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Swapping position of 2 hives

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Eyeman 

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Hi
I've a mated nuc with eggs and young larvae which is low on workers with no brood likely to emerge 2 weeks. I've a strong established nuc on a different site in the garden.
Is the queen in the weak nuc at 'risk' if I swap their positions so the flying bees from the strong nuc enter the weak one. It's said that bees returning with stores are accepted into foreign hives.
Or should I play safe and just give them some soon to emerge brood.
 

Poly Hive 

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you are far from playing safe by giving brood as you say, they are weak so how can they support more brood? They cannot and you are scrapping the brood effectively.

Swap positions and observe how they change. For the better.

PH
 

Eyeman 

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Thanks for the advice.
I've always been cautious about adding brood in case they can't keep it warm. At the start of the season I've shaken in some extra nurse bees (young ones) from another stock to help queen right weak hives build up- but that's a slow process and needs a few goes every week.
 

MJBee 

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:iagree:
I had a very strong but queenless colony that I united with a queen+ colony. I moved it just after mid-day and put a 5 frame nuc in it's place. The nuc gained all the foraging bees and is now filling a 10 frame brood box. I cleared the area in front of the hive and no dead bees have been found - no aggro:)

ps the unite went well too, checked today and found eggs in the "queenless" brood box. It is now double Nat brood + 3 supers just in time for the blackberry and chestnut
 

oliver90owner 

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As you say, hatching brood (your description as 'soon to emerge brood' means that?) should be perfectly OK. Open brood, without extra bees, is another matter.

What you really need is not foragers (although they will help the situation in reasonable numbers) but more house bees. So I disagree with the others a bit and would go for hatching brood (probably with more house bees, if they were mine).

So for a change, sort of, I am disegreeing with Poly Hive. Except I think he misread the post......

Regards, RAB
 

Poly Hive 

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Hi
I've a mated nuc with eggs and young larvae which is low on workers with no brood likely to emerge 2 weeks. I've a strong established nuc on a different site in the garden.
Is the queen in the weak nuc at 'risk' if I swap their positions so the flying bees from the strong nuc enter the weak one. It's said that bees returning with stores are accepted into foreign hives.
Or should I play safe and just give them some soon to emerge brood.
I read this as a strong nuc and a weak nuc. Can the poster swap places to the mutual benefit of the two units with no or little danger to the queens.

My answer is yes you can, I have in fact often done this with no issues.

Would I offer sealed brood to the weak one? No: as I have no idea when said frame of brood will hatch, and not many would be able to, so in general it is not a good idea as the weak unit cannot support it.

So on the basis of KISS swap the hives, less interference, more likelihood of success and it is simple.

PH
 

jimbeekeeper 

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My answer is yes you can, I have in fact often done this with no issues.
:iamwithstupid:

Just done it to a couple of my hives.

I always belive in treating you apriary as one, and balancing out your hives.

No point in having on realy strong and another week.

Very quick to do, and very quick results to the hives.
 

Poly Hive 

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There is a book/ theory about using an apiary as a unit, which effectively means unitising each colony. I can (dimly) remember Bernard mentioning this in his "Expert" lecture, which I will mention was a tour de force as he began on Friday at 7pm, finished at 10pm, began again at 9am sat to 9pm Sat and again on Sunday. How he did it is beyond me but I participated twice and again as a helper. Extraordinary man.

This means in practice swapping positions, giving boxes of brood and generally playing god with the bees. Nothing new there then?

The bottom line is to get all the colonies at the same strength so that they can be managed as a unit. On a big scale this is pretty much critical.

PH
 

Poly Hive 

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Actually no, one is a Bee Servant.

It behoves one to keep this in mind.

They object painfully else?

PH
 

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