I have a strange situation, or perhaps just strange to me. Here's where I've gotten, and what's going on. I hope some more experienced beeks can assist with some suggestions on what to do.
3/31 - got 2 new packages
the packages have been doing well, especially the 1 i'm discussing here. about a month ago I added another deep super (actually 2 4-frame) nuc boxes on top in hopes that i could create a split or 2 either off of the hive or from another hive this year. I know i might have to over-winter, but will deal with that if this happens.
last friday, in anticipation of needed to split another hive (which wasn't ready yet) i decided to split this hive as i had several queen cells in the middle area's of several frames. I took, from the bottom deep and the 2-upper 4-frame nuc boxes 6 frames of different types (capped brood, honey, pollen, and some eggs) along with the frame that had the queen cells on them in hopes that they'd take/move some eggs over (if there wasn't any actual larva in the queen cups-too hard to actually tell, and my error probably) and created a new, single-deep box about 100 yards away. I gave them some sugar water but quickly noticed that i'd created a 'robbing' situation from other bees, even though i'd reduced the entrance to about 1/2 inch. I quickly closed everthing up till monday and whenever things had settled down, i removed the cover and left the entrance at approx 1/2 inch. over the last couple of days i've noticed 'normal' activity and upon inspection of the hive - i have 3 queen cells that have been capped over - which are on the same frame that I moved. things appear good - but the queen cells are really 'smooth' and not very 'lumpy' like typical queen cells should appear to be. I also inspected my 'donor' hive and noticed that i have a typical (lumpy or pok-marked) cell in it, that is already sealed too. this was probably a cell i left, but not exactly sure. It's located just under the center line of one of the frame.
so, my questions are..
1. in the new box, with the 3 new queen cells - if the queen cup is 'smooth' in appearance, does that indicate anything - or something I need to worrry about? I'd thought if i hadn't moved enough eggs over, i was going to transfer another frame yesterday - but didn't because of the 3 new queen cells.
2. from my donor colony - what's going on there? i didn't look for the queen, but was real careful in gathering/moving frames around so to 'not' crush her in the process. I think I should try and create another nuc, as i have a queen cell almost 'ready' - but not sure. if the cell was one i left, it wasn't fully developed - so that should make the 'new' queen cell about 9 to 11 days old - which should be almost the right time to move.
3. If i remove the capped queen cell from the orignal donar colony, and it indeed still has a queen - she should 'continue on' as normal - right? if not, will i have to either re-queen, or wait for them to create one on their own?
I want to make some queens, from my own stock and hopefully have enough time for them to 'fully develop' into standard 10-frame boxes before the winter, if possible. In SC the flow has already gone and most people are collecting their honey now, so there won't be too much pollen for them for the rest of the year but I think I still have enough time to get several brood cycles in place and have some strong hives going into winter. I have another hive I was wanting to raise 'more' queens from, but will take what I can for now. I say that only because in approx 6 weeks time my nuc has gone from a nuc to 3-deep boxes and is almost full and ready to split.
thanks for all the suggestions anybody has ..