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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Made my first split the day before yesterday. I moved the split 2 ft from the first hive so I knew going into it that the split would loose all of the field bees. When I looked into the split this morning I saw several emergency queen cells so I was excited to see that but when will they start sending out foragers again? I know I could split again because of the queen cells on multiple frames but I'm going to play it safe this first time and see how the 5 frame split does. I see drones in my hive and there is a couple hives near me so I hope she does well if not I can always add more larva or maybe they will just replace her. I don't know why but I'd just like to see bees going in and out it would make me feel better lol.

Also do queen less hives draw comb? If I feed since we are not in a flow currently.
 

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I usually move the original colony away and place the queenless split in it's place, the original should have the resources to recover better than the queenless would have without the foragers. The queenless split will now have all the foragers to build up with and both should do fine. I usually just do equal splits with two of the same size boxes but a five frame should do as well or better than my method.
As for drawing comb I find that feeding a weak solution of 1 part sugar to two parts water during the dearth will cause them to draw comb better than a strong solution, in fact I feed mine the weak solution all during our two to two and a half month dearth, holds down robbing and causes them to build up for the winter. I do splits a good bit this time of year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wish I would have moved the original now. Oh well we will see what happens. If all fails I just try again. The 1 queen I have lays like crazy so I can get back quickly lol. I do make my syrup weak. I had read somewhere that a 1:2 is good for building comb but everyone talks about 1:1 for feeding and 2:1 for stores. Thanks for the response, I would think within the next few days bees will start heading out to the field we will see. Next time I'm going to try your idea of moving the old hive.
 

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As the current brood in your hive becomes sealed and so no larva brood to feed, the foraging activity will slow to a crawl. You will notice that when the new queen is ready to lay, they will all of a sudden start foraging hard again, bringing in pollen and nectar for the new young. It takes 11-12 days after walkaway split for the queen to emerge, another 8-14 days for her to be laying, normally, so you should see activity pick up in 18-28 days or so, there is some variance depending on many factors.
 

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My experience is the same as ray....the hive will dwindle greatly without a queen, especially if starting from egg. The true effect will last for months, more dramatic during dearth. In spring April-June a split will expand rapidly because food is bountiful.

For example a caught swarm, at first looks prolific. All the bees are gathering. Eventually those bees die and there is none to replace them, now there is brood to feed so less food coming in. It takes them about 2 months to look as strong as when the swarm was inititially hived. If later in the year or during dearth they may never reach their initial population size until the next year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well today when I checked in on things I saw bees coming and going bringing in pollen and nectar. I have 1 capped queen cell and about 10 others still uncapped. Will that first one that's capped kill all the others since she will emerge first? Any way to get a couple to hatch out and let the strongest survive?
 
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