Okay, third year beekeeper and looking for feedback on my thoughts/plan or suggestions for a better approach. I have 3 hives that all came through the winter here in Ohio and 2 are absolutely booming. After my first inspection, I reversed my deeps and both of these hives pretty much filled a nearly empty deep in a week - I wasnít expecting it to fill that fast! One hive also had several empty queen cups last Wednesday. I scraped off those early queen cells and added supers.
I checked back today and the hive in questions now has lots of new queen cells, many empty but a few now with larvae - yikes! (Theyíve also started to draw out the frames in the super, really booming hive!) I do have 2 nucs set aside and mostly ready to go, and I also have a doubled screened board if I wanted to go that route, although I donít have any empty deep boxes but have several mediums that I intended to use as supers.
My primary goal is to prevent swarming and queen/bee loss (and to hopefully have some honey this season). Iím okay with splits to that end, but am not necessarily looking to increase number of hives for the sake of expanding. I actually only planned on 2 hives, had lots of extra equipment for emergencies, but ended up with three hives at the end of last season and now all my deeps are used up).
My next day off is Wednesday. With larvae in cups but no queen cells capped, am I safe to wait two days? I plan to try to find the queen (of all three hives, this is the one queen I never see, even though I did see eggs at all my inspections so far), put her in a nuc with 3 frames of brood and nurse bees (and no queen cups, of course) and some honey/pollen stores. Then I will add some empty frames back in the spaces of the original hive and close it up and let them requeen, wait 4 weeks, and check back.
Is this the best plan or am I better off manipulating with the double screened board? Is my timeline for this (to allow prep and another chunk of time to work without being hurried) correct? When I put the current queen in the nuc, do I put a medium empty nuc box on top right away since weíre in the thick of a nectar flow here, or wait and check later? I know to leave the hive alone as it raises a new queen, but how long do you let the nuc alone - a week?
Please, please, any feedback or suggestions is much appreciated - thank you!