Queen Cell questions!
I have a number of new TBHs in the yard this year, and 2 of them have just revealed queen cells in yesterday's inspection.
One of them has just 1 queen cell, which is capped, and the other has multiple cells, about 5 are capped, and more are being made.
There was about 10 days between inspections, so these all seem to have been started around the same time - within the last 10 days.
I am thinking that the hive with the one queen cell is possibly in supersedure mode, but I really don't know! It still has its queen, and she is very very active, and by all accounts the hive seems perfectly healthy and strong. Lots of brood in all stages, and lots of eggs. Good stores as well, and all is in nice patterns. Not sure why they would want to replace this queen!
I guess the one with multiple cells is probably in swarm mode. This hive has been one of the strongest in the yard, and has plenty of fully drawn comb with lots of brood in all stages. However, yesterday I saw very few eggs and could not find the queen. The population of this hive does seem lower than last time... is it possible the old queen swarmed before a new queen had emerged?
So, two very different situations, and for anyone willing to reply, my questions are...
- Would it be wise to try a split on the multiple cell hive?? It certainly seems there is enough brood to handle it, and with 5-6 capped queen cells, it may work out. But being new at this sort of thing, I really hesitate to do it without getting some feedback from those who know better!
- And the same question for the hive with just the one capped queen cell... since the colony appears very strong, and the existing queen is clearly viable, why not move this new queen along with some brood combs, and try to start up a new colony...? Of course, if the remaining bees continue to reject the existing queen for some reason, I could end up with a queenless hive and reduced amount of brood that I took to the new hive.
I'm really not sure which paths to take with these two hives, or... to do nothing at all!
Any advice is gratefully received.