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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I would appreciate feedback on my recent actions. I am in my fourth year beekeeping.

4/28: Overwintered Italian hive swarmed to my willow tree. I caught that swarm and hived into a new location, a single deep with drawn comb and top feeder.

4/29: I had two new packages arrive from Mann Lake via UPS with 98% of bees dead . Crud. I suited up to split the hive that swarmed the day prior, but then took a few pictures of the dead packages. Upon opening the packages, perhaps 100 bees in each still lived along with the queens. I really wanted to save those queens, a Carniolan and Saskatraz, and still had to make my split. Here is what I did, thinking on the fly and perhaps not so clearly.

I replaced the cork plug in each queen cage with a marshmallow.

I removed all queen cells I found in the Italian hive that had swarmed (6-7 of them, 1 was uncapped). I placed a frame of honey, a frame of drawn comb, and three frames of capped brood and bees into a NUC with jar feeder on top to make a split. I placed the Saskatraz queen cage into that NUC.

I checker-boarded some undrawn foundation frames into the Italian hive that had just swarmed (the source of the split) and from which I had removed all queen cells I found. I then placed the Carniolan queen cage into that hive.

Now I have three hives: the original Italian hive now with a new Carniolan Queen; a split in a NUC with a new Saskatraz queen; a caught swarm of Italians from my original overwintered hive.

What will happen if the virgin queen from the swarmed hive comes back mated to find that Carniolan queen there and laying? Battle royale?

Did I do everything I should have to salvage that situation given that I really wanted to save the Carniolan and Saskatraz queens that came with the dead packages?

Do you have any constructive comments to help me learn?
 

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I don't know about the whole queens/splits thing as I am a first year beekeeper, but shouldn't you have gotten a refund/replacement for the dead packages?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't know about the whole queens/splits thing as I am a first year beekeeper, but shouldn't you have gotten a refund/replacement for the dead packages?
That is in process, but I want to know what I might have done better or differently. I won't buy bees to be shipped to my house again, though.
 

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They’ll sort it out, worst case the mated queen comes back and either kills the new queen or there’s another swarm if the new added queen decides to leave. But you did what you felt was needed and so far it’s worked out. Don’t sweat it.
 

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Sounds good except for checkerboarding.
I would not checkeboard a brood nest with foundation if you have a chance of cool temps.
IMO,checkerboarding is best done with drawn comb.
A large colony can take a few frames of foundation plugged in here or there but a smaller colony benefits from foundation on the side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That makes sense so they would be able to keep the brood warm more easily; hopefully it won't get too cold. There were still lots of bees in that hive at least. Thank you.
 
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