Moving a Hive
I have adopted a hive from my farmer which needs to be moved to his new location a mile and a half down the road. This hive swarmed 2 weeks ago and the swarm now resides at the new farm.
I have only briefly been in the hive to pilfer a frame of honey and a frame with a queen cell as insurance for the swarm. There is a ton of honey and a large population remaining.
My concern is since it has been two weeks, if there were other queen cells presumably they will have emerged? If I move the hive after dark to a new place, if the new queen has already started her mating flights will she re orient at a new location, or is this the worst timing?
If I dig into the hive and discover no queen cells(will they leave signs of a newly emerged cell or clean it up right away?). Should I requeen before a move or after? I actually have a purchased queen but I am inclined to let them keep their genetics going as they have done so well with little intervention other than exceptional forage.
Finally, if I go through the hive and find a queen/queen cells I would like to do a split with my purchased queen. Is there a general way to know if there is a large enough population to make a split?
Re: Moving a Hive
Don't m.ove until queen is mated and laying otherwise you'll just be begging for disaster. You're right the timing is not good. Give it another week or two and check to see if you have a laying queen or not, if you do then move it. Sometimes they remove the remnants of a queen cell sometimes they don't for the most part they'll remove them. No point in requeening because they are taking care of that. If they don't succeed or the queen does not perform then you could requeen. If you take the inner cover off and let them sit for ten to fifteen minutes they should thickly cover the top of the hive but myself I would leave them alone. You don't want to disrupt the new queens orientation or mating flights! Others might do different but that's what I do.
Re: Moving a Hive
Thanks, not what I wanted to hear, but it seemed like the best choice was to leave them be for a while.