We lost a pretty strong hive to swarm and then SHB slime this spring. Our second hive is doing great but we haven't been taking great care of it this summer due to life getting in the way. I took a honey frame in early June but we were out of the country during traditional NC harvest time and so the hive is honey bound right now during a dearth. We plan to harvest today and then make a split and feed.
I'd like some reassurance and advice.
Since we don't have any queen cells at this point in the year, I plan to remove brood /egg /larvae frames and shake the bees back into the parent box. I'll add these frames (5-7)and some pollen and honey frames into the child box. Queen excluder goes over the parent box and then the child box goes on top and I'll seal up the hive. The next morning I'll remove the child box now full of nurse bees and place it onto a new hive stand (about 10 feet away ). I'll also place feeders and entrance reducers on both. Hopefully (fingers crossed) over the next month the child hive will raise a queen.
buy a queen, there is not enough time to let them raise a queen on their, at 45 days from egg to laying eggs, and 24 days for a brood cycle that puts you in November with a fresh queen an not anywhere near enough brood to survive.
buying a queen now will get your colony to the brood amount needed to survive, Sept 1st is the latest I've had a requeened colony survive, but that was in San Diego SoCal back in the 70's
I just did some late splits myself. In this area about June 15 is the latest one wants to split and let them raise a queen. I purchased some Pol-Line queens from a local producer to make up splits on July 17. I moved 2 frames of capped brood and nurse bees and added the queens on 7/17, 7/29 I moved them into 10 frame boxes because they had the nucs packed.
My thought: Knowing you are late in the season, why not move the old queen into a nuc with some brood and stores, leaving some fresh eggs in the existing colony?
Do they not have a better work force and way better resources to make a good queen?
Would the brood break help with varroa going into winter?
With the old queen in the nuc, a few workers drifting to the nuc from the larger colony wouldn't be as big an issue as workers drifting from a queenless nuc back to the larger, queenright colony?
The colony is already honey bound, so a brood break is pretty well already in progress isn't it?