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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Salt Lake County, Utah
    Posts
    50

    Default Split with queen cups - Did I do this right?

    I have been keeping bees for 3 years. I have decided to move away from deep boxes, and going forward will use primarily medium boxes for both brood and honey supers, though I am not phasing out the deep boxes I currently have.

    Due to a move I have my bees about 15 miles from my home, so it's a bit of a chore to get in them. On Sunday (unseasonably warm day about 85 degrees) I got into the bigger of the three (two deeps and a medium) The medium had a little brood on the lower 1/3 of the middle frames. I also counted 5 queen cells with eggs. The eggs were fresh (still standing vertical) right in the middle of the cells.

    The top deep was full of brood, probably 80% of 8 frames had capped or almost capped brood. I came across the queen in this box, which is unusual for me, as I might pick a queen out about 30% of the time i do a thorough inspection. So not wanting to pass up the oportunity, I scraped off the 2 queen cells on that frame and moved it to an empty box. I took a frame of honey, and 7 more frames with brood but without queen cells into this new box. There were a LOT of bees in that new box so I put a medium box with partially drawn frames on it. Because I don't want to take too much space there, I put this hive on top of the original hive until I can find a new home for it.

    So I now have one hive with at least 5 queen cells with eggs, ( the bottom deep box is full of brood, but only 1-2 queen cells) and no queen. one deep, one medium. I did make sure there were fresh eggs besides those in the queen cells.

    The other hive is sitting directly on top of the queen less hive. both hive have an inner cover and migratory cover, and solid bottom board. This hive has a queen, and an empty but drawn out medium super.

    I didn't want to chance not finding the queen in a week once the swarm cells were more developed. Is this arrangement ok, or should I move the queen right hive somewhere else? I have a few other options of where I can move hives.

    Did I do ok with the bottom hive? Those queen cells with eggs should develop nicely into queen cells, basically being a few days ahead of a normal "walk away split" correct? Since it is in the same location, it should gain some bees from the one I placed on top, as they return from foraging.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: Split with queen cups - Did I do this right?

    Well if I read it correctly I think you made a simple mistake, but it may not matter. Normaly I would leave those queen cells alone until capped. leave the strong hive to feed up the larve and develop them good. Other than that your probably fine. I would move the other hive farther away (at least 10 feet or so) to prevent drifting issues in either one. also don't want a fight when your virgin queen returns, and the have been known to go in the wrong house.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Salt Lake County, Utah
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Split with queen cups - Did I do this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Well if I read it correctly I think you made a simple mistake, but it may not matter. Normaly I would leave those queen cells alone until capped. leave the strong hive to feed up the larve and develop them good. Other than that your probably fine. I would move the other hive farther away (at least 10 feet or so) to prevent drifting issues in either one. also don't want a fight when your virgin queen returns, and the have been known to go in the wrong house.
    I agree that it would be best to leave the queen in until the swarm cells were capped. I wanted to take advantage of knowing I had the queen in the other hive. I did leave the queenless hive in place, so if there is drift it will be to that hive. There were a LOT of bees, so hopefully it's strong enough to raise the queens. I'll move the hive from the top of that one to another yard this week to give the mated queen a better chance to return to the right hive.

    The reason I killed the queen cells on the frame I moved is I wanted to reduce the chance of that hive swarming. Hopefully supering it with drawn comb will also reduce that.

    Should I totally leave them alone now, or should I look at them again next week to see if the queen cells have been capped?

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