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Strengthening a weak hive with a frame swap

Checking a frame of brood in the honeybee hive.We took advantage of a brilliantly sunny day on Thursday to peek into two of the hives.  The weak hive was still just as weak --- the photo to the left shows how they still haven't finished building on all of the frames in their brood box.  Worker populations in that hive are distressingly low, which means they're not saving much honey and may not survive the winter.

So I popped out an empty frame from the weak hive and swapped it with a frame of capped brood from one of our strong hives. 
The capped brood will hatch out into hundreds of workers who will build up the weak hive's population, and I suspect the strong hive won't miss the new workers that much.

I hadn't thought ahead to realize that the frame of capped brood would be covered with nurse bees tending to the brood, so I got a little bit worried as I carried this buzzing frame to the new hive.  I needn't have been concerned --- I've now read that the nurse bees will be assimilated into the weak hive with no problems.

The strong hive was not thrilled at having their lives interrupted during such a big honey flow, so I made my inspection as fast as possible and got out.  No stings this time, though --- I'm so glad not to have to be inspecting on a cloudy day when the hive is crowded!

Shame-faced plug: The Avian Aqua Miser poultry waterer works great for turkeys and ducks as well as chickens.



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I am facing a similar situation, and will do as you did by taking a frame or 2 from my stronger hive and adding to my weaker one (which was the stronger of the 2, but had a late spring swarm about 3 weeks back). Seems to be pretty commonplace.
Comment by Aaron Sun Jul 13 18:33:22 2014
hi thanks for the info. want to know the update of the weak hive. Did the queen survive with the new brood?
Comment by tmc Fri Jan 27 22:22:59 2017

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