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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
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    49

    Default When to fuss about a walk away split

    Hi, first time bee hive-splitter, so maybe overly neurotic about this. But I did a walk away split on March 9th (25 days ago). By 3/16, there were already capped queen cells in the hive (fast!), by 3/24, at one of these queen cells was ripped open. Not wanting to disturb the hive much, I just left well enough alone until today. Opened hive, old queen cells are mostly gone, but couldn't find the queen -- maybe just too impatient. In any case, no sign of eggs or young brood, so there's clearly no laying queen in there anyway. When should I start fussing about this, either adding another frame of eggs from my other hive, or ordering a new queen? How long from split until I should be seeing eggs? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,116

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    You are a little early to worry. Some would say you are a little early to check. Visit Michael Bush and review queens and splits. I do.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    Quote Originally Posted by jlsheehan View Post
    Hi, first time bee hive-splitter, so maybe overly neurotic about this. But I did a walk away split on March 9th (25 days ago). By 3/16, there were already capped queen cells in the hive (fast!), by 3/24, at one of these queen cells was ripped open. Not wanting to disturb the hive much, I just left well enough alone until today. Opened hive, old queen cells are mostly gone, but couldn't find the queen -- maybe just too impatient. In any case, no sign of eggs or young brood, so there's clearly no laying queen in there anyway. When should I start fussing about this, either adding another frame of eggs from my other hive, or ordering a new queen? How long from split until I should be seeing eggs? Thanks!
    Late already. You need to get them a new frame of brood and eggs, or a laying queen. What happened was they drew out queen cells, but for whatever reason they didn't take, so they tore them down. if I don't have good capped queen cells in 14 days I have a problem....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,616

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    A walk away split if I understand does not matter where the queen is at so don't even look for the queen bee.
    According to the queen rearing calendar you should see some eggs by next week on the 8th. But if this queen is lazy or not ready for a mating flight because she emerged later then you have to wait a bit longer. If you do not see the queen after she emerged then look for her. But it is hard to find her if you have too many bees in the hive. If she is in there then adding another frame of eggs will not help. They will not make more queens for this hive. They got one already. You can order a queen bee but if they are in there then they will kill each others until one survive. I'm worry though if one is injured while the other is dead. Either way, it is better for you to confirm that you have a queen inside to make the right decision.
    If this queen emerge late then you have to wait another week to see. Also, if your area not have drones flying then she cannot get mated. That will delay some more of egg laying. I did a notch the same time you did. So far 1 out of 4 did not get mated because she hatched out one week later. By next week she should lay some eggs. But so far she still waiting inside her hive. And not want to do a mating flight. But she is 5 days ahead of herself anyways. So I will give her another week or 2 to see. Some keepers here said they waited almost 3 weeks after they emerged
    to see some eggs. If you can confirmed that she is in there then give her some more time. Hopefully, my last queen will get mated as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    well, judging by my other hive, there are drones aplenty. But sounds like I should keep calm for a little while longer and keep my eye out for eggs/larvae. Thanks all of you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,110

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    I always wait 30 days from doing the split before taking action.
    Dan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    I have had very good success with walk-away splits, but have also learned that the bees will do things on their own schedule and not necessarily follow the book (maybe they are poor readers, maybe they are just rebellious). It is ok to add a frame or two of brood from another hive at any time to supplement numbers, if still no brood after 30 days, time to buy a queen.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,986

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    Quote Originally Posted by jlsheehan View Post
    well, judging by my other hive, there are drones aplenty. But sounds like I should keep calm for a little while longer and keep my eye out for eggs/larvae. Thanks all of you!
    Well, I did a cutout on a colony that I didn't find the queen on the same day (March 9). There was only a little bit of brood, but when I checked it on March 18 there were sealed queen cells. I am going in this Saturday to see if I can see eggs, brood, or a mated queen.

    I think the absolute latest they could have started a queen would have been on March 15 (March 9 + 3 days as egg + 3 day as larva). 10 more days for the queen larva to mature puts her emerging at the latest around March 25. It takes a week or so for the queen to harden off, make her mating flights, and start laying. Her mating flights also are dependent on weather which could delay her a few days.

    I think that your're right in waiting.

    Ed

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    If you have it available there is NO harm in putting a frame of eggs in there. If they have or soon to have a laying queen you have just given them a boost, if the original queen didn't take you have given them the resources to make a queen with. WIN WIN

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,971

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    Yes - When in doubt give them brood - it always helps and never hurts.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    I may have misread, I assumed you had looked for the new queen and found nothing?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,116

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    Confession; When I look for a queen and do not find one it usually just means I did not find her, it does not mean there is not one. Here she may well have been flying. A frame of brood would prove or disprove a queen.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    Yes, well, this was my theory as well -- being a newbie, I'm often hard pressed to find the queen, and there are a fair number of bees in this split. So I decided just to look for brood... If I do add a new frame of eggs/brood to this hive, by the way, do I need to knock the other hive's nurse bees off of it? or can I just drop the whole frame, bees and brood, into my baby hive? Thanks again for patient advice.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,116

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    No need to, but the nuc is fairly full already? I usually shake off enough to make it easy to know the queen is not on.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    Tada! Today there are eggs... whew. I think I made it. Thanks for all the advice.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,616

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    Did you see the queen too? She should be on the egg frame or on the 2 adjacent frames.
    What color is the queen bee?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    No, I was trying to get in and out quick -- it was cold and windy, and the bees were cranky... but I'll give it a longer look when we get some warmer weather here.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,616

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    On Weds supposed to be in the lower 80s. Warm and sunny all week long after today.
    I think spring is finally here, I hope. Keep us updated.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    jlsheehan

    Hooray for your success!

    I suggest less fiddling and let them do their thing. I experience better results with less and greater losses with more.

    As far as the books, my girls don't read them at all.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,110

    Default Re: When to fuss about a walk away split

    Good Job
    Dan

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