I am planning on making a split from a strong hive this season and will probably take three or four frames out and put then in a nuc box have the bees make their own queen and then move the nuc to a fellow keepers bee yard to mate. However I also have a two frame observation hive that I thought I could use to start with first, then after a queen was formed transfer that and a few frames to the nuc or does anyone think that would even be worth doing just to witness the queen rearing process?
I think you're better off, if you are letting them raise their own queen, to put two frames of emerging brood, a frame of eggs (and some open brood) and two frames of honey and pollen. That way the emerging brood will keep the population up. The honey/pollen will keep them in food. The eggs will provide the source for the queen. There will be no eggs being laid for the next four weeks until the queen has emerged, mated and started to lay and then it's three weeks after that before those brood start to emerge. So I'd have something in all five frames to give them a good start and enough to get them through until they get a queen. They won't swarm without a queen and a good brood nest, so crowding isn't a problem.
I guess that brings us to the observation hive. I would do the nuc first and then when the queen is laying, pull a frame of eggs and put it and some bees in the observation hive. Because you won't be able to steal enough from the observation hive to give the nuc a really good start. Even better, just leave the nuc alone (or move it to a 10 frame box) and steal a frame of emerging brood, a frame of eggs, and a frame of honey/pollen from your strong hive to give the observation hive a good start. Two weeks after you steal the frames for the nuc, you won't be able to tell the difference in the strong hive and you could do three more for the observation hive.
thanks miike I was thinking along the same lines and will probably use the nucand then much later add the frames into the observation hive when everthing has gotten going fine.