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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a hive out in the country that I just had not had time to get to until last Friday. I opened up the hive and saw they were crowded and had created a few swarm cells at the bottom of a couple of frames. As I continued my inspection, I found the old queen. I placed the frame with the queen on it in a nuc to transport that frame of bees and brood as well as 3 other frames full of bees. I left all frames with queen cells on them in the parent hive in hopes of making them think the old queen had swarmed and left. Well, since I triple checked the frame with the queen on it I was confident that she was in the transport nuc. When I got home, I placed the 4 frames of bees as well as the queen in a full size hive with drawn frames and some honey and pollen, plus added a 1 frame feeder to help get them a bit of a jumpstart. When I inspected the hive to make sure all was good on Tuesday, I could not find the queen, but found 3 queen cells on 1 frame, and 1 on another, all in the swarm location. With work pressing, I finished up and figured I would look in on them again on my days off 2 days later. So yesterday I had a chance to look inside the hive and do a more thorough inspection and still did not find the old queen, lots of bees in there though and now 3 of the 4 queen cells are capped. I did notice a little bit of chalkbrood too.
Sorry for the long description, but just wanted to paint the whole picture.
So now down to the question:
Since there is no queen present, should I split the resources evenly and place 1 frame with a queen cells in one nuc, and the other in another nuc, or just leave it all inside the current 10 frame hive? Would I be taking too much risk with the one colony since there is only 1 queen cell on that frame?

Thanks for the help/input,
Craig
 

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at this point I would not split any further, you could recombine the two or leave as is and wait for the virgin queens to hatch and get mated. Not sure of your resources but if it was me I would let it play out as you have it now. Good luck:thumbsup:
 

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Knock on wood I haven't knowingly dealt with chalk brood but I definately wouldn't split that nuc. What happened to the queen? Who knows, but sometimes a major disruption is taken out on the queen. Depending on if there are drones around I'd leave everything alone and let the queens do what comes naturally. I would remove the feeder frame and add a regular frame (drawn or undrawn) to reduce crowding and keep the nuc from thinking it should swarm. You never said how the other original hive is doing.
 

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Did you check back on the mother hive you thought you took the queen from? It is a good chance she fell back in the hive and that hive will swarm anyways since they had swarm cells so advanced. If she fell on the ground or got killed while in the nuc I would let both hives be. Your intention on the mother hive was to prevent swarming and for them to create a new queen which they were already in the process off. The nuc you took to create another hive which you did except now they are also creating there own queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the help. I know she didn't fall of the frames since I had my eyes locked on her as I placed her in the nuc box for transport. I wanted to make sure that the she wasn't going to get caught between the the frames when i put them together. One person suggested that if I wanted to play a little and get some experience, try to harvest the queen cells and put them in 3 seperate nucs and with 3 frames of bees and brood from different hives. If it doesn't work, just recombine them. Either that or just leave everthing as is and let them raise their own queens as they are doing now and reassess in 2 and 3 weeks
 

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Batman, I think the best advice you've been given is to simply leave them be now, esp. since you're positive the old queen is not in the parent hive. Good luck to you sir, and keep us posted on what happens!
Regards,
Steven
 

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I would have split the main hive into a few nucs. I would have used every frame with swarm cells and made splits with those frames. Just because you take the queen does not mean they will not still swarm. Strong hives will usually swarm more than once, therefore the best thing to do would have been to break down the whole hive. At this point though you may just have to let nature take it course and check the hive again in about a month.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Well, I have decided that I am going to leave the parent hive and the split as is. Since the Queen's were not capped on Monday, but were on Thursday, I figure that by next Thursday, they should have hatched at the latest. Now all I need to know is: When can/should I check on them again? I have read that I should be able to see eggs around 3 weeks from date capped, but should I plan on not touching that hive for 3 weeks?

Thanks for the help,
Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
While it's still too early to see what is going on inside those 2 hives (queen should have hatched on Thursday, I do have a weak hive at my Dad's house that I picked up for nothing. The people that had the hive thought it was empty, but when I went to get it on a cold Feb morning, some bees marched out onto the front porch to greet me. The next day when I opened it up, I saw a few hundred bees in there, but no brood, no queen. The hive was eerily quiet, not a sound from the bees. I took a full frame of brood/eggs and bees and moved it over to this weak hive, probably double if not tripled the population. An inspection 2 weeks later still had no queen, just some bees, hanging out. I moved over another frame of bees/brood/eggs that also had a nice queen cell on it. I just opened the hive for the first time in 3 weeks since I moved the frame. I have some capped brood still that I believe was from the other hive, that I am assuming didn't survive the cold snap we had when a storm moved in, but the I did find some fresh larva and eggs. This prompted me to look harder thru the hive, if there was a queen in there, she should be easy to spot in this small hive. Found her! There is still pleanty of bees in there, but I am hoping that there will be enough to keep the queen warm as well as the brood she is laying. Since there isn't really enough bees for this 10 frame hive, I think I might bring a 5 frame nuc next time I visit to try and help them out. Would it be a bad thing to maybe strap another 5 frame nuc on top with a piece of newspaper between them and stick a few more frames of bees in there to help this hive out some more?
 
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