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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Newberry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    236

    Default Assessing the state of a split -- wait or add more comb?

    On 2/22, I created a split from my single hive which is quite strong and filled with bees. I didn't find the queen, so went with several bars of brood comb. Every week, I've checked for a queen cell, and didn't find one, so added another bar or two of brood comb. Today, when I checked the split, I'm not sure what to think. All the worker brood has hatched, and I killed about a half dozen SHB. A couple of times when I just drove a beetle out of a piece of comb, a bee pounced on it. I saw no signs of eggs, so there does not appear to be laying workers. There is a bit of nectar and pollen being brought in. The only larvae I saw was in an emergency queen cell -- the larvae looked smallish and it wasn't swimming in royal jelly like it should. But it was there. So, add some more brood comb from the Mother Hive or give this a week to see what happens? The emergency cell was located close to the top of the bar (I have no idea if that is significant!)
    1 TBH, started 4/09/14; split 2/22/15, so maybe 2 hives...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    4,291

    Default Re: Assessing the state of a split -- wait or add more comb?

    The split needs to have comb or combs of pollen and open nectar, as the split loses all it's work force back to the parent hive, so they need food in-house. It is also a good idea to shake or brush in some extra nurse bees from open larva brood comb, to insure enough nurse bees to be able to make healthy queen cells. The brood comb is good, that will give them nurse bees when it emerges, but to make queen cells, you need to add a comb that has a very goodly amount of eggs. Hope this helps.
    "A good day is when no one shows up and you don't have to go anywhere." - Burt Shavitz (Burt's Buzz)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Newberry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: Assessing the state of a split -- wait or add more comb?

    Thank you, Ray -- I was thinking I would need to add a better selection of brood comb.
    1 TBH, started 4/09/14; split 2/22/15, so maybe 2 hives...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    1,024

    Default Re: Assessing the state of a split -- wait or add more comb?

    When splitting a hive (or making queen cells), I prefer to pull the existing queen over to a nuc with capped brood and food. That way I know the Mother hive has plenty of resources to make and feed queen cells. (it can put a damper on honey production from that hive if not done at the exact right time). My purpose last year wasn't honey, but making more bees. You could still make this change if you can locate your queen and move her over to the nuc. Destroy the iffy queen cell in the nuc, and see what happens in the main hive. If the bees have new white comb with fresh eggs, they will find that easier to rework into queen cells.
    With this method in my TBH's I will get about 10-12 queen cells that can then be put into smaller nucs once capped (or given to other bee keepers) I never try and add the original queen back to the main hive as I'm not quite sure if there could be a virgin running around that will kill her. Although if the main hive is queenless, then I will add her back.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Newberry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: Assessing the state of a split -- wait or add more comb?

    Thank you Ruth! I intended to move the queen to the new hive, but couldn't find her. In fact, I've never been able to see her! I am going to check for new queen cells, and if I don't find them, add more brood comb. I'm pretty sure there are no laying workers, so if I don't find good comb, I may just buy a queen. There are queen available locally starting about now.
    1 TBH, started 4/09/14; split 2/22/15, so maybe 2 hives...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Van BC Canada
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Assessing the state of a split -- wait or add more comb?

    Hi Msscha, here is an easy solution for both your problems. Take a bar or 2 of pollen same for honey and same for eggs from your mother hive. Place them in your nuc and take out the existing weak queen cell. Then put your nuc in the mother hive location and the mother hive in the nuc location. This will get rid of the boarding on your mother hive and lack of queen in your nuc. Be sure to check mother hive for QCs as it looks like it may have some. If it has QCs they could go in the nuc. Lots of different ways to do this.

    Good luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Newberry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: Assessing the state of a split -- wait or add more comb?

    Thank you, Eric!
    1 TBH, started 4/09/14; split 2/22/15, so maybe 2 hives...

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