bone head split so far, somebody save the day.
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  1. #1
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    Default bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Ok, I caught a swarm yesterday. Found queen cells in my biggest hive. Today, moved hive ten plus feet sideways and looked for the queen. I set a box with two honey frames in the old hive location to collect the foragers. I looked through every frame looking for the queen but did not find her. I have never found a queen on my own and so maby she is still there and maby not. I had seen some uncapped swarm cells yesterday but today I also found some capped ones.

    Since I could not find the queen, I took one partial frame of brood that had a capped queen cell and two not quite capped ones on it and put that in the old location where the two combs of honey are. The rest of the hive is full of foundationless frames.

    The old moved hive has lots of capped brood honey and pollen. It has queen cells and maby a queen and maby not a queen.

    I was looking for open brood and had thought I saw some eggs but then I seen the same later and believe it was just the way the sun was shining on the wet cells. I did not see any larva but I took a brood frame out for the swarm yesterday and did not see but maby three larva in the three or four frames I looked at. I saw lots of giant drones while looking for the queen and so if she was thinned down I might not have seen her anyway.

    I guess my question is, what have I done and what will probly happen?

    To me the hive still seems crowded and the swarm was big and I just don't see how that hive could have had that many bees in it. It was only a three medium hive.

    I didn't want after swarms and so I did what I did by splitting bees by age.

    I was hoping to give a freind some of the queen cells when they got capped.

    If the queen is still with the hive, I am assuming that the bees in the young bee hive will start tearing down queen cell. Is this correct? If it is correct I will be wishing I had just did a teranov split and put a cell in each hive.

    The foragers with no comb but two full honey combs, very little brood, queen cells and the rest foundationless frames. What is going to happen and will it work or need more work to make it work?

    I don't mind you guys calling me stupid. I thought I was going to find a queen today.

    Any advice?
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  2. #2
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Stupid is as stupid does and at least your attempt successful or not had a rationale. Stupid is just wringing hands and doing nothing. I do not know if your plan to segregate age groups will work. I have never tried that so I can't say. I would reduce your herd of queen cells. Those just capped are too delicate to transport well to your friend. Your parent hive may have swarmed if you have no eggs or open brood. Save the best two queen cells on the same frame and eliminate the rest or move your friends to the nuc on the original stand and watch the cells for evidence of the bees chewing the wax off the bottom of the cell. That means the virgin is soon going to chew her way out.

    When in your situation, a good first action is a taranov swarm recently discussed in a couple threads. Another beginner and blind old man ploy is to shake and brush all the bees thru an excluder. Its all a learning experience

  3. #3
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Vance
    I wanted to do a teronov but was afraid that all that shaking would destroy all the queen cells. My friend was going to come over monday and help me move stuff around but yesterday we thought it was only extended uncapped cells and that my hive had not swarmed yet. So I looked up bee math and got scared that the hive would swarm before monday and I did not want that. However, yesterday we were hard up time wise and so only tipped boxes and looked from the bottom. Today on finding the capped swarm cells, and not seeing any larva which is about the best my eyes can do right now, I figure we got it wrong and the swarm did come from this hive.

    I thought about taking every frame that had queen cells and dividing up the resources as even as I could to match the cells but don't really want to mess with to weak of hives untill I learn more plus, it might be a pipe dream, but I am kinda hoping I might still get a little honey off of the young brood hive due to all the comb starting out full right now. I should have put some empties in the brood nest earlier but it was only in the sixties and I was afraid it was still too cold. I thought I was good till the 15th of april no matter what cause I caught my first swarm in early may last year. My big mistake.

    This bee keeping stuff is pretty hard when you are new.

    I spent most of the night last night and this morning reading up on queen cells. Since these look like new wax and some are still not capped. I was thinking that monday they might be 4 or 5 days from when they were capped. So I was hoping monday when I got a little help might be soon enough to start destroying cells and hoping that the splitting the age groups would stop after swarms if I was wrong.

