To the left is my most active hive, and I have been using nurse bees from it to fortify the hive to the right. The hive to the was doing as well as the others, with a good brood pattern, but suffered extremely heavy losses to skunk predation. It was to the point that they were so cold, they couldn't break cluster even on flying days. I have them a frame of brood, but they couldn't keep it warm. So I gave that up and started giving them nurse bees instead. Since then, they relocated the broodnest, established a cluster, and the queen has started laying again. The first eggs should have hatched yesterday or the day before. I predict they will need more nurse bees to maintain their population before they reach a sustainable minimum. But it's really fun as a beekeeper to pull a hive back from the brink without any chemicals whatsoever. But of course, they were not on the brink because of disease, it was a skunk.
The hive to the right is also more typical of my new standard format. There will be little to no bottom entrance. Instead, I have constructed what I'm referring to as 10 frame nucs with a bottom permanently attached and a hole with a disc entry on it. I would have pictures, but the discs are out of stock at Kelley and I haven't gotten them yet. Rule of Thumb: Don't expect to get anything in any sort of good time this time of year from a bee supply house. Everybody has stuff out of stock, even my favorite, Mann Lake Ltd. Anyway, the bottoms of my hives will be a 10 frame nuc, bottom permanently attached, disc entry, with the main entrance at the top as you see on the right. I have a number of those upper entrances, and I can use them normal side up like is shown for times when I need an entrance reducer, or the other side up for use as a shade, awning, or fool-proof snow blocker in winter.