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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    cincinnati, ohio
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    81

    Default When to install queen in divided hive

    I have six hives in my backyard. I plan to start a seventh hive in April and get a new Carneolan queen from Kelley Bees. I plan to take some frames of brood from several of my existing strong hives to put in the new hive. I was wondering if I should move the brood frames into the new hive several days before I pick up the new queen and install her so that the odor of the old queens (from the several hives I pulled the brood from) has dissipated somewhat? If I delay like this, will the bees immediately start to make new queens from eggs in the brood frames I moved over? There will no doubt be a few new eggs in them. If they do start to make new queens, will this make them reject the new Carny queen, and if they do not kill her, what will happen to the new queen cells when they emerge with the Carny in there?

    Thanks for any advice. Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,459

    Default Re: When to install queen in divided hive

    Get your queen first, and then make the split.

    Taking frames of brood from several colonies is a good idea. You can even take brood from a couple and bees from a third, by using a queen excluder. And remember not to take a queen...

    Identify the colonies from which you'll rob brood. How many frames? 4 total, 2 from each? 1 from 4? Depends how strong the parent colonies are. Is there one that has a big population. Harvest bees from that one.

    The split should have at least 3 frames of brood...at least one of larvae and one of emerging bees. Also two frames of honey and one of pollen. Remove that much from the parent colonies, shaking off all the bees back into respective hives. Place frames of honey, pollen, and brood in an empty box...Honey/pollen/open brood/ sealed/sealed/honey...Uncover the hive with all the bees and place an excluder on top. Place the box you just setup on excluder and cover overnight. Next day, remove to new bottom board on new stand. Give caged queen at this point. The bees from below will have repopulated the combs. No queens will be taken. There should be enough bees remaining in the split to care for the brood...unless you go crazy and add too much. In fact, many of the nasty old field bees will return to the parent hive leaving nice young bees to love their new queen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    cincinnati, ohio
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    81

    Default Re: When to install queen in divided hive

    Michael,

    If I take the one frame of brood from three different hives, which hive should I place the new box on over the excluder or does it not make any difference since I shoke off the bees first? Will the workers come up quick enough so the brood does not get chilled?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
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    1,845

    Default Re: When to install queen in divided hive

    Place your new split on the strongest colony you have, as this will be the one that can stand to lose the most bees.

    That strategy works well except I don't wait till the next day. I found they are pretty much equalized by that evening as long as I am done splitting by lunch time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,459

    Default Re: When to install queen in divided hive

    Yes, on the strongest. If you have three hives that are strong enough to remove brood, make the split from two of them and place it on an excluder on the third. You'll be taking only bees from the third. If you only have one colony that is strong enough to split...by strong enough I mean 8-10 or more frames of brood at Dandelion...make the split the same way and just use that one hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,459

    Default Re: When to install queen in divided hive

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    I found they are pretty much equalized by that evening as long as I am done splitting by lunch time.
    Yes, true. I'm thinking back to the days when I made splits in the spring when the bees were all in the orchard. Easier to make a truck load of splits up one day, leave them on the excluder overnight, and pick them all up the next day and scatter them in their yards.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
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    Default Re: When to install queen in divided hive

    Absolutely. I try to schedule these days of being done by lunch. Some days it goes till dark still and yep I leave em over night in those cases too. It just depends on how many helpers I have at the time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Auburntown, TN USA
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: When to install queen in divided hive

    Thanks for the info about putting splits on a strong hive over an excluder. That's a tip I don't remember seeing before. I hope to try it out several times this year.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    710

    Default Re: When to install queen in divided hive

    I've read quite a few posts about bees raising queens above excluders when an excluder is placed between boxes of brood. For any that have tried this method, do you find that the nurse bees above the excluder have started queen cells in the upper body by the next day? I'm guessing they should be cut out of introducing a queen or a cell? Thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,459

    Default Re: When to install queen in divided hive

    No, not by the next day.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Lititz, PA, USA
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    710

    Default Re: When to install queen in divided hive

    Excellent...much thanks for the answer.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Default Re: When to install queen in divided hive

    >I've read quite a few posts about bees raising queens above excluders when an excluder is placed between boxes of brood. For any that have tried this method, do you find that the nurse bees above the excluder have started queen cells in the upper body by the next day? I'm guessing they should be cut out of introducing a queen or a cell?

    I wasn't doing it for the purpose of getting queens and never looked to see the next day. The first few times I was surprised a month or so later to find two queens in the hive on opposite sides of the excluder. If I get time, I may experiment with the purpose of getting two queens in mind and see when they start.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: When to install queen in divided hive

    Recently we took a frame of brood and the queen from a 5 frame Nuc to use in a Trapout. The remaining 4 frames we combined with the hive next to the Nuc by using a queen excluder.and placing the frames in a box above it. A few days later there were 10 queen cells in the top box above the excluder. So I can confirm they are likely to start queen cells. Bees don't like going through an excluder if they don't have to. So if you have a top entrance FACING THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION the bees above the exclude should raise a new queen and the virgin queen won't use the wrong entrance, (killing the queen in the lower boxes.)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,459

    Default Re: When to install queen in divided hive

    I didn't say they wouldn't. I said they won't overnight. I have made thousands of splits using the excluder and placing brood over it for one night. Also have a re-queening method that employs same method. I just don't see queen cells the next day, and queen acceptance is always exceptional.

    Now if you leave the brood up there long enough...I use this method...Brother Adam method...to set up cell builders. 10 days before grafting, a box of brood is placed above an excluder above a strong colony. 9 days later..the day before the graft.. I check the entire colony for rogue queen cells. In 20% or so of cases, there will be emergency sells above the excluder.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    710

    Default Re: When to install queen in divided hive

    Right, and that was my question, next day. I too plan to use this method to start a nuc or two when the flow starts. I haven't decided yet if I'll just let them raise their own new queen (wouldn't matter then) or possibly introduce a queen or a cell. That's why I was wondering if I needed to be on the lookout for cells that next day when splitting them off. If I put a cell or queen in there I want them to take her, not think they're already doing it themselves. Thanks again.

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