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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have been keeping bees for years but we have less help from the professional bee keeper we used to work with so we are trying to figure out some things on our own.

We had 1 large hive and recently did a walk away split (although we did see the queen so we knew which hive she was in). We are now having some issues with both hives.

After a few days we checked in on the new hive (hive B) and saw queen cells, and a couple days later they swarmed. The hive is still very active, and quickly filling with honey, but we have not seen any brood. We also haven't seen any new queen cells.

They had plenty of room so I assumed they swarmed because more than one queen hatched, but if that were the case I would think we have seen new brood from the queen that remained. There is no indication that they are trying to make a new queen.

In the original hive (hive A) we have also not seen any brood or any queen cells. That hive had been thriving before the split and, as I said, we had seen the queen during the split so we know she was in there.

We are concerned about the lack of brood, especially because if the queen had died we would expect to see evidence that they are trying to make a new one.

Any advice as to what might be going on and what we can do about it would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Would help if you provided the date of the split. You are correct about the swarm being because they had multiple queen cells. I've learned the hard way as well that, when you do these kinds of splits, you really need to go back a week later and cut down all but one or two queen cells. The first time I did this on a cut down split I was surprised that they had may over 20 queen cells that needed cutting.

If the split was less than 3-4 weeks ago you likely won't see brood yet. If 4 weeks or later then the queen may have been eaten by a bird while mating or something. For your original hive, if they were already set on swarming, they may have with the queen and you missed it. Probably would have happened a week or so after the split once some new queen cells were capped. If this is the case, it would be another 3 weeks before you would see capped brood.

After I do the queen cell cut outs I leave the hives alone for 4 weeks. Weeks 2-4 are critical as that is the timeframe a new queen will be making mating flights and could return as you are mucking about--leading to confusion, potential rolling, etc. If no brood after 4 weeks you can think about giving frames of eggs to try again or ordering a queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Would help if you provided the date of the split. You are correct about the swarm being because they had multiple queen cells. I've learned the hard way as well that, when you do these kinds of splits, you really need to go back a week later and cut down all but one or two queen cells. The first time I did this on a cut down split I was surprised that they had may over 20 queen cells that needed cutting.

If the split was less than 3-4 weeks ago you likely won't see brood yet. If 4 weeks or later then the queen may have been eaten by a bird while mating or something. For your original hive, if they were already set on swarming, they may have with the queen and you missed it. Probably would have happened a week or so after the split once some new queen cells were capped. If this is the case, it would be another 3 weeks before you would see capped brood.

After I do the queen cell cut outs I leave the hives alone for 4 weeks. Weeks 2-4 are critical as that is the timeframe a new queen will be making mating flights and could return as you are mucking about--leading to confusion, potential rolling, etc. If no brood after 4 weeks you can think about giving frames of eggs to try again or ordering a queen.

Ohh ok that makes a lot of sense. It's only been 2 weeks and we've had to open them a couple times during that period. We're working on recapturing the swarm since it took up shop in the wall of our house. That makes a lot of sense that it takes more time for them to start producing brood. Thanks so much!
 

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if you did a walk away split, then you can estimate that the bees started a queen cell later that day. Check out a queen rearing calendar, and consider the day you did the split to be 'graft day'. Expectation then is a capped cell 5 days later, cell emerges 12 days later, at day 17 she will possibly start mating flights, and you can expect eggs around 23 days post split at the earliest. So realistically, expect to see the beginnings of capped brood a month after the split in the half made queenless.
 
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