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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When doing splits to prevent swarming after fiinding capped queen cells, how many of the queen cells should be put into the new daughter-split hive(s)?

I've got a a big (4 supers tall) monster hive of Italians that has been growing like crazy, and which I have been keeping a close eye on trying to keep it from swarming before I can raise some queens from it and split into new hives. Since this hive is growing so well, I wanted to use its genetics to requeen the splits and to requeen some dinks. The problem was keeping this hive from swarming while waiting for enough drones to be present for the virgins to be well mated.

7 days ago, there were no queen cells. Yesterday, I discovered I had lost the race and found 4 frames with capped queen cells. (I know capped queen cells means there is a good chance that the hive already has swarmed, but the population does not seem reduced, and I have found no swarms in the area, so I think there is a good chance that I found the capped queen cells before any swarming. I did not look for the queen, because I did not have time to carefully go through such a large hive to find her.) Two of the frames had single capped queen cells, which I destroyed. The other two frames had between 4 and 6 capped queen cells each.

I proceeded to split the hive into 3 hives, with the mother queen in one hive, and one frame with queen cells in each of the daughter-splits. I know the mother queen did not end up in either of the daughter-splits because I gently removed all the bees from the queen-cell frames before installing in the daughter-splits. The mother hive also received all the other brood frames, and, it had eggs, so it can requeen itself if it did not get the mother queen (for example, if the hive had already swarmed with the mother queen). I then placed the mother hive in a new position and the daughter-splits in the original location to receive the field force bees. I will check the mother hive in four days for eggs/queen cells to be sure it either isn't queenless or can't requeen itself.

In other words, one daughter-split ended up with 4 capped queen cells and the other daughter-split ended up with 6 capped queen cells. My thinking was that the first queen out would kill the unemerged queens, and each daughter-split would end up with one virgin queen.

After sleeping on it, I am now concerned that maybe I should have squished some of the capped queen cells so that each daughter-split received only two queen cells each? My worry is that with 6 capped queen cells, the first queen out maybe won't kill all the unemerged queens, and there is a chance the daughter-split will swarm with one of the later emerging queens.

(Sorry for the long winded explanation, but, being a newbie, I wasn't sure which details I could leave out.)

So, do I go back into the daughter-splits and eliminate some queen cells so that each hive has only two capped queen cells?

TIA

--shinbone
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Michael - Thanks for your reply.
 

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I respectfully have to disagree with Mr. Bush..unless the multiple capped queen cells are dwarf sized, in which there may actually be drone, and just one or two are normal to big/long capped cells, you should be just fine.
Now, even if the first emerged doesn't kill the other(s) you'll end up with a daughter queen, and they will live together in harmony, for a short while, until one day at the yard you begin to hear a strange piping sound (war cry). You have just moments at that point to do a walkaway split.

However, if you find that the capped queen cells are all long, textured and hard shelled, you have a (good) problem on your hands my friend.

Split that hive as much as you can, providing you have enough equiptiment; be casue at this rate the impulse to aware will NOT go away until the hives is complete depelate.
 
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