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I started with 2 packages in April with 2 deep boxes fully drawn with comb and stores from last years colony that died. I added a second deep to one of my hives as it was jam-packed with brood and stores but my other hive is a bit behind and I was wondering if I should have went ahead and added the second deep on the weaker hive. The weaker hive looks good but the queen is laying in a willy-nilly pattern all over the place. I found a queen cell in the weak hive that was opened at the bottom so the girls may have already replaced the old queen. I didn't see the queen when I inspected but I saw uncapped brood and eggs and the bees were exceptionally gentle so I suspect all is well. Should I give the weaker hive a week or two and then take a peek and see about the second deep then?
 

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Sounds good to me. See if that willy nilly pattern is still there. You may consider giving the weaker hive a boost with a frame of capped brood after a bit.
 

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You say the queen cell was opened at the bottom--do you mean the base of the cell in the comb, or the cap was chewed off. either way giving the weaker colony a frame or 2 of sealed brood can't hurt.
Barry
 

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letibee said:
"The weaker hive looks good but the queen is laying in a willy-nilly pattern all over the place. I found a queen cell in the weak hive that was opened at the bottom so the girls may have already replaced the old queen. I didn't see the queen when I inspected but I saw uncapped brood and eggs and the bees were exceptionally gentle so I suspect all is well."

where was the location of the queen cell? from a package, it is likely your queen was superceded. if i opened a hive from a package i hived in april, and saw a 'willy nilly pattern all over the place', i would expect to see a better laying pattern, and would not think all is well. i think i would take a second look at why it is a weaker hive, and why the queen is not laying solid brood patterns, as perry suggested, especially at this time of year. and as barry and perry suggested, give it a boost from the stronger hive after doing so.
 
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