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Hi guys and gals, new to the forum. Been looking at it for a long time, just never registered to post anything. I wanted to share something....

Recently, I had a 2 deep hive that was swarming. I caught the old queen and removed her. Then took several swarm cell frames and put them in the center of each box. Added a queen excluder in between the boxes and gave the top box an exit. Came back two weeks later to two mated queens, one in the top and one in the bottom. Removed one and made a small nuc and let the other have the hive. Basically doubled my chances of getting a mated queen. I can’t take credit for the method, but I know it works!

Just thought I’d share.

Thanks!
 

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Hi guys and gals, new to the forum. Been looking at it for a long time, just never registered to post anything. I wanted to share something....

Recently, I had a 2 deep hive that was swarming. I caught the old queen and removed her. Then took several swarm cell frames and put them in the center of each box. Added a queen excluder in between the boxes and gave the top box an exit. Came back two weeks later to two mated queens, one in the top and one in the bottom. Removed one and made a small nuc and let the other have the hive. Basically doubled my chances of getting a mated queen. I can’t take credit for the method, but I know it works!

Just thought I’d share.

Thanks!
If I observe swarm cells in early spring, I do something similar to avoid any cold weather impacting what would be two separate hives. I use snelgrove or even an election sign as divider between boxes. I am always concerned about virgin queens passing through queen excluders. I also position the top entrance to be back of the hive.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I gotcha. That’s a good idea. So are you doing it so the two hives can conserve heat by “sharing” warmth? In east TX I’ve never really had to worry about the cold weather too much. If anything it’s sometimes a bit hot.

I’ve not done this method more than just this year, but I liked the fact that I could just remove the excluder and the other brood box is already used to either queen’s pheromone.
 

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I did something similar a couple weeks ago. My initial arrangement was:

super
queen excluder
brood box
brood box
bottom entrance

I saw queen cells, and so in desperation I re-arranged to:

upper entrance
brood box
queen excluder
super
queen excluder
brood box
brood box
bottom entrance

This happened to several hives. Sometimes I found a queen, sometimes I didn't. But I always made sure there was either a queen or a few queen cells on each side of the excluders, plus enough nurse bees and capped brood to make a viable colony.

I'd be interested in feedback from more experienced beekeepers on whether this was a reasonable thing to do, and what next steps might be. Is it bad having a brood box above a honey super? If one side doesn't have eggs two weeks after the split, should I recombine? Will inspecting this frankenhive become too much of a hassle? That sort of thing. I don't really want increase, just swarm prevention.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did something similar a couple weeks ago. My initial arrangement was:

super
queen excluder
brood box
brood box
bottom entrance

I saw queen cells, and so in desperation I re-arranged to:

upper entrance
brood box
queen excluder
super
queen excluder
brood box
brood box
bottom entrance

This happened to several hives. Sometimes I found a queen, sometimes I didn't. But I always made sure there was either a queen or a few queen cells on each side of the excluders, plus enough nurse bees and capped brood to make a viable colony.

I'd be interested in feedback from more experienced beekeepers on whether this was a reasonable thing to do, and what next steps might be. Is it bad having a brood box above a honey super? If one side doesn't have eggs two weeks after the split, should I recombine? Will inspecting this frankenhive become too much of a hassle? That sort of thing. I don't really want increase, just swarm prevention.
So there are lots of folks with more experience than I have...

Q:Is it bad having a brood box above a honey super? I don’t see as it really hurts anything...

Q:If one side doesn't have eggs two weeks after the split, should I recombine? It will take longer than two weeks to see eggs, unless the virgin queens emerged 2 weeks ago. From QC egg to laying queen usually takes about a month depending on weather. At that point, if you see eggs in one box and not the other, I’d give them 1 more week and check again. Still the same, then remove the excluder and let them recombine.

Q: Will inspecting this frankenhive become too much of a hassle? I would say yes. But that’s just me. I’m going to have to remember that term. 😂

Keep in mind that if the old queen is still in the hive she will very likely still swarm and take a lot of bees with her if she hasn’t already. Next time you see QCs in a hive that have developing larvae in them or are capped, make a split with the old queen to simulate a swarm.

Honestly, if it was a couple weeks ago, I think I may just let them be. Depending on the stage of the QC two weeks ago, you likely have a virgin queen running around in there and you don’t want to disturb her. If you get into the hive during mating flights, it usually doesn’t end well. Estimate the date of queen emergence and give her two weeks after emergence to mature and mate, then check for eggs.

Hope this helps!
 
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