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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

I need some advice. I actually had a hive survive the winter and is booming. I did a check on 4/16 and the queen is doing great. TONS of eggs and brood, both capped and uncapped. I made a quick decision and did a split the same day. 4/16. I had to go on a business trip the next day and they were so packed I was afraid they would swarm before I got back. I had to let them requeen themselves. Even though I wasn't particularly looking for the queen I saw her and left her with the original hive. That hive is still doing really well. The split hive seems to be also.

I plan on doing a quick check today on the split off hive. So, if the split hive is getting low on workers due to drift, or whatever, how should I add bees?

Should I shake some nurse bees from the original hive or would you add a frame of brood with nurse bees?

I should add that this is the first split I have attempted. Thanks.

Bob
 

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Move the original hive to a location several feet away when the bees are actively flying and put the split in the original hives location. It will nicely equalize population. So easy I can do it.
 

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You are not far from me. I have not seen a single drone yet, so I feel it is early to split since the new queen won't have any drones to mate with. In my area, west of Chicago, the swarm season seems to start in late May, so that is when I split.

Have you seen any queen cells formed? If no queen cells in the split I would add a frame of eggs.
 

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Agreed, it was definitely too early to do a split.

OP already split, now OP will need to make sure the queen gets mated.

Consider oneself fortunate if the queen does mate successfully.

Not sure what else to do, the cat is out of the bag. The only other option is to re-combine and try again in a couple of weeks.
 

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I keep bees in northern Illinois and just started making splits. No swarm cells yet, but numerous cups are being built. April 16 would have been too early for my liking to make splits this year. Last year, I had a hive swarm on April 17 or 18th. This year the bees are about 2 weeks behind to where they were last year at this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I did a quick check today. I only got a few frames in when I saw a nice fat closed queen cell. So I closed it up right then.

I do have drones flying right now. Other backyard beeks in the area but haven’t had a chance to talk to them.

I knew it was early but I decided to do the split on the16th because I had to go out of town the next day. I did cull some charged (?) queen cells and was worried they would swarm before I could get to them when I returned and schedule would allow. Would’ve been yesterday at the earliest. The original hive continues to boom. I added a medium today because they are packed and there seems to be plenty orientation flights daily.

The split hive seems to be doing ok. Still plenty of frames with capped brood and a lot of pollen coming in. If things go sideways I’ll try to get a mated queen locally. The is for the reply’s.

Bob
 

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Sounds like you have a queen in progress! Hopefully she will emerge from that queen cell and ultimately mate with several drones returning to your splitout hive to reign - good home brew local Queen. Best wishes!
 
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