Thank you Jack,
I had to intervene this morning. I needed some frames of brood with emerging bees to slip into some nucs that needed a boost in numbers. I found 4 such frames in a strong hive. There was also 2 frames pretty well full of pollen, so I removed them also. I removed 6 of the 9 brood frames. I replaced them with new fully drawn, 100% worker comb stickies. That has been my strategy of late. I let the bees draw the comb in the honey supers, then after the honey is extracted, depending on how well the bees draw the comb, I use them in the brood boxes. Basically as soon as the bees clean the honey up, the queen commences laying in them.
Yesterday afternoon was an intervention-athon.
I had 3 nucs leftover after customers picked up their bees. One had more than enough bees to commence making queen cells. The other 2 were drastically low. So I moved a strong nuc to around the corner to let the field bees move into one of the nucs, then this morning I removed the brood frame they had, which wasn’t looking very good, then I replaced it with one of the 4 brood frames I got this morning. That frame was half full of emerging bees, plus the other half was new eggs & young larvae. Just perfect.
With the other weak colony: I had another fairly strong nuc which was making queens on 2 separate frames. I moved that nuc away & replaced it with the weak nuc, putting one of the frames containing starter queen cells into it. After the population was equalized, I locked up the original strong nuc, ready to take down to my Doctor’s place. I wanted to go there last night anyway to see how many toads were hanging around 2 hives there. The Dr came out & helped me catch 20 toads. About 7 were sitting directly under the hives. One’s his & one’s mine, spread apart by a good distance. I’ve been taking nucs there to let them make new queens also. They’re sitting on a pallet on a metal frame, way off the ground. I don’t expect them to attract any toads.