I could use some newbie advice if ya'll would.
Last year I began the season with two colonies each beginning their 2nd year. Both survived a Montana winter in pretty good shape. Seeing that one colony was looking full to bursting, I made a split to a third colony. Year two was a little more exciting than year one once the bees decided to swarm. 1st swarm caught me off-guard but I very nearly got the equipment together to re-capture them but, alas, they flew off to points unknown just as I was getting close to climbing the ladder. Swarm 2 was re-captured and placed into a new hive. Swarm 3 (and I still don't understand swarm 3 - which colony it came from) was also recaptured and placed in a new hive. So now I had four colonies - three of which were in a race to get their numbers up before winter. I thought they looked a bit on the weak side but thought they might just make it through. Long story short they didn't. Yellowjackets/bald hornets were bad in the fall and I think defending against raiding caused the numbers to go down then we had an early sub-zero period of weather and I think they simply froze out. I had treated for varroa and nosema and don't think disease is likely.
Anyhow, here's the question: I want to buy a package or two of bees this spring and introduce them to the vacant hives I have. I've swept out the dead bees and dead yellowjackets from the empties. There's still quite a lot of capped honey in the deeps. Is it ok to introduce a package to a super with honey in it? Budget does not allow new boxes, frames or foundation at present. I could run the frames through an extractor but that's a pain this time of year if it's not needed. Opinions?