Following from the bees in my Flow Hive swarming on me only after 4 weeks of transferring them from a nuc into a full hive, I overwintered them over two brood boxes. This seems to have worked fine - they survived the winter (although I haven’t inspected them yet this year), judging from the activity outside the hive and opening up to feed fondant.
On the other hand, my other Langstroth hive was overwintered in one brood box and a super with some stores. The hive has been showing little to no activity at the entrance. The fondant I placed in there has been untouched for over four weeks, which makes me think the numbers have drastically reduced. Very likely the queen didn’t make it.
Now, I am trying to plan my next steps and hoping to gain from your wisdom.
Option 1: If the queen in the Langstroth hive is still alive, I can perhaps transfer frames of brood and nurse bees from the Flow Hive. Do I cage the queen in the Langstroth hive for a few days to prevent losing the queen?
Option 2: If the queen did not make it, can I still transfer brood and bees from the Flow Hive? If so, how long can the bees be left together before making them queenright? Do I need a new queen in the Langstroth hive first, before transferring frames of brood and nurse bees from the Flow Hive?
Are there any other avenues to explore that I have not considered?