Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Help!!! Splitting a hive- have a new queen in hand, but can't find the old one!

    Howdy Folks!

    Long story short, lost one of my two hives over the winter and looking to spit the remaining (much stronger/productive/friendly) hive. The remaining hive is 2 full deeps and half a medium, with lots of honey, pollen, eggs, larvea, capped brood, and looking like they're thinking of swarming (one queen cup last week, almost a dozen today), so seems a good candidate for splitting. I ordered a queen for the new split, and it quite unexpectedly arrived today. No biggie, as it's a beautiful day and I had time this afternoon to play with the bees.

    Trouble is, I can't for the life of me find the old queen. She's definitely in there as there's fresh, standing eggs (straight up, single egg, bottom of the cell, so not laying worker), but even 3 times through each box (putting the inspected frames into an empty super to keep her from being sneaky) I can't find her.

    So where I'm at now is that I split the stores and brood fairly equally between the two hives, gave each a new deep with a couple drawn frames (the rest undrawn) and one the mostly-drawn medium. No idea which one to give the new queen to, and no idea if she'll last long enough to wait to see which hive continues having eggs laid.

    Suggestions?

    BTW, it's 5pm here now with rain tomorrow, which complicates things a bit. Or at least will make for unhappy bees if I go poking yet again....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,439

    Default Re: Help!!! Splitting a hive- have a new queen in hand, but can't find the old one!

    put the cage on the topbars, see what happens, if the bees start attacking, don't put her in that hive.....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,599

    Default Re: Help!!! Splitting a hive- have a new queen in hand, but can't find the old one!

    Split them. Come back in 48 hours and you'll find queen cells in the queenless one, and none in the queenright one (unless they are trying to swarm...)
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    209

    Default Re: Help!!! Splitting a hive- have a new queen in hand, but can't find the old one!

    Put it back together and use a queen excluder to make an overnight split? Instructions here:

    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-...ernight-split/
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Help!!! Splitting a hive- have a new queen in hand, but can't find the old one!

    Quote Originally Posted by zhiv9 View Post
    Put it back together and use a queen excluder to make an overnight split? Instructions here:

    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-...ernight-split/
    Thanks, Adam! I just happened to order an excluder with the new queen, so that sounds perfect! A bit drastic, but after poking at them all afternoon I may as well take the brute force method. Took maybe 15 minutes to shake it all out into the bottom deep, return the other deep brood chamber and the medium on top of it, and then tossed the two new deeps on top of them. Will reshuffle everything tomorrow and add the queen.

    Thanks again! Seems such an obvious answer, but for some reason isn't covered in my beekeeping book (Beekeepers Handbook, iirc).

    -Aric.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Help!!! Splitting a hive- have a new queen in hand, but can't find the old one!

    Thanks also to Michael and JRG13! Had considered both those options before posting, but was doubtful I could tell "happy to see a new queen" from "attacking the new queen" and was unsure the new one would keep for 2 days. Both good ideas though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    209

    Default Re: Help!!! Splitting a hive- have a new queen in hand, but can't find the old one!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aric View Post
    Thanks, Adam! I just happened to order an excluder with the new queen, so that sounds perfect! A bit drastic, but after poking at them all afternoon I may as well take the brute force method. Took maybe 15 minutes to shake it all out into the bottom deep, return the other deep brood chamber and the medium on top of it, and then tossed the two new deeps on top of them. Will reshuffle everything tomorrow and add the queen.

    Thanks again! Seems such an obvious answer, but for some reason isn't covered in my beekeeping book (Beekeepers Handbook, iirc).

    -Aric.
    Best of luck! I plan to use this method myself in the coming weeks. We all have our skills and finding the queen is definitely not one of mine. For the most part I've given up and just look for eggs and larvae - it less stressful.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,439

    Default Re: Help!!! Splitting a hive- have a new queen in hand, but can't find the old one!

    Good luck with it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Help!!! Splitting a hive- have a new queen in hand, but can't find the old one!

    One thing my mentor recently told me and showed me to help find the queen was to concentrate hard just on the bees. I always had the habit of wanting to look at the larve and the eggs and the capped brood. When I started concentrating only on looking at the bees as they moved around I can find the queen quite quickly now. It worked for me, hope it helps. Good luck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Help!!! Splitting a hive- have a new queen in hand, but can't find the old one!

    Well, everything's shuffled around so hopefully it works. Very unhappy bees today (found a dozen stingers in my gloves, which never happens), so didn't look for the queen very long. Did check 8 frames in the bottom most box (into which everything was shook and an excluder placed on top of), but didn't see her. Did see a couple new queen cups though, so perhaps she didn't fall into the bottom box? Didn't have tome to check the deep or med that were above the excluder, so hopefully she's not in there since that's the bunch I gave the new one to.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,195

    Default Re: Help!!! Splitting a hive- have a new queen in hand, but can't find the old one!

    Michael, have you thought about providing the solution to these challenges? I think I've spotted a queen in each, but can't be sure. I rarely see the queen when I'm in the hive, but often can pick her out from photos, because the camera's resolution lets me blow up the image until there's no doubt.
    Last edited by Barry; 05-15-2013 at 06:23 PM.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads