Well, for anyone following my drama, there was enough of a break in the rain today to split my swarming hive, (they tried to swarm again yesterday, but the new queen is clipped, and I found her and popped her back in the hive).
I moved about five bars of brood and honey, (and bees), into the emergency nuc. (Which has 17 bars). I also found the queen and moved her to the new hive.
There were swarm cells -- I thought I had pinched them all out before I requeened after the last swarm. I tried to move only comb without queen cells, but there was one comb that had them, and I removed what I saw.
I left some of the queen cells in the original hive so they could requeen themselves. They seem hell-bent on doing so.
The nuc is not the same shape as my hives because I originally thought I could use it as a super, but Michael convinced me to make a split. So tonight, I will build a new hive and move the bees from the nuc tomorrow morning before they have too much of a chance to change the shape of the combs. Then, I hope they will stay, and none of the other hives will swarm.
The second hive -- from the first swarm -- is doing beautifully. In a week, they have begun drawing comb on 17 bars, and all the comb is straight, and there is brood, and all is right with the world.
Is there anything else I should do -- besides get some sleep?
It seems that this year I'm raising bees rather than honey. I have yet to see a capped comb of honey in all this, though I did harvest one bar that was mostly capped. Three hives of bees from a three pound package in a little over two months? Is that normal?
[size="1"][ July 06, 2006, 11:37 AM: Message edited by: pcooley ][/size]
The main thing is to make sure both halves have a queen or the means to make one. The second thing is that they have enough bees to take care of the brood they have. Sounds like they should do ok.
I have split a three pound package into five hives in one year. Typical? No. Unheard of? No.
The split is staying in the new hive, but there do not seem to be many field bees -- which, I suppose I should have suspected. There's only a trickle coming in and out.
I put some comb with honey in there, but I am also feeding them.
I was wondering if I should swap the hive locations of the split and the one that is about to requeen. Then the split, from what I read, will acquire some of the field bees from the original hive.
The original hive has a higher population, but it will have a lag in bee production while it requeens. I can't think why it would be a problem to have it lose a few of its field bees to the split.
So should I swap them? Or should I just leave well enough alone and continue to feed the split until it builds some in strength and more of those house bees take to the field?
>So should I swap them?
That's up to you and I'd base it on how weak the split it.
> Or should I just leave well enough alone
Probably what I'd do.
> and continue to feed the split until it builds some in strength and more of those house bees take to the field?
Do it carefully with minimal opening to keep robbing down. If there's a flow, I'd just give them some capped honeycomb to tide them over for now and let them forage. Once they start getting robbed you have a whole different problem to solve.