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I checked my 4 remaining splits this afternoon and 3 of the 4 are definitely queenright. In the one I am unsure about I either have laying workers or the queen is so ambitious that she is laying 3,4,5 or up to 10 eggs in each of the very very few open cells in the nuc. The nuc got packed with honey since I last checked it on 5/3. A realistic estimate is there were no more than 30 cells on the 5 frames that weren't full of pollen or honey. The ones that weren't filled with either were filled with eggs. I did not see the queen, but that's not too unusual for me. Most of the eggs were on the bottoms of the cells, but what concerns me is that there were a few eggs stuck to the side walls of a handful of cells.

I took a medium frame of drawn comb and placed it in the #3 slot in the hive. The weather doesn't look cooperative for checking the nuc until Thursday so I wanted to see what you guys thought I might find when I checked again. I'm hoping there will be an egg dead center of the bottom of each cell in that medium frame. :)

Also, I MARKED MY FIRST QUEEN TODAY! :D I was going to catch her but chickened out, so I dabbed her with my paint pen when she got hemmed up in the corner of the frame. LOL If my bee math is correct, she is still a virgin queen and she did look smallish, so I hope it's okay to mark a virgin.

So far this year I've made 6 splits and hived 2 small swarms with virgin queens. All 8 of them are queenright. :banana:
 

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That's what I figured. I think I will just shake them out and let the other hives take them in. If I can get all the bees out of the nuc, I will start a new split in that nuc.
 

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MB, are hives having laying workers somewhat more prevalent when making splits? I made these splits on 4/23 with capped queen cells. When I checked them last week the queen cell had hatched, or at least it was opened on the end, and no eggs were present. Without writing all of the dates down and figuring I would think the longest they could have been without any queen pheromone coming from the cell or hatched queen was 12 days. I guess it doesn't take them long sometimes.....
 

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congrats on the high percentage of queens mated brad. i believe it's brood phermone and not queen phermone that suppresses laying workers. shaking them out and letting them join up with the others sounds like a good plan, plus you can use those resources to boost your other splits. i'll be checking my splits and caught swarms for mated queens this weekend, got my fingers crossed. :)
 

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>MB, are hives having laying workers somewhat more prevalent when making splits?

It's the time without open worker brood that causes laying workers. If you want insurance, give them a frame of open brood during the time they should be rearing and mating a queen and you will help keep that from happening and give them the resources to raise another queen if something happened to the previous one. If you do this in about two weeks and then check back for eggs and larvae from the new queen (and queen cells if she failed) in another two weeks and if there are not eggs and larvae, give them another frame of open brood.
 

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Thanks squarepeg. I was really happy to now know that I can raise queens here with the Martins. I didn't think it would be possible. The success of queen raising may vary depending on the stage that the Martins are in with their nesting. Once they start feeding large nestlings they will probably be less selective on their food sources. I know they feed wasps to their nestlings, I have seen them do that. I hope you find lots of mated queens when you check your splits this weekend.

Thanks MB. I hadn't thought about doing that with the extra frames of brood, and that would be good insurance. I'll have to weigh out which will benefit me the most. If I make 20 splits at one time, then it would take a good bit of brood frames to accomplish that.
 
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