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Discussion Starter #1
I did a split on Monday, taking the queen with some larvae, capped brood, pollen/honey and put them in a 5 frame nuc. The hive I took her from appeared to be gettting ready to swarm as the broodnest was being backfilled, little capped brood, and frames that had queen cells on them. I left those frames with the queen cells on them, but should I have removed all but the best looking ones? I dont want afterswarm issues with multiple queen cells, nor do I want to start a laying worker problem. Would I have been better purchasing a mated queen and put here in the old hive?
 

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As long as you keep some open brood in the hive they will never develop laying workers no matter how long they are queenless. Queenlessness is only indirectly responsible for laying workers. It's the worker brood pheromone that suppresses them.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm#pheromones

See page 11 of Wisdom of the hive:

"the queen's pheromones are neither necessary nor sufficient for inhibiting worker's ovaries. Instead, they strongly inhibit the workers from rearing additional queens. It is now clear that the pheromones that provide the proximate stimulus for workers to refrain from laying eggs come mainly from the brood, not from the queen (reviewed in Seeling 1985; see also Willis, Winston, and Slessor 1990)."

There are always a few laying workers in any hive:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm#multiple

See page 9 of "The Wisdom of the Hive"

"Although worker honey bees cannot mate, they do possess ovaries and can produce viable eggs; hence they do have the potential to have male offspring (in bees and other Hymenoptera, fertilized eggs produce females while unfertilized eggs produce males). It is now clear, however, that this potential is exceedingly rarely realized as long as a colony contains a queen (in queenless colonies, workers eventually lay large numbers of male eggs; see the review in Page and Erickson 1988). One supporting piece of evidence comes from studies of worker ovary development in queenright colonies, which have consistently revealed extremely low levels of development. All studies to date report far fewer than 1 % of workers have ovaries developed sufficiently to lay eggs (reviewed in Ratnieks 1993; see also Visscher 1995a). For example, Ratnieks dissected 10,634 worker bees from 21 colonies and found that only 7 had moderately developed egg (half the size of a completed egg) and that just one had a fully developed egg in her body."

If you do the math, in a normal booming queenright hive of 100,000 bees that's 70 laying workers. In a laying worker hive it's much higher.

When you get into trouble is when all those thousands of laying workers together start to finally make enough queen pheromones to confuse the bees into thinking that they might have a queen...
 

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Thanks for the wisdom MB! I may take a frame of open brood from one of my strong hives and put it in there just for insurance. When I split that hive, I didnt notice a whole lot of open brood as it was. Should I take this frame with open brood and shake the bees from it, or leave them on?
 

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Also, shoud I have removed all but a couple of the queen cells? If so, I'll get in there this afternoon.....
 

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I don't lose a lot of sleep over queen cells unless introducing a mated queen. Otherwise, a local virgin will tear them down. A lack of a virgin would get replaced. I don't see cells as the cause of swarming. They are just a needed piece in the process, but they don't swarm just because there is a queen cell...

>Would I have been better purchasing a mated queen and put here in the old hive?

In my opinion, purchasing and introducing a mated queen is more problematic that letting them raise their own, on many levels. Timewise the difference is not as great as people try to make it. I've seen many a purchased queen that didn't start to lay for two weeks. This time of year you often spend two weeks finding one, several days getting it shipped, several days introducing it and if it takes two weeks to start laying, the bees could have already raised and mated one by then. There are no acceptance issues with their own queen. You maintain more genetic diversity, both in your apiary and in your area. You get local queens. And, of course, they are free...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Once again, thanks MB!

On the giving of open brood from another hive, shake the bees off, or leave them on?
 

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If you have capped queen cells in the hive you don't really need to put a frame of brood in there especially if the hive is strong. But if you do it really doesn't matter if you shake the bees off or not. A light shake will get to older bees off and the hive will usually except the nurse bees ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
>On the giving of open brood from another hive, shake the bees off, or leave them on?

That depends on how sure you are you don't have a queen on the frame and how many bees the donor hive can spare.
The donor hive is strong, my queen is marked so I'll be sure she isnt on the frame...
 
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