Here is the problem:
I have a TBH established this spring that simply hasn't done well. It is otherwise healthy by all accounts. I established it by splitting a 4 pound package and giving it a new queen. The traditional Langstroth hive that got the other half of the package is doing well. Since establishment, the bees pulled out only 3 frames of wax and have now dwindled to the point where there are just enough bees to cover those three frames. The hive simply doesn't seem to want to increase or draw any more wax out.
Actions taken so far:
I have just requeened them (working from the first assumption that the queen was weak). I am hoping that the new queen (I have purchased from this breeder before and the stock has always been highly productive) stimulates more productivity.
I suspect that, now, the hive is suffering from a lack of work force (to build foundation, keep brood warm, etc.). I have a couple of other hives that are doing well, so I am thinking about:
1. brushing a frame or two of bees from my strong Langstroth hive (being careful not to take the queen) into an empty nuc box that I can seal up.
2. Letting the nuc sit overnight so that the bees inside believe that they are queenless
3. combining the bees with the TBH.
#3 is the problem - how best to do this? I have considered just shaking them in. I am also considering building a follower board with the center cut out and screened. I can shake the bees behind the follower board, feed them and give them time to become accustomed to each other before combining them.
I would appreciate any opinions or advice on ALL aspects of this situation! Thanks