First Field Day of 2015
We had a really nice day, seventy degrees and sunny. We started with the new package. It only had three very small clusters of bees on the frames, and we didn't find the queen. There was brood, but we are quite sure it was a laying worker. So, since we had planned to do a split anyway, we took a frame of brood with young larva and eggs from the other regular hive. We notched three cells with eggs and placed that in the center of the small cluster of bees. We then found two more frames of brood from that hive, making sure none of them had the queen on them. We put those on either side of the notched frame. Then, we switched this new split with the hive we had taken the brood from, so the returning foragers would go into the weak split. We also gave that hive an extra box to accomodate the returning foragers. We put the "mother" hive where the package hive had been. Then we also gave it an extra box of drawn comb so it would feel it had enough room to expand. We hope by taking the three frames, taking away the foragers and giving it extra room, it will prevent swarming.
Then we opened the long hive. It looked really good. It had doubled in strength since we last checked it. It didn't seem strong enough to give up brood frames for a split, however, so we made sure there were empty frames in front of the honey frames and behind the brood nest so it has room to expand. We may need to remove some of the honey at some point to give it room.
We will check the split in a month to see if they successfully produced a queen. We really don't know what happened to the package, it could have absconded, maybe they gorged on the sugar water and got sick, we don't know. There were not a lot of dead bees on the bottom board and we didn't find a dead queen.