backfilled combs, no eggs/open brood, queen not spotted. what now?
About a month ago, I pulled frames to start 2 nucs above a snellgrove board. one robbed outor abandoned, (twice), the other raised & emerged a queen. I saw the queen , captured, marked & released her. Then I could not find her, so I went looking for a frame with eggs for my basic "queen present ?" test. digging around in my carniolian hives ( from queens added to nucs last july) & discovered about 18 Queen cells in 3 hives.
So about 10 days ago I made a bunch of nucs, 3 frames comb, & 2 empties, etc.
Found the queen in one hive ( I am poor at finding the queen. usually eggs present is enough for me) but I found the Q in H-2, removed her to a nuc, made sure that nuc did not get a QC, & marked it as last years Q.
Last Friday, I was digging out some QC for another Bee Keeper, found some of the QC were beginning to emerge, several had already emerged, several not, etc.
So today, 5 days later, I am again checking status, find one nuc with eggs, find a fat queen in another,
( marked her) , several with queen not found. old queen from H-2 ( marked) is not found in her box, combs are pretty much filled w/nectar mostly, some pollen, but no eggs/or brood, maybe a few capped brood.
Again I go looking for eggs, 2 of the three Carny hives appear to be queenless, despite my interleaving ( checker boarding) undrawn frames through out the brood nest. These _3_ hives are essentially broodless, but one has half a dozen QC in it.
There is another hive with a different strain of bees ( I'll call them "grandpa" bees) on the rack beside them. I go through that hive & find 6 or 8 frames with multiple QC, but also backfilled & broodless.
There are 3 hives I have not gone through. ( I do not work bees after dark. even the nice ones don't like it.)
So what do I do now?
Obviously, leave last weeks nucs alone. They will make it, or be combined.
The very populous H-2 & H-3 ...back filled, no brood ... should I try to find brood in the 3 unchecked hives & donate some eggs? should I "even split" them? do nothing?( are they fixing to fly away?)
Should I pull food & bees from these hives to form nucs with the cells I found in H-4 ( carny) & H-5(grandpa)"
should I just even split H-4 & H-5, then cull all the "extra" QC to a separate nuc?
Should I expect these bees to depart at any moment? would splitting them delay that? ( I am assuming they have virgin Q out "partying".
Some one tell me what to expect, & what I should, ( & probably more important, what I should _NOT_) do .
I would like to expand my hive numbers, and harvest honey, but I am a little overwhelmed & lost here.
Thank in advance for responses. CE
Last edited by tech.35058; 04-27-2016 at 11:49 PM.
Started summer of 2013, just another new guy, tinkering with bees.