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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started 2 new hives on May 12th from purchased Nucs. The Nucs were several weeks old when I bought them and well established. One Nuc was considerably stronger and noticeably heavier than the other. Four weeks later, the hive from the stronger Nuc has filled 8 frames of a deep box and several frames of a 2nd deep. There are a lot of bees and about 12 swarm cells, most of which are capped. I also counted 2 superceedure cells which also are capped. The queen is laying like crazy on new and existing comb. The 2nd hive has 6 deep frames drawn and filled with some progress being made on the inside of the 7th & 8th frames. There is not much open comb for eggs although I can find eggs in some random cells.

Today I made a split from the stronger hive and added it to the weaker hive. I first removed the queen from the weaker hive and added an upper deep separated by newspaper. I took a full frame of brood with the queen from the strong hive and added this to the weaker hive along with another frame of bees & brood and a frame of bees & nectar (three frames with bees, brood & queen). I filled the remainder of the weaker hive with empty frames & foundation. I left all of the swarm & superceedure cells alone in the strong hive.

I have 2 questions to throw out to the forum;

#1 Will this action likely prevent a swarm from the stronger hive?
#2 What can I expect from my addition to the weaker hive?

All comments are appreciated!

MJ Franks
 

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Well that is a new way to do it. The second hive should start acting like the first. Likely stop swarming? Possibly is probably closer to it.
Usual is to leave only a couple of cells, that may cut down the afterswarms. Keep adding space to the strong hive, add it into the drawn combs even if you have to pull frames out of the hive. Adding another body and mixing is better.

The combine should be ok, that means you need to think about space for also.

Storing the old queen in a nuc is a good practice, one or 2 frames will work if you do not want it to grow.

And welcome to Beesource or welcome to posting on Beesource.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Well that is a new way to do it. The second hive should start acting like the first. Likely stop swarming? Possibly is probably closer to it.
Usual is to leave only a couple of cells, that may cut down the afterswarms. Keep adding space to the strong hive, add it into the drawn combs even if you have to pull frames out of the hive. Adding another body and mixing is better.

The combine should be ok, that means you need to think about space for also.

Storing the old queen in a nuc is a good practice, one or 2 frames will work if you do not want it to grow.

And welcome to Beesource or welcome to posting on Beesource.
Would it be beneficial for me to go back into the strong hive and cull the queen cells to 2 or 3 capped cells? Should I leave the 2 capped superceedure cells along with a couple of capped swarm cells?

I actually did save the queen that was removed. I made a small 8" x 5" x 3" cage with screened bottom and put the queen & 20 workers in it along with a 2" square of nectar filled comb. The queen is still in her hair clip trap but he workers are attending her. I also added several empty frames to the upper deep brood box for the strong hive and 7 undrawn deep frames to the upper brood chamber for the weaker hive.

How long does it typically take for the bees to chew through the newspaper?

Mike
 

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Yes I would remove most of the QCs. I would leave 2 good ones in the middle of a frame. Swarm cells and superceder cells have different purposes and do not occur at the same time.

Glad you saved the queen, great insurance. Are you wanting to expand or limit to two hives? Swarm cell frames are great for that.

Newspaper; overnight, even without slits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes I would remove most of the QCs. I would leave 2 good ones in the middle of a frame. Swarm cells and superceder cells have different purposes and do not occur at the same time.

Glad you saved the queen, great insurance. Are you wanting to expand or limit to two hives? Swarm cell frames are great for that.

Newspaper; overnight, even without slits.
I am trying to stay with 2 hives for this year.

So it appears that I should return to the stronger hive today and remove all but a couple of the capped queen cells? Most are on the bottom of 3 frames but there are also 2 capped cells halfway up on the end of one of the frames.

I see a lot of capped drone cells but only a few hatched drones in both hives. What are the chances that there are enough drones flying to mate the new queen(s).
 

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Yes. In weak hives the bottom cells sometimes get chilled and do not hatch, probably not a true problem in your hives, just my habit.
Do not show locality but this time of year drones should not be a problem at all.

You have backup queens already so this is really overkill. You could split the hive with a taped over inner cover with cells above and below with the plan of combining an keeping the best queen.

Get as much comb drawn as you can while you can. Reduces the swarming and is always a handy stockpile.
 
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