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Hello beekeepers,
I’m in need of some advice if you don’t mind!
I’ve had bees for about 2 years now, I have 2 hives, but still not quite sure what I’m doing. I really don’t have a good support system, as our bee club is not that great. Below is what we did this week with the hives to make splits and get ready for the honey flow. What I need to know is what SHOULD I have done that I didn’t do and can I still do it now.

We opened both the hives on Tuesday, the 18th to make splits
Both hives boiling over with bees
Saw queen cells – didn’t see the queen
Used 2 deep boxes to split both hives:
Took a frame of brood, honey, pollen, and a frame with queen cells and placed in the new hives (put empty frames in place of removed ones)
Put queen excluder and one honey super on both original hives
Didn’t go through all frames in the original hives
Feeding all bees 1:1 sugar water

On Thursday the 20th, I was not at home, but my sister was – she watched a bee swarm, but was not sure that the bees came from one of our hives. I checked the hives that evening when I got home and there were still a significant amount of bees in the hives, so I don’t believe these were my bees.

Should I have gone through all frames and removed all queen cells?

Should I have reversed the deeps on the hives?

Is there anything I should do now?

bee swarm.jpg
Pic of the swarm in my pear tree.

All the hives seem to be doing great – a lot of activity.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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i'd say you notice that size swarming missing from one of your boxes.
bees definately start showing up from elseware when you get a few hives
did you get the swarm?
 

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>On Thursday the 20th, I was not at home, but my sister was – she watched a bee swarm, but was not sure that the bees came from one of our hives. I checked the hives that evening when I got home and there were still a significant amount of bees in the hives, so I don’t believe these were my bees.

I'll bet they were. Hives often swarm and still have enough bees emerging constantly that you can barely tell.

>Should I have gone through all frames and removed all queen cells?

No. You should have done splits.

>Should I have reversed the deeps on the hives?

If there are queen cells nothing you do short of a split will stop them.

>Is there anything I should do now?

Do a split with queen cells in each. It may prevent afterswarms. They may swarm again in about 7 days.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the reply Michael.

I'm sorry, but I'm still confused. I did do two splits from the original hives. Are you saying that I should have made four splits?
 

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If you only took two frames from each hive. I think you could have made another split with the queen and leaving queen cells in the donor hive. I am about hour west of you. I did a split this week also from a hive ready to swarm. Going to watch for the next week to see if they attempt again!! I am also fairly new not a lot of people with bees in my area and no bee club. This is a great place for information. Good Luck
 

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If you only took two frames from each hive. I think you could have made another split with the queen and leaving queen cells in the donor hive. I am about hour west of you. I did a split this week also from a hive ready to swarm. Going to watch for the next week to see if they attempt again!! I am also fairly new not a lot of people with bees in my area and no bee club. This is a great place for information. Good Luck
I took 5 frames from each donor hive. Should I remove all queen cells from the donor hives?
 

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>I'm sorry, but I'm still confused. I did do two splits from the original hives. Are you saying that I should have made four splits?

Sorry I wasn't clear. Perhaps you should have. It depends on how strong the hive is how aggressively I would split it, but once there are a lot of swarm cells I tend to split aggressively. Usually I put each frame with queen cells with a frame of honey and make a two frame split with each of the queen cell frames.
 

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When doing splits it is important to know where the queen is when you have queen cells. You need to make sure that the queen and the queen cells go into separate hives.

Remove the queen excluders. Then carefully put them somewhere that you won't find them again for 5 or 6 years. Bees do not like them and I don't blame them. If I had a tummy full of nectar the last thing I'd want to do is squeeze myself between bars to place it up into a higher super. Many times bees will treat an excluder as though it is the top of the hive. If the queen starts laying up higher than you want her to, reverse the brood boxes. If there is just a small amount of brood in a honey super just cut it out before extracting. The bees will repair it quickly.

Check your pm's.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
When doing splits it is important to know where the queen is when you have queen cells. You need to make sure that the queen and the queen cells go into separate hives.

Remove the queen excluders. Then carefully put them somewhere that you won't find them again for 5 or 6 years. Bees do not like them and I don't blame them. If I had a tummy full of nectar the last thing I'd want to do is squeeze myself between bars to place it up into a higher super. Many times bees will treat an excluder as though it is the top of the hive. If the queen starts laying up higher than you want her to, reverse the brood boxes. If there is just a small amount of brood in a honey super just cut it out before extracting. The bees will repair it quickly.

Check your pm's.
Hey TxGypsy, I can't get into my PM's for some reason - can you send me an e-mail to the address I gave you? Thanks!
 

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>When doing splits it is important to know where the queen is when you have queen cells. You need to make sure that the queen and the queen cells go into separate hives.

It's a nice idea, but very time consuming. I never bother unless I happen to see her, then I might put here where I want her, but even then I'd leave them a queen cell and the queen. I don't want them to end up queenless and if I'm ruthless in my splits, they hardly ever swarm.
 

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Well he's got two hives MB, but my concern would be leaving the queen in the original hive with cells, cuz she may clear out then which maybe happened.
 

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>but my concern would be leaving the queen in the original hive with cells, cuz she may clear out then which maybe happened.

Yes, it maybe what happened. I always leave a cell anyway. I think whether they swarm or not has more to do with how small I split them than the presence of a queen cell, but them ending up queenless is often caused by them not having a queen cell.
 
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