    I am almost sure the swarm came from this hive but just don't see how that many bees could have fit in the hive.

    I guess I have done what I have done.

    I am not trying to over load anyone with my issues but have a couple of things going forward that I would like to maby get a little advice on.

    On the hive with the old bees and partial frame of brood. If it takes eight days or a little less for the cell to hatch and two weeks for breeding, Then should I leave the hive alone for 20/24 days? I don't know how fast it will take for the bees to draw the medium out with comb but at that 24 day mark, will I have to extract to give the new queen a place to lay? Have I got all of this wrong?

    Also on the old bees, will I sometime in this process need to ad another frame of brood?

    I figure on the young bees that they have three mediums full now and since there is no foragers for a week or so that they will eat some room into the comb that is already there. Is this right or wrong thinking?

    I thank you for your comments above, believe it or not, they made me not "feel" quite as dumb as I really am.
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  4. #4
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    I've done just what you did many times and it worked out great. The way I figured it was that the old bees fly back to the old spot over a period of a week or more, so the hive you moved won't swarm without enough foraging bees to go with the swarm. That was always my way of thinking anyway.

    The older bees going back, they should do fine. Keep in mind that bees go for their orientation flights around day 6-10 then come back to the hive as house bees for almost two more weeks before they become foragers. So, over the next couple weeks, bees will be going back to the older aged bee hive. Most will go back in the next 1-3 days, then the amounts going back will reduce quite a bit, as some bees that oriented to the old location will still re-orient and stay at the new location also.

    All in all, the older aged bees hive will lose populations so that by the time new brood is emerging from the new queen, they'll be quite a bit smaller than when they started out. Yes, check them in 24 days or so, and when you see eggs being laid and larva being fed, then it might help them out to give them a frame of sealed emerging brood.

    As the queen mates and needs to lay, the bees will move honey around to give her room, They will draw wax then if needed to clear her some space.

    OK, keep in mind, all beehives are not the same, they are individual organisms with their own attitudes. I think you did great, that both hives will become queen right and all will be good. But, one or both may still decide to swarm on you, that's just the way it sometimes works out. But for the most part, they both should work out just fine with what you've done.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    SiW.....
    Not much to update, I put about 3 gal of food on the what I am describing as a fly back split. I had thought it was chalk full when I did the split but seemed light so feed I did. I am done feeding or anything except watching the entrance till some where in the beginning of may when I will look for signs of a laying queen in both sides of the fly back swarm.

    On the teronov split, I am giving about a pint a day to what is hopefully the queen and young bees. I will check it in probly a week and see if it has got the queen cause if it does not, it has no way to make one cause I put no brood in the young be part. I figure this part of the split is pretty small because it is only taking a pint a day and has zero foragers coming out of the side opening on the double screen door. It has only been 5 days or so since the split and hopefully that will change. If I do another teranov split, I will probly still be as sloppy but will use a staple or two to hold the sheet from the wind. But, I should have some ideal of queenlyness on that hive sooner then the rest. If it is queenless, I will recombine the hive which shouldn't be too hard since it is on a double screen board over the origional hive. I am mostly in a waiting mode right now on the queen thing. If the queen thing works out on all of the four parts of the splits, I should be in fair shape as the first swarms that I caught last year where on may 6/7th. Right on time for a couple of smaller hives to build up. I have not feed any hive that has foragers in it. One has only one comb of brood with a queen cell and the other forager split has all the brood. I should have an interesting contrast of things to look at. I may feed the broodless forager split but had thought I read some where that it is better to wait untill the queen is laying. I will decide when I check for a laying queen based on what comb they have built between now and then.

    I have my fingers crossed on all of this. So far I like the fly back split best when starting with a queen cell because it is so easy. I would have liked it even better I think if I could have found the old queen and moved her with the foragers rather then a queen cell, but I was too late and believe the hive had swarmed before I caught it. I did not see the queen on the teronov split either and just took it for granted that she would end up in the right place. If she did not, it will only be the second one I have ever heard of being a failure. She could be dead in the grass though due to the wind that day. Time will tell and fingers are crossed.
    If you see me being stupid in any of my moves, do not be shy, I may not listen everytime but sure want to hear it.
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  6. #6
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Gww, I'm learning the beekeeping lingo from your post. Queenlyness. .

