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I've got a hive that's been limping along towards spring. All seemed OK but today I noticed that there seemed less traffic in and out. Not really troubling as this hive had a small cluster and small brood nest, and hadn't been very strong anyway. Queen was laying, had plenty of capped brood a week or so ago, but only a baseball/softball sized brood pattern. My other hive is nearly full frame brood pattern. Did a full inspection today and couldnt find queen. Did find queen cells and one was capped. Most were in supercedure positions (on the face of frame) but the capped one was at the bottom of a frame. Did I miss a swarm from my own hive, with 3 swarm traps sitting in the driveway even...or are they just replacing a weak queen? My other hive which has been booming, also had several queen cells, not capped. I split that hive today, maybe I caught them in time. Of 2 deeps I took the 2 frames with queen cells on them and 2 frames capped brood and 1 frame of honey, put in a deep with 5 frames of foundation and shook 2 frames (careful not to get queen) of house bees in on them. After I was done I worried that I didn't put enough bees in the split to keep the brood from getting chilled, but it is mid 80s here and not too bad at night. What do you think?
 
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