This has been my first year doing cut-outs and it has been very educational. I have two more scheduled next week, which will probably be the last I do this year, making an even ten.
My experience has been that it is very difficult to get a cut-out hive to thrive. My really big one eventually managed to stage a recovery, but the rest mostly stayed on a plateau or became weaker. One that seemed to be doing OK died out almost entirely over a 48 hour period (that one is still a mystery to me).
So, I have a new plan for cut-outs. I am planning to immediately combine them with a stronger hive when I bring them home (unless there are signs of sickness, of course). If I get the queen, I will remove her and sequester her in a nuc. The idea is to produce a strong hive, ready for a split and then reintroduce the queen following the split. With the resources of an existing hive, the cut-out bees should be better able to care for the brood and better able to fix up all the cut-out combs.
If I don't get the queen, I will start a nuc with the best brood combs from the cut out and try to raise a queen, but still give the rest of the bees and brood to an existing hive.
I've been fighting to try to save hives that I've mangled, when there is probably more value making existing hives stronger and holding on to the new genetics to give to a split that is really ready to run with them.
Any flaws in my logic?