OK, last week I found a swarm hanging from one of my trees. I caught it and put it in a nuc, but unfortunately it flew away. I suspected it was from one of my two hives in my yard. So, I checked my biggest and strongest hive, and made a split when opening the broodnest, which I had not yet done and it desperately needed. I had a queen cell I have been growing specifically for this purpose. It was quite a bit of work, so I decided to check my second hive the next day.
The next day rolls around and I open my second hive, which I had checkerboarded about a month ago due to it being honeybound from an early Willow flow. Big surprise! I could find NO eggs or queen, and only a small section about 3 inches long with capped worker brood. Everything else was capped drone brood or honey in various states of curing. Those bees were also much more aggressive than normal. I am guessing they are queenless, and doing the math, it would place them being queenless from around the 4th of March - right around the time of a sudden major freeze we had.
Here is my question - Should I give my only queen cell to the split or to the hive. I fear the hive - even though it has a large number of bees, may be past the useful recovery point and my best bet would be to give it to the young up and coming hive. Letting the old hive pull in what honey it can and dwindle away would be the result. Buying a new queen would solve both issues, but none seem to be had for another three weeks.
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