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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone, I bought my first 2 pkgs and went to install them. The first pkg went as well as you would expect for a novice. The second pkg was going ok but I failed to look at the candy in the queen cage before I removed the cork. As soon as I removed the cork the queen flew from the cage even as I held her very close to the top of the frames. I watched her for about 8 ft in the wind and she was gone. I dumped all the bee's in the 9 frame single deep, put on the inner cover and 1:1 and put outer cover on.

I called Dadant(Albion MI) told the story and drove to get another queen. They gave me one for free, YES FREE! and told me to wait a day before installing her and let the bee's release her. I waited 36 hrs and went back to install her and realized all my bee's but a handfull went to the 1st hive. I installed her, closed up and went back 36 hrs to look. The bee's that were left were clustered all over the queen cage and had eaten 1/4 of the candy. I was anxious and opened the wire to help speed the proccess. Most of the bee's were pretty cool about having access to the queen but a couple got aggresive. I dont know what their plans were, but I put the queen box next to a frame, put everything back and left.

My questions are these.

If they killed my queen in the box with a few bee's should I just start over next year with this hive?

If the queen is ok in the hive with a few bee's, how would you go about moving bee's,larve, eggs or whatever from the 1st hive to the 2nd?

I have been reading this site for a couple of days and it has been great for a rookie. Thanks to all!
 

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If the queen is ok in the hive with a few bee's, how would you go about moving bee's,larve, eggs or whatever from the 1st hive to the 2nd?


How many bees are a handful? A handful of bees is going to have a hard time getting established.

You will want to equalize your hives. You simply pull a couple frames that have combs and eggs and larva, and place those frames in the hive with the small cluster. Put them as close to the cluster as you can.

On the stronger hive....slide the frames together and put empty frames on the outside of the cluster to replace the space created when you pulled a couple frames.

Feed both hives heavily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Countryboy, when I move comb,larve,eggs ect. to weak hive do I move the bee's that are on that frame also? Should I wait until strong hive fills 2nd hive body or take frames when they have 7 or 8 frames of the single hive filled out. I hived both pkgs May 3rd. So I'm 6 days into this.

A handful of bees was an amout that would fill both hands in a cupped position. I am going today to check weak hive for queen.

I'm Hopefull.
 

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Countryboy, when I move comb,larve,eggs ect. to weak hive do I move the bee's that are on that frame also?

Absolutely. You may also want to take a frame of brood from the strong hive, and shake the bees off it into the weak hive, and put that frame back in the strong hive.

Should I wait until strong hive fills 2nd hive body or take frames when they have 7 or 8 frames of the single hive filled out.

Stealing a couple frames when they are 7 or 8 frames is fine. I wouldn't wait until they have a second box filled. Depending how the strong hive is building up, you may be able to steal a couple frames in a week or two.

A double handful may have a chance, but they will build slowly. The sooner you can give them more bees, the sooner they can start building faster.

Feed heavily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I just looked at my weak hive and am now down to a single handful of bee's. They were clustered at the top of the frame and I assume covering the queen. It was 50 degrees and 20 mile wind so I did not want to break the cluster. I moved them right under the hole in the inner cover with 1:1 over it.
Strong hive had plenty of bees coming and going. Can I take a frame or two of bee's and put in weak hive right now? The strong hive has started to build comb. Thanks,
 

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your assets would be better used with a swarm or a new package. these are doomed and you'll just weaken your other hive prolonging it. good luck,mike
 

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next time remember "a day" is not "36 hours" the delay is what likely caused them to abscond to the other hive, but sometimes there is no explanation for what the bees decide. good luck,mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, 24hrs in a day. Good point, I am starting to understand how important my little queen was. Popped the cork and gone with the wind. Should have seen my face. Should have checked to make sure candy was still in place.

If its not to late to buy a nuke and I want to install it in weak hive what do I do if handful of bee's and queen are still alive?
 

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dont feel the least bad- ive had it happen(and worse ) more than a few times. if any bees are left, brush 'em out on the ground 20-30 feet away. catch the queen-it'll be good practice- and put 'er in a very small container with just enough alcohol to cover her. this will be your very expensive swarm lure. id concentrate on catching a swarm for this box. join the bee club,get on the lists, advertise. good luck,mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you very much for your help. Putting the queen in a small container and cover her with alcohol as swarm attractant went completly over my head.
I will wait until I graduate from 101 to tackle that one. Sincerely thanks for your help.
 
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