Russian haters, no need to tell me to get Italians lol. I was tempted to take several frames of brood and freeze them to set them back on numbers, has anyone done this before as a way to avoid swarming?

Thanks for any constructive help.
 

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Maybe take a few frames from the booming hive and put them in the one that's drawing weird comb. Help lagging hive catch up and give the bigger hive something to do.
Start a nuc. Take brood and swarm/supercedure cells from strong hive start a nuc and you've got a back-up queen, something for strong hive to do, besides swarm, and the nuc could draw out some normal foundation you could use in the weird hive.
Sadly, I haven't had to deal with any of this as my hives (all 3 of them) haven't been producing big numbers but I think with a large cut-out I got a couple days ago I'll be starting a nuc before long. I think it would be a big help, and fun, to have a nuc or two around to help keep your other hives healthy.
Just my opinion, all I know is what I've read. Good luck, Bret.
 

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I'm a newbee too, and found myself in a similar situation in early May with packages started in early April...one hive was boiling over, and the other was slower. I donated a frame of brood from the first to the second, and then a couple weeks later, I took several frames, stuck them in a nuc, and let the bees make a queen. I now have three hives, just like that, and a few weeks ago, I took a few more frames from each hive, made two more nucs, and installed purchased VSH queens, just to add some genetic variety to the drones in my area. The original packages still are huge...5 and 6 medium 8 frame boxes each (!) totally full of bees and honey.

I think what I'll do, should I ever see swarm cells, is pull the frames out, place them into nuc boxes along with some frames of honey and pollen (although right now, I'm feeding my nucs sugar syrup and pollen sub) and let the queens hatch, which will let me have some extra queens around in case of accident, failure or swarming. Maybe keeping a few nuc boxes or a queen castle around would help you out. I bought a mini mating nuc just to play with, with plans of putting a capped QC in it with some bees and seeing how she does.

To encourage them to move up and use new supers, I put well started frames in the new box and moved new frames into the spaces left in boxes below. I added supers perhaps a little earlier than some would, as I put them on when about half of topmost box was in use.

I never ever thought I'd be making splits a few weeks into beekeeping, but watching them showed me I could do it and it would be ok...and not everything goes by the book.
 
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