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Discussion Starter #1
I have a hive that was bearding heavily.

I bought a package a few months ago.

I installed them in a single deep, after 2-3 weeks they were
fairly full of both brood and honey, and I added a second box.

I ONLY use deeps.

I pulled the top box and almost got a hernia, it was absolutely
full and probably weighs 80 Lbs.

I've never seen a box this full from my bees, I've never seen
them fill one this quick either, they kinda got ahead of me there.

I'm reconsidering the deeps-for-everything approach....

Both Boxes were absolutely packed with Bees as well as honey and brood.

Brood was spread all thru both boxes, wherever she could find
space I guess....There was very little empty space
and maybe 1/2 a frame of unused space in the entire hive.

I wanted a second hive.

I pulled 1/2 the frames from the bottom box and put them in a new
hive along with the bees attached.

Those frames were about 1/3 brood and the remainder honey.

I filled the other 5 frames in that box with drawn comb.
I added a second box of drawn comb.

The new box is ~6 ft from the first and rotated 90 Deg.
I piled a handfull of leafy branches in front of the new hive
for the first day.

I never found the queen and I'm not sure which box she is in.

I did this 4 days ago.
I have not opened them since.
Both boxes now have the tops opened up to provide more air and
both have an upper or middle entrance.
No more bearding.

The Original box is almost as busy as ever, the new box is not
nearly as active, the bees tend to loiter in the air and on the
box and landing board more then usual.

Neither hive has nearly the flow of pollen coming in which I saw
last month on the first hive, but both have a little coming in.

The new frames I added were a bit dirty and I do see 'crud' they
are removing from them and pushing out the front of the hive.


I would like to see if they will raise a queen, more out of curiosity
than anything I guess....


Now some questions:

I think I got a good mix of ages, but how young does the brood need
to be for them to raise a queen?

How soon should I seed Queen Cells?

What is the window on this?
I assume once the brood is too old they can't raise a queen.
How long will they try to raise a queen, in other words, If the current
brood is too old, and I stick a batch of newly laid eggs in 2 weeks
from now, will they try then or not?

Any way aside from finding the queen or a profound lack of brood to
figure out which hive she is in?

I CAN go to a local source and buy a queen, but I'd rather figure out
how to do this on my/their own.

What if I swapped the hives in the middle of the day?


These bees were installed on undrawn comb and made some nasty dual layer
comb, I'd like to clean it out but it's always full of brood. If I move
it above the queen excluder and leave the nurse bees on it will they raise
this batch ok, and fill it with honey so I can simply cut that comb out and
make them do it right?


Marc
 

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A queen starts with a 4 day old egg/larva (4 days after laying). You'll probably have queen cells within 24-48 hours, but you maynot see them in a box packed with bees. If you don't think you have queen cells after a few days, give them another frame of eggs.

[ June 22, 2006, 03:52 PM: Message edited by: Ross ]
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll have to take a look this Sat, If I don't
see anything I'll add some more frames of eggs if I
can see them.

I'm thinking about swapping the hive locations.

Good or bad idea?
 

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If you had any eggs/larvae in there when you did the split, you should have emergency queen cells ready to hatch soon, maybe already by Saturday. And don't necessarily look for the queen, look for eggs.

It wouldn't hurt to swap locations, that probably help the split build up, but it would hinder the original somewhat.

Rick
 

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>I pulled the top box and almost got a hernia, it was absolutely
full and probably weighs 80 Lbs.

90.

>I've never seen a box this full from my bees, I've never seen
them fill one this quick either, they kinda got ahead of me there.

They do that sometimes.

>I'm reconsidering the deeps-for-everything approach....

I already did.

>Brood was spread all thru both boxes, wherever she could find
space I guess....There was very little empty space
and maybe 1/2 a frame of unused space in the entire hive.

They will probably swarm then.

>I pulled 1/2 the frames from the bottom box and put them in a new
hive along with the bees attached.

Sounds like a good start.

>I filled the other 5 frames in that box with drawn comb.
I added a second box of drawn comb.

Wow. Where'd you get all the drawn comb? That should give them a nice start.

>The new box is ~6 ft from the first and rotated 90 Deg.
I piled a handfull of leafy branches in front of the new hive
for the first day.

That will help some, but a lot will still drift since the original hive is still there.

>I did this 4 days ago...No more bearding.

Sounds like a good sign.

>The Original box is almost as busy as ever, the new box is not
nearly as active, the bees tend to loiter in the air and on the
box and landing board more then usual.

Sounds like the new one is queenless so far.

>Neither hive has nearly the flow of pollen coming in which I saw
last month on the first hive, but both have a little coming in.

The main flow may have let up.

>The new frames I added were a bit dirty and I do see 'crud' they
are removing from them and pushing out the front of the hive.

Normal.

