Earlier last week I attempted a split to a nuc (first try with a nuc). I grabbed some frames of brood with bees, which I thought contained eggs, and some frames of honey with bees, and put them all into the nuc. I was hoping that these bees would raise a queen from the eggs that I thought were in there. Well, I just got done with a quick look today, and there must not have been any eggs in that frame, as there is no queen cell. Just angry bees and lots of drone brood, which leads me to believe I have a dreaded "Drone Layer" colony in this nuc. The only solution I can think of is to take all the frames out, shake all the bees off in the middle of the yard, and block up the entrance of the nuc. And hopefully all the bees would go back to different hives. But I was hoping somebody had some advice about a less destructive method of saving my nuc. If I can find a frame with a queen cell from one of my other hives, can I put that in there, or will they just kill her when she emerges? Or can I put one of my other queens in there, and let that hive raise its own new queen? Or would they just kill that queen too? Is there anything I can do short of a complete shake-down?
Thanks for any advice!
I've always heard shaking out is the only real option. The method is just as you say. Take the hive 300-400 yards, shake out all the bees, return it to the original location and place 3-4 frames with eggs/clinging bees from another hive. The laying worker should not return to the hive (but still might). Requeening any other way is hit-or-miss at best.
Not sure, I may be wrong, but is it, or ain't it a bit early for spliting and queen mating in MI?
It may typically be a bit early, but we had quite a run-up of warm weather for about 3 weeks, about a week ago. So between this and some feeding, the bees started going nuts, and there was brood, and bees packed all over the place. Now maybe I should have still just had patience, and that is what got me into trouble, but like I said, it is my first try with a nuc, and the warm weather had me all ansy.
Thanks for the advice DocOz
Drones are flying around here...
If all you see in your nuc is drone brood, and you put eggs into it when you split, you may have a problem in the parent hive. Any eggs or larvae in the nuc? There shouldn't be if you are having them raise their own queen.
If you have a frame with a queen cell you might be able to save them, but they are also going to need more brood at this point.
If it is just a nuc, your best bet is to scratch it and start over.
You COULD combine it with another hive, and do another nuc.