This is the second year in a row I have attempted to make a vertical split using a QE. I am aware that many beekeepers use a double screen board instead of a QE, but I have heard from a variety of sources that a QE also works and, for a variety of reasons, I wanted to do it that way.
Here's what I did each time:
1. I took several frames containing eggs and young brood from a queenright mother hive, shook the bees back into the mother hive to ensure I didn't move the queen, then placed the beeless frames in a 10-frame box (the “split”), filled out with frames of nectar, pollen, etc.
2. I then placed a super filled with empty frames on top of the mother hive (which included all the bees I shook off the "split").
3. Then I placed a queen excluder above the super
4. I then placed the split box of beeless frames (including eggs and young larvae) above the QE.
5. I covered the entire stack with an IC and OC.
I have heard, and read that this would work as follows;
1. Nurse bees from the mother hive would move up through the super and QE to cover the open brood in the split box.
2. The nurse bees in the split box will think they are queenless because of the empty super and the QE below. Hence, they would start one of more queen cells from the eggs and young larvae available.
The first step went as planned; lots of nurses moved up to cover the brood in the split. The second step never happened. I did a complete inspection of the split box after 8 days and found no QC. Same thing happened when I did this last year.
My first reaction is to suspect that this procedure for a vertical split is simply not viable (0 successes in two trials is not encouraging). However, I have heard and read from so many mentors and reliable sources that I am inclined to think that the method may valid but perhaps there was a flaw in my execution. And I would really like to make this work if it is workable.
Has anyone successfully done vertical splits like this, using a QE instead of a double screen board? If so, any pointers or theories on how to do it better or why my two attempts might have failed?
I would be grateful for any feedback.