I am making two splits and will be placing a new Italian Queen in each. I am setting them up in 10 frame deeps with 4 frames of brood each. I will be wedging the queen cage boxes in the center ofthe 4 brood frames to do the introduction as the candy plug is eaten for release. I will have a pollen patty placed in the hive and a sugar syrup feeder as well. My question is-Should I close off the hive entrance while the introduction is taking place? If so for how long? Also, I don't want to interfere with them while the introduction process is taking place but was wondering what I should look for as far as external hive activity if the entrance is left open or what to look for after it is opened. Thank you for your time and help. Looking forward to this new beekeeping experience, I just want to do it right.
Re: Made 2 Splits with a New Queen in each-Question
Do NOT close the entrance. You can reduce the entrance (to discourage any robbing). I would not add any HBH or additives to the sugar syrup at this time of the year. Small(er) portions of pollen sub keeps SHB problem to minimum.
1. Make the splits
2. Put the queen cage in (with no attendants in the cage if possible)
3. Come back after 3 days to check on the candy plug
4. If candy is all gone and queen release, remove the queen cage, close the hive (not the entrance) and leave them beeeeeee for 10 days, come back to check for eggs, developing larvae, capped brood etc
5. If queen is not released, check to make sure queen is still alive and moving, come back after two days... if still not released, resort to manual release (and pray).