Need to do split ASAP-have 3 capped QCells, think hive already swarmed
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Rising Fawn, GA, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Need to do split ASAP-have 3 capped QCells, think hive already swarmed

    One of 3 hives (strongest) has 3 capped Qcells & recently swarmed. Was going to leave frame w/2 cells in main hive (I can't locate queen) and put frame with 1 Qcell, brood w/nurse bees, capped honey w/pollen in cardboard Nuc I have on hand. No way to provide syrup in this box, can I do this until I can get another hive? Have never done a split.... Input appreciated.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,514

    Default Re: Need to do split ASAP-have 3 capped QCells, think hive already swarmed

    If the hive has swarmed, that's why you can't see the queen - she leaves with the swarm.

    Is the cardboard nuc box big enough for an additional frame? if so I would give them one with open nectar.

    How long until you can get another permanent box for the little nuc? A couple of weeks? Probably ok, though I'd make a temporary water-proof cover for it. Months? Too long!

    If you're sure there are no hatched queen cells already, then I would consider moving the original hive aside and leave the little nuc on the old location to collect some more foragers for awhile. Just one frame of bees and brood is a very small colony, perhaps not big enough to defend itself or keep the SHB suppressed.

    If either one of these fails to re-queen, then do a newspaper combine and re-unite them as soon as you're sure you've missed a requeening.

    Read up on BeeMath (Michael Bush's site -www.bushfarms.com) so you know when the next events are going to take place.(It's sort of the "What to expect when you're expecting" but for baby honeybee queens) Depending on how long ago the Qcells were capped and/or the hived swarmed, you may only a have a few days before one queen hatches. (It's a much shorter than for workers or drones.) A hatched virgin will complicate your splitting plans, though it won't endanger your colony unless the hive casts another swarm with a virgin queen. Getting down to no more than two cells per unit reduces the chances of that. Leaving only a single cell of course prevents that, but at the risk that for some reason the sole cell turns out to be a dud, or doesn't return from mating and the you'd wind up queenless. I always leave two, in at least one of the parts, unless I am really short of cells and I'm feeling lucky.

    Making new queens and starting colonies is lots of fun. My fave part of beekeeping.

    Nancy

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Rising Fawn, GA, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Need to do split ASAP-have 3 capped QCells, think hive already swarmed

    Thank You Nancy! : )
    Appreciate your input! Tks for link to Michael Bush...I Love his methods and have some of his books. I read that article after u mentioned it - great stuff! Plan to do split today (and will combine if all fails....) It IS So exciting. Will have a new hive del'd Asap and; for the future, am building up my supplies so I will be more prepared. Am committed to doing a better job of keeping an eye on these precious girls ; ). Attempts at prevention make so much more sense than scrambling unprepared (sigh) : ) Blessings!

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