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Discussion Starter #1
Let's say a beek has a strong hive that overwintered well.

The hive = 1 deep and 3 mediums.

The beek couldn't find the queen if his life depended on it. He's never actually seen a bee egg in 5 years of keeping.

W/o seeing, he knows all 4 hive bodies are full of bees/stores.

Is there a configuration that'll give at least a chance that both hives (the split and the original) will have "fresh" eggs? That is, can certain of the hive bodies be chosen for a split with the best opportunity for the "hive" w/o the queen at least having fresh eggs the bees can make a queen from? [if not, maybe the split could be checked after ~7 days for queen cups; if none seen, the split could be added back to the original hive, or added to a weak hive?]

Maybe 5 random frames from the top box placed into a "new" box? Maybe the 2nd medium from the top and the deep being made into the split? Or the top box and the deep together?

Let's assume this is all gospel, and there're no questions as to how a beek can know any of these facts.

It's hypothetical ....
 

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IMO .....yes! I am quite inexperienced, but made a split exactly like that several years ago with success. Maybe just got lucky! memtb
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Mitch, you say you can't see eggs but want to be pretty sure a frame introduced into a split has them, hypothetically . Look for a brood frame in which the center section has emerged already and only an outer ring of capped cells remain. Check the center section for larvae. A frame that looks like that will almost certainly have eggs inbetween the capped cells and larvae. As long as each split has one such frame, our hypothetical beekeeper would be free to allocate the other resources to the split as he saw fit.
 

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If you are doing a walk away, do it in stages. Divide in two and when you have ripe QCs make further devides. More support for your queen to keep making bees and better QCs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Our hypothetical beek thanks you guys. He was thinking the answers would be like, "Idiot! That's absurd!". As always, JW, your response is pretty elegant.

Mitch
 

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You can also use queen excluders to either separate the boxes and check for eggs 4 days later or shake bees down, and then put some brood above the excluder, baiting the bees back up without the queen. After a few hours the box above the excluder has bees but no queen and you are set.
 

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You can do this, but not pulling RANDOM frames.

Assuming there are a lot of DRONES flying around, you can do the following without finding the queen. However, you really need to be able to see eggs, or very young (1-2 days old) larvae. Get a powerful set of specs.
Find 2 frames, each frame with eggs and/or very young brood.
One of these frames stays behind, the other is moved to the new colony.
Also find frames with stores; approximately half of those frames stays behind, and the other half goes to the new colony.
Make sure both the "Stay behind" and the new colony have plenty of feed (sugar water and pollen patty).

Close both up. In 7-10 days, inspect both, looking for open brood (that will be where the queen is), and queen cell(s), which will be where the queenless split was.
 

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Throw all four boxes onto bottom boards of their own in a new location several or 10 feet away, leaving nothing in the original place. now you have 4 splits. The one with the queen will attract most of the lost/confused foragers as they return from foraging. The other three will make queen cells if they have resources to do so. If any do not make queen cells, you can join them back onto the one that has the queen, or divvy up the frames between the ones making queen cells.

This seems to me the easiest, no need to look through any frames for eggs or trying to find a queen.
 

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Not the best way to make queens, just a better walk away method than a quick 4 way divide. A hive takes a hit doing a split, I'd rather keep them together longer making bees in the QR half and having more resources/bees in the queenless half. You are very likely to get three frames with cells from the 3 mediums. Make the split then.

Answer was to a 4 way split without finding queen.

Best queens without finding old when you are going to break up anyway would be to take away one medium and force them into swarm mode. Not advocating just saying.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I dont see where mlanden said he wanted to do a 4-way split. He did say he had 4 boxes packed with bees and wanted to make sure both hives, the split and the original will have fresh eggs. Good queens can be made if he could locate her majesty and place her in the smaller split, allowing the large original hive to make qc's. Otherwise, a 50/50 split making sure both had eggs is a good alternative.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You can do this, but not pulling RANDOM frames.

Assuming there are a lot of DRONES flying around, you can do the following without finding the queen. However, you really need to be able to see eggs, or very young (1-2 days old) larvae. Get a powerful set of specs.
Hi -- you'll find this hard to believe, but ... I've used magnifying glasses with high-intensity LED lights, the sun, sun with the mag. glass, etc, etc. And still have never seen a bee egg. Once I thought I had, but I was told it was only the sun's reflection in nectar or something. It puts me at a disadvantage, I know, but .... I have to accept it.
 

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I dont see where mlanden said he wanted to do a 4-way split. He did say he had 4 boxes packed with bees and wanted to make sure both hives, the split and the original will have fresh eggs. Good queens can be made if he could locate her majesty and place her in the smaller split, allowing the large original hive to make qc's. Otherwise, a 50/50 split making sure both had eggs is a good alternative.
(the split and the original) Right you are.
 

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I was just giving a hypothetical alternative to what had already been suggested for a hypothetical situation of a beek that can't see well to make splits. If you don't want four then just check back in three days and see who's started queen cells and who has not and join back together this one or that one and make it back to two hives. No big deal is it? It would be a very easy least amount of work way to do it all in my mind. But then I am getting of an age where my mind is not always so sharp so maybe I'm out in left field on this one.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I just did not want this thread to get side tracked. 4-ways
splits are best done using frames with qc's already on them. IMO
Another way to be pretty sure where the queen is would be to simply be to separate the hive in half and wait 15 to 20 minutes. The Q- side should be visibly more agitated and noisier. Still need to make sure you have eggs or appropriately aged larvae in the Q- side though.
 

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Is there a configuration that'll give at least a chance that both hives (the split and the original) will have "fresh" eggs? That is, can certain of the hive bodies be chosen for a split with the best opportunity for the "hive" w/o the queen at least having fresh eggs the bees can make a queen from? [if not, maybe the split could be checked after ~7 days for queen cups; if none seen, the split could be added back to the original hive, or added to a weak hive?
Sure - do a 50/50 splt - mix 'n' match your brood frames at random (if you really want to ...) - then watch those boxes for a short while. One box will have bees frantically searching for their queen - the other won't. That tells you in which box the queen is.

Then check the other box after a couple of days for q/cells having been started. If they have, then you're home and dry (providing there's enough bees in that box) - if not, then swap over all the brood combs after carefully shaking/brushing-off the bees) - there should be viable larvae in the brood combs then being given to the Q-ve half of the split.

In general, if you can't find the queen and really need to - then suggest you either use a Marburg Box, or rig up two boxes with a QX between them which will do the same job. When you've found the queen - mark her, so that you don't need to go through the same performance again. :)
LJ
 

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I would also think that if you split the colony by taking every other frame from every box, that you'd be 99% sure of having eggs in both sides of the split.

It's entirely possible that the queen might have skipped a box or have never been in a box.

But it would be extraordinarily unlikely that she would have laid only in even frames or only in odd frames, throughout an entire 4-box hive.
 

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Want a frame with the right age, put an empty in and wait a week. A frame mostly hatched out is a pretty good bet.
 

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... it would be extraordinarily unlikely that she would have laid only in even frames or only in odd frames, throughout an entire 4-box hive.
That's perfectly true when she's up and running - but this is hypothetical - so: worst case situation (one which is still viable) would be that she had stopped laying and has just re-started, so that there are eggs/larvae in just the one frame. But which one ? That's the premise I was considering ... :)
LJ
 
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