This is my first year raising bees. I only had the funds to buy 1 established hive. The hive consisted of a deep brood box, a medium brood box, and a honey super. The hive has been doing well so I thought I would make a split. I took everyother frame out of the existing hive and placed it into the corresponding deep, and medium brood boxes of the new hive centering them in the boxes. Then I centered the frames in the original hive. So each hive box has 5 frames centered. I had ordered a queen from Bee Weaver in Texas. Now, I've not been good at spotting eggs, but can visualize small larvae, so I figure on going into the hives this coming Monday, a week after splitting the boxes. I'm thinking that whichever box has all capped brood in it will be the hive that is queenless and will get the ordered queen. Does this sound like a viable plan or will I have to worry about finding any queen cells they may have created?
Also, since it had been an overwintered hive they have laid in several frames of honey. I was thinking that since I'm making a split that maybe I should forfeit harvesting any honey and feed it back to the hives. Or, would it be ok to harvest the honey and put on the top feeders that I ordered?
Please advise. Open to all constructive criticism.
If it was me, I would have ordered the queen first, to be sure she came alive and well. That said, if indeed you split a week ago and there were any viable eggs available, you will most likely have queen cells. And yes I would remove them before placing my queen in. On the bright side, you will know which hive has the queen. As far as the hives go, I'd be sure to fill the hive with frame and foundation, if you use it. As for the honey, I would give it back just as it is. they will use it to build the hive quicker if needed. ( I wouldn't be surprised if you don't have a dearth in your not to distant future. ) As the saying goes, " you can make honey or you can make bees " . Two hives are better than one, always. Learn how to keep them alive through the winter, (if there is such a thing in AR) and you will be far better off next year for honey, and any hives you want to make.
p.s. Try to find a local mentor and join a bee club if possible. But as always, there are always good people here willing to try and help.
Thanks for your input! It's nice to know that all my dilligent reading and YouTube watching has me on the right track. I have filled both hives with the frames and foundation on either side of where the brood frames are. I may take out a couple on either side of the top(medium) brood box and put in some honey frames. As far as the winter, yeah it's not much of a winter. Not like I had most of my life living in northern MI. People talk about winter and I just kinda chuckle. If it's not below freezing with a couple feet of snow on the ground I can't really call it winter, lol.
I have joined a local bee club, and have found a mentor that this is only his second year, but a great guy. Thanks for the best wishes.