>I would like to see if they will raise a queen, more out of curiosity
than anything I guess....

They will raise one. How sucessful they will be is the only question.

>I think I got a good mix of ages, but how young does the brood need
to be for them to raise a queen?

If there were eggs you have it covered. They will prefer larvae that JUST hatched. Meaning they are almost invisible. Only more than a day after they hatch and they are not ideal candidates for a queen.

>How soon should I seed Queen Cells?

48 hours after the split you should be able to recognize queen cells.

>I assume once the brood is too old they can't raise a queen.

Correct.

>How long will they try to raise a queen, in other words, If the current
brood is too old, and I stick a batch of newly laid eggs in 2 weeks
from now, will they try then or not?

Yes they will. But why wait. Put them in now if there's any question. It never hurts to add a frame of open brood to a hive unless they actually don't have enough bees to cover the brood.

>Any way aside from finding the queen or a profound lack of brood to
figure out which hive she is in?

Look for queen cells. That's the hive she's not in. Look for eggs, that's the hive she IS in.

>What if I swapped the hives in the middle of the day?

You'd proably equalize the populations a lot

>These bees were installed on undrawn comb and made some nasty dual layer
comb, I'd like to clean it out but it's always full of brood.

Cut it off and tie it into empty frames.

> If I move
it above the queen excluder and leave the nurse bees on it will they raise
this batch ok, and fill it with honey so I can simply cut that comb out and
make them do it right?

Probably. I wouldn't put it too far from the brood nest (the next box would be best) or they may try to rear their own queen.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How far can I move a hive and not loose bees.

As above, I intend to swap 2 hive locations.
They are probably 6 feet apart.

I placed both these hives on pallets of brick.
They are about 4' off the ground.
This worked great for the first few boxes.
They were just the right height to work on...
Adding the third box shows this to be a 'Bad Idea'.

If when I swap the hives I place them in front of
the brick and 1' off the ground will that confuse them too bad?
 

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It should work fine. I have found that lowering the hive 10 feet will cause very little, if any, bee loss. IE: A trapout 10 feet high lowered to the ground. My guess is the smells from the hive rise in the air and they find it easily.
 

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>How far can I move a hive and not loose bees.

I thought that was your intent? You're evening out the populations aren't you?

>I placed both these hives on pallets of brick.
They are about 4' off the ground.
This worked great for the first few boxes.
They were just the right height to work on...
Adding the third box shows this to be a 'Bad Idea'.

Mine are 3 1/2" off the ground.


>If when I swap the hives I place them in front of
the brick and 1' off the ground will that confuse them too bad?

They will sort it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok I took a look.
It's been 5 days since the split.

The Original hive is still very active and full of
bees.
I see some eggs dead center in the bottom of some
cells but never saw the queen.

The New hive has little external activity but is
rather full of bees, probably 2 lbs judging from
my package.

I see about 15 - 20 of what I think are emergency
queen cells. 3/4 contain jelly and I could see larva in some. I assume everything with goo in it
contains a larva.

Is this number of cells typical.
I left all of them alone.
should I cut any out or do anything else?

I didn't actually move the hives or swap locations.

How small of a NUC can I build?
If I get a bunch of queens can I grab 2 - 3 frames
of bees from the original hive and populate a third hive?

Will the queens kill each other before they mate?

Would I need to move some of the cells to another
box before they emerge?
 

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>I see about 15 - 20 of what I think are emergency
queen cells. 3/4 contain jelly and I could see larva in some. I assume everything with goo in it
contains a larva.

Where are they? Is this hive queenless?

>Is this number of cells typical.

In a strong hive, yes.

>I left all of them alone.
should I cut any out or do anything else?

Why?

>How small of a NUC can I build?

I have a lot of two frame nucs for mating nucs.

>If I get a bunch of queens can I grab 2 - 3 frames
of bees from the original hive and populate a third hive?

That depends on how strong the current hive is.

I made about 20 splits today and most were two medium frames in a two frame box with a queen cell that will emerge on Monday.

>Will the queens kill each other before they mate?

Yes.

>Would I need to move some of the cells to another
box before they emerge?

If you want more than one queen, yes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The hive in quesion was the split made by
pulling 5 frames of honey and brood from my main hive.

I assume the fact they were not capped on day 5
afer I moved the brood that they were all made from
young eggs.

I had only intended to make one extra hive, and this started as an experiment.

now that I'm in to it and see so many people talk
of how this is actually a very good process to replicate good queens, I'm more inclined to try
and reproduce from my current queen.

aside from a tendency to build bridge comb and make crooked comb this is by FAR the best hive
i've ever had.

I don't think I'm up to transplanting the queen cells due to the fact the frames they are on
have the plastic center sheet.

I think I'd be happy to split the split into 2 and
one each of the frames that contain queen cells in each.

Marc
 
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