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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Piedmont, Sc
    Posts
    15

    Default making a split, but can't find the queen

    Hi i am a new Beekeeper. I purchased a new Russian queen, that will arrive shortly, I was planning of making a nuc with some frames of brood and honey, and give them my new Russian queen, but I cant find the old queen.... Now I am lost at what to do, I don't want to risk putting the queen in the nuc and having two queens in there and loosing my Russian queen... i have tried several times but I just can find her, there is brood, and no queen cells, so i am sure she is there... any advise?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Spencer,MA USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: making a split, but can't find the queen

    If you have two brood boxes on the hive you want to split just put a queen excluder between the two and go back a few days latter and see which box has eggs in it, that will be the box the queen is in. Then take frames of bees out of the other to make your split.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,589

    Default Re: making a split, but can't find the queen

    If you have a queen excluder... shake the bees off of some frames of brood and place them in a box over the remaining bees (separated by the queen excluder). Nurse bees will move up to cover the brood.

    Remove the top box to another bottom board so that any field bees will return to the original hive. Be patient with the introduction of your Russian queen.
    Last edited by BeeCurious; 05-03-2013 at 08:13 PM.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Piedmont, Sc
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: making a split, but can't find the queen

    thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    913

    Default Re: making a split, but can't find the queen

    Quote Originally Posted by SCSpaniard View Post
    i have tried several times but I just can find her, there is brood, and no queen cells, so i am sure she is there... any advise?
    When you go to make your nuc, choose the frames you want. Be very careful the queen is not on one of those frames. If you still can't find her, don't worry. If she is in the nuc, the bees will start fanning the entrance. This will occur in a few minutes.

    Then simply choose new frames. To be on the safe side, move the nuc a few miles away. The next day the queenless colony will exhibit a "roar" that is quite unmistakeable.

    I like BeeCurious's advice as well. Someone mentioned the queen excluder tip me once in the past.

    Shane

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: making a split, but can't find the queen

    You might also try placing your caged queen on top of the frames of a split hive after an hour or so. If they quickly ball the cage that would be an indication the split has an existing queen already.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,438

    Default Re: making a split, but can't find the queen

    In making a split, the queenless hive will make one just as long as there are viable eggs in the cells.
    I take it from your post you wanted to make sure both had queens right away.
    BC has some sage advice as well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,735

    Default Re: making a split, but can't find the queen

    If you can't find the queen, go ahead and make the split. Try to get some unsealed brood in each box. Move the one you want to move. After 24 hours reinspect. The queenless hive will be quite agitated, and you will likely find the beginnings of queen cells as the queenless hive prepares to save itself by making themselves a new queen. You will also have less bees in each box to look at in trying to find the queen, making it easier to find her. The queenright hive will be calm and working normally.

    Quite often the reason it is difficult to find the queen is that she is running from frame to frame as you are inspecing them, she is down on the bottom board, or on the walls of the deep super. Just go ahead and make the split, and check for her the next day.

    cchoganjr

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Piedmont, Sc
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: making a split, but can't find the queen

    Great advice, thanks!

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