  7. #7
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Ray
    I've done just what you did many times and it worked out great. The way I figured it was that the old bees fly back to the old spot over a period of a week or more, so the hive you moved won't swarm without enough foraging bees to go with the swarm. That was always my way of thinking anyway.
    I was hopeing this might help with the after swarms.

    The older bees going back, they should do fine. Keep in mind that bees go for their orientation flights around day 6-10 then come back to the hive as house bees for almost two more weeks before they become foragers. So, over the next couple weeks, bees will be going back to the older aged bee hive. Most will go back in the next 1-3 days, then the amounts going back will reduce quite a bit, as some bees that oriented to the old location will still re-orient and stay at the new location also.
    This was something I hadn't thought through and is a big help in my understanding. I knew the oreintaion flight but did not put two and two together untill you wrote this. Hope I remember it. Very happy to have it explained to me.

    All in all, the older aged bees hive will lose populations so that by the time new brood is emerging from the new queen, they'll be quite a bit smaller than when they started out. Yes, check them in 24 days or so, and when you see eggs being laid and larva being fed, then it might help them out to give them a frame of sealed emerging brood.
    Thanks

    OK, keep in mind, all beehives are not the same, they are individual organisms with their own attitudes. I think you did great, that both hives will become queen right and all will be good. But, one or both may still decide to swarm on you, that's just the way it sometimes works out. But for the most part, they both should work out just fine with what you've done.
    Yes, Its all good. I am new and learning and maby I learned something in all this. I gave away the swarm to the guy that I bought this hive from. I lost half a hive but he was happy and I am a little on the good side rather then just a user and so all is good. I will get good brood breaks and probly no honey but more drawn comb and maby, just maby learn a little too.

    I hate to go to the pump too often but have one more thing that is of interest to me. I am not too worried about stores cause the young bees have lots of honey including in the old brood nest. I also figure some type of flow is on or they would not have swarmed and over all the bees were pretty calm and this sorta says they are to busy to worry about me. So, my question: As the hive will mostly be young bees, will robbing be a bigger issue then I am hoping it will be. My view is I will probly be ok. I have reduced both entrances down fairly small. The old bee hive is even backing up at the entrance a bit. Not to much coming into or leaving the young bee hive. Is the young bee hive going to be more open to robbing under these conditions and expecially since I am not feeding?

    I really thank you for your comments. I am a very indecisive person when I have what seems like choices and so I am always thinking I picked the wrong way to go.
    I can take losses but will still be kicking my self while I take them.

    Your post has really helped and I don't feel quite so helpless now.
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  8. #8
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    gww
    leave the small opening on till the hive is full of bees and your ready to move them to a larger hive.
    I have 19 nucs started from swarm cells + ones with Queens.
    Remember the bees will fix our ma-stacks.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  9. #9
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    The hives being fed are the hives that get robbed. Weak hives also do, usually weaker mating nucs and such. As it is, from what I can understand of what you have, you should have no worries. Just don't stick a feeder on ok? I'm betting your flows are on, or are starting, you won't need to feed. The thing is, they'll back fill the brood nest until the new queen is mated and laying, That is when they'll need to move honey out to give room for the new queen to lay. By then temps will be warmer and flows will be on and they'll start drawing wax. I'm guessing of course 'cause I am not aware of what your weather is and what your hives look like, my binoculars don't work so well from this distance! But, it's that time of year where if you are not in the far north, flows should be on or at least starting, I'm betting flows are even starting further north than you are. Don't stress and enjoy the weekend.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Danial
    My take on it is this.
    1. I did confuse you because I put the young bee portion of the split on top of the hive that I shook. It is the lower old bee side that swarmed.

    2. Some how I do not think that I got the queen in with the young bees. I shook every frame and did not compleetly clear them of bees while shaking and so the old part of the split had some nusrse bees and all the brood.

    3. Since it did not seem like I got the old queen up with the young bees, she could have still been in the old be part. I was under the mistaken ideal that the queen would fall easier then the nusre bees when shaking and I did look after shaking for the queen on the comb before putting it back with the old bee part.
    I did have the wind blow a clump of bees in the grass while doing the shaking and had pretty much decided I had harmed and lost her but she could have ended up in the old bee part.

    4. I don't think the queen had swarmed yet when I made the split because the swarm cells were none capped yet. It is not impossible that she ended up in the old bee side or swarmed. I did not worry about it and was just taking the chance that splitting off that many young bees might change the make up enough to make them think they could not swarm.

    5.I was thinking that even if the queen was in the old be side that the bees would tear down the cells or would have let them hatch and take out the queen.

    6. This swarm did not look but about one third the size of my last swarm and so I am thinking it might be a virgin swarm but don't know. The queen cells if capped would have hatched about a week ago if my math is correct (and it could be wrong). It did rain steady and not get above 65 degrees on the one day that had any clearing at all and was 3 days ago. The virgin queen would have been hatched in the hive for a good week and maby closer to two weeks. I think I made the split on the 18th or so of april.

    I did put a queen cell from a differrent hive in the young bee part because I could see no eggs and it would have hatched even earlier. I had intended to give them two good days before going in the hive so they had a chance of a mating flight before I messed with them again. I still have not seen if I was successful there but that part is not the part that swarmed.

    On the part that did swarm, I did not reduce the amount of queen cells to two. It was pretty big and I had reduced the number of bees in it and had the split on top of it that had a differrent aged queen cell in it and I didn't want to mess up the possible mating of that queen cell to get to the ones below to cull them.

    I deserve the swarm and may even get more but I was hopeing I had done enough just by splitting the age groups to forstall it. I was wrong ha ha.

    It wil be interesting to check the old hive that swarmed or the swarm in a couple of days and see if either has eggs. My problim is that I can not see eggs and so at times might miss read the truth even if looking.

    The queen may have been laying down there all along.

    I do not inspect very well and lots of time even looking, I don't find. I have never found a queen on my own yet but I also though looking never really search for her that hard but more look at other things and just do manuvers that should work regaurdless of where she ends up. By work, I don't mean work best (to prevent swarming and such) but more to make sure each thing I do leaves bees an avenue to end up with a queen. I realize that I can do better but this being the first few times of me moving bees around, the doing it the first time is hard enough and I should get better with the process to be able to add more to it. I am a slow learner and so I did this and watch the out come and believe that I will do better next time taking what I am learning as I go into account.

    Guess I am going to have to make a shaker box and go that rout to find the queen a couple of times.

    Thanks you for the comments
    gww
    zone 5b

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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    gww, it seems as though when there's a swarm impulse in progress, that impulse needs to be squelched. Just taking away the queen and some brood, may be like a swarm to the bees, but if there are many cells and many bees left, an after swarm can still happen easily. That's probably what you have, which could mean you have a virgin queen swarm there.

    One thing I don't get, you put the "swarm" bees back on top. Does that mean you only separated them with a screen or excluder, or were they totally separated? If they had a screen or excluder, yet in contact, I don't know that the Taranov split put back on top did anything to squelch the impulse. I don't know about that though. Evidently what ever you did didn't convince them not to swarm anymore. Leaving one good cell would not allow them to swarm with the queen, since they then would be done for. Many cells tells them to do some more swarms. Even if you take away the 'swarm' if they have the resources, they'd still have the impulse to after swarm. For insurance, you could do 2 splits out of the remaining, with each split having one cell, and have an extra opportunity for a mated queen. The original Taranov swarm would need to be eliminated from the hive though as a split. I might not understand what you were doing there.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Danial
    I don't know how I missed your last post but I did. I had one small one last year and added a bigger one with it a month later and it only built up thirteen medium frames. I did slam some quick feed in october and put a sugar block on it and it was busting at the seems the first time I checked in march. It was the only one that had queen cups with no eggs durring my first inspection. It is now my only hive that has not swarmed and is working on supers. My only real chance at honey. I have about a gal and a half worth almost capped in this hive.

    My other swarm built up probly 17 frames and it was busting at the seams also. I do think not being able to adress swarming this year had some to do with so much stores in the hives in spring. They were built up to bigger then their origional population before I could even look at them due to the wether.

    I am feeding a bit this year to see if I can see a differrance in build up and because of the free sugar.

    I got impatiant and looked in the big hive part of the walk away split. I was down to the last three frames out of the 20 I looked at when I spotted the queen. This hive surprizes me a little. I had slamed 3 gals of 2 to 1 on it close to when I made the split cause it seemed to be getting lighter and I did not leave any foragers in the hive and it had a lot of brood to hatch. The part that surprizes me is that it is really active, It is packed plumb full of bees but has not stored much since the nurse bees and some of the hatched brood has turned to foragers. Still no egg laying but the queen is new and fat and has almost three meduims of empty comb to lay in. I did have a question. I found the queen in the second medium from the bottom. The bottom medium is mostly empty comb except for some pollen. Should I leave it where it is or should I reverse the two bottom boxes? There is still no sign of laying but I am no longer worried after seeing the queen. If those queens did not have a big orange colored tail, I would not see them.

    This tells me when I look again at the old bee split that that queen will have to bee seen also cause even though tomorrow will be 30 days from capped queen cell, I am sure I will not see laying yet, the wether must have played a big part. Sure have my fingers crossed on that split but will wait 5-7 more days if I don't spot her tomorrow.

    So, I now have two queens spotted out of six. I may go in the hive that swarmed twice tomorrow also to check on stores and comb drawing. It had an empty super on it that the bees had started on and then swarmed twice anyway. It is hard to inspect because it has the teronov split on top of it. It should gain some foragers tomorrow while I have the teronove set off to the side. These queens should by all rights be a week behind in development from when they were made but the swarms sorta tell me that they come out about even.

    Anyway, my one question is wether to leave the hive that I found the queen in the second medium the way it is or move the second medium to the bottom?
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Leave it the way it is until you see sealed brood emerging which will be in about three weeks. Don't disturb the way they are until she has laid a full round of brood that is emerging so that you know she is well established. That empty on the bottom is not hurting a thing at the moment.

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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Danial
    Yea, I make it up as I go. You think it might catch on?.
    Cheers
    gww
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    It will probably reside in my head gww.

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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Ray

    Keep up what you are doing, that's how we learn about bees. Give them time enough to perform. It takes 14-21 days After emerging to see eggs laid from a virgin queen that has mated. So from the time you make a split, to the time of eggs, is about 28 days.
    And then panic.
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    gww, I have already written it too often on other threads, but I have seen it on BS a lot, which is, the queen generally starts to lay right after the new beekeeper starts to panic. Sometimes a keeper will panic and do some manipulating thing and maybe ruin the whole process because it just wasn't quite time yet. Patience is important with bees.

    I am glad Ray Clarified the queen cell question. Sounds reasonable.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    hootowl
    The hive is still big, three medium big anyway. I was just worried that the leaving foragers would remember and the hive full of young bees might not gaurd. I am willing to wait and see what happens now since nothing glaringly stupid seems to have been done by me, yet. I will watch the entrances for the next 24 days and maby on the forager side pull the top in a week or so to make sure they have room since they are in one medium and I don't know how long it will take to draw it out.

    I may sound stupid posting this stuff, but you guys that answered have made me feel not quite as edgy as I was. I read a lot but am still new and you guys have helped.
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  19. #19
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Gww, it sounds like you are growing more colonies there. Though I would watch for robbing, you should have a good spring flow going on, and that helps to reduce or eliminate robbing. Its going good here with extra stores being collected. Warming is just around the corner here and I have been adding space and doing swarm prevention on hives. They are definitely considering it.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: bone head split so far, somebody save the day.

    Ok
    Though I was really trying to wait, I checked the hives today. My intention was to check the teronov split for a queen. I wanted to wait till the end of the week but the wether has a whole bunch of rain in it.

    I opened the shaken bees that are over the snelgrove board. They have built some beutiful comb with the sugar water that I have been giving them. Maby about 30 percent of the hive body. It is all full but no sign of a queen. Since the hive had queen cups in it but no larva, I was thinking that I should have got the queen but don't think I did. I am not sure how long the queen would have stoped laying and then started if the hive had decided it wanted to swarm and so maby checking in six days was too early.

    I had made the walk away split with the foragers getting one brood frames with one capped queen cell and two uncapped cups and two frames of capped honey. I decided to open that hive next to see if one of the queen cells was still in it. It was made 8 days ago. It had about sixty percent of the combs drawn out and sure enough on the brood frame the bees had actually made even more queen cells. I could not find one that was open yet and did not see the queen. These bees have recieved no feed.

    I found a capped cell that was not too close to the bottom bar and used my pocket knife to cut it out trying to take some extra comb. I took this cell which is turning dark color and hard and so I hope close to hatching and put it in one of the combs in the teronov split. I cut out a hole in the comb in the teronov split and smashed the extra ears I had left on the queen cell into the hole I had made.

    Two things worry me a little on this. One is that when smashing the cell into the comb, I saw some royal jelly or bee bread ooze out. I am hoping this is from brood that might be in the excess wax that I cut around the cell but am still a little worried. The second fear is that when I slid the combs back together so everything fit, it was pushed right up against the top of the cell where the queen usually comes out. Time will tell.

    I did notice one other kinda funny thing. Around the queen cells there sure were a bunch of bees doing the waggle dance. The bees were covering the queen cell very well. They did not like it very well when I blew on them to make them move so I could see.

    Hope it works.

    I also got in my one hive that I did not find cells in. The had about 60 percent of the super I had added to them drawn out. I moved that super to the side and pulled two frames from the second medium box up into a new box and put empties in thier place and then put that super brood/new brood nest and then set what was the old third box on top of it. The very top box now was almost all honey but it did have a drawn out queen cup in the middle of all that honey that had a bee going in it and I guess cleaning it cause I looked up in it and it was empty. I might be giving them too much space to quickly but it give me a chance to move a couple of frames of brood out of the brood nest.

    It might be a mistake but I also undersupered the walk away split that had all the young bees and all the brood that I had given 3 gal of serup to. They don't have a queen yet I don't believe because they should be the same as the one I took the queen cell out of but the young bee part of it. They have all the brood and were three boxes high and now are foraging and I udersupered that hive.

    I am going to have a very hard time on it deciding what is honey and what is sugar water because I did not mark the frames yet.

    I was supering some of this early cause I don't want to mess with them during a virgin queen mating flight and was afraid they might turn the mating flight into a swarm if they felt crowded.

    I don't know what I an doing and am just guessing what might work.

    Wish me luck. I think I can stay out of the hives now till may 6/10 or somewhere around then.

    Cheers
    gww

    PS On the teronov split I didn't have much choice cause they had no brood and no way to possibly make a queen of thier own.

    PS PS I don't know if it was coincidence or just time for some bees to graduate to foragers, but for the first time since making the split and after I put the queen cell in the teronov split, the bees were bringing back pollen on almost every bee that left the hive. The one that I took the queen cell from was now for the first time bringing no pollen in but they were working like crazy. I know there are still queen cells in the hive though.

    One other good thing is that even the combs that were pure nector, the bees were drawing them strait and not fat.
    Last edited by gww; 04-24-2017 at 02:07 PM.
    zone 5b

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