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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have 6 hives but only one has a laying queen due to 2 being splits off of hives that either swarmed or had their queens killed by either me or the bees. The splits are in different stages from all queen cells removed but still not laying to queen cells that should emerge in a day or so. Would it be safe to move any of the splits to a yard about 30 minutes away where I won't have access to eggs if their queen doesn't work out and I need to let them raise another one? My main concern is the transportation. Will this be bad to do with a queen that is very vulnerable or should I wait a few more weeks until one of them is laying and then move that one?
 

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sounds like you want more hives which is admirable. If you keep moving frames of eggs all of them will die. Consider buying 5 queens and just get it over with. Worst case you make some more splits and have a few nucs.
At this point I wouldn't move them until the queen is back from flight and laying. Its good practice when you make splits to move the new hive to another yard so they all don't go back to the original location/hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That wasn't the plan. My hives superceded for whatever reason so I took some of the cells from two hives and made splits and am letting them raise queens to keep from buying 5 queens. I did the same thing last year and it worked out. The reason I kept them close was because I was originally adding brood/eggs from my good hives (before they went queenless as well) to my queenless hives prior to the splits and was trying to get them to make queen cells. The plan was to move an established hive to the new bee yard but since all but one went queenless I felt kind of stuck.
 

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Is it possible your virgins came back and killed old queens? Does that timeline fit?
Moving without knowing queen status would be a hard sell to me.
 

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That wasn't the plan. My hives superceded for whatever reason so I took some of the cells from two hives and made splits and am letting them raise queens to keep from buying 5 queens. I did the same thing last year and it worked out. The reason I kept them close was because I was originally adding brood/eggs from my good hives (before they went queenless as well) to my queenless hives prior to the splits and was trying to get them to make queen cells. The plan was to move an established hive to the new bee yard but since all but one went queenless I felt kind of stuck.
I'd keep them all where they are until its all sorted out and you can figure out why they are doing this. Having them close will allow you to inspect often and track what is going on.
 

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If you did the same thing last year, was it with the same hives? If so, perhaps one of the reasons they are superceding this year is that the queens were poorly mated last year. There are lots of reasons that might occur: iffy weather during the crucial mating period and lack of sufficient drone population (again possibly due to poor weather, or simply lack of local bees), or perhaps if they were all daughter queens from the same stock, some genetic problem. (Or if you don't have a lot of hives nearby, perhaps the problem lies with the drone source? It takes two to tango, after all.)

That's why adding some purchased mated queens might not be a bad idea.

I agree with the others, though, if these hives are in various stages of queen-making now, I'd keep them put until you know they are once again satisfactorily queenright. Since you are moving them 30 minutes away, you'll easily satisfy the "three-feet or 3-mile test" for easy moving w/o drifting issues.

Nancy
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Last year I had 2 hives and split those into 4 hives. I purchased queens that they killed even after letting them release the candy plug after a few days. Since they did this, I gave them frames of eggs and they raised their own queens which took a few months so I kept adding a frame or two of eggs every couple weeks so it did take a while but it finally worked out and all were laying great. Then one old hive lost its queen at the end of summer and they raised a new one that never laid and they actually made it over winter with her and she never started laying this spring so I moved her into a nuc to see if that would get her going and it didn't. Around the same time, my two best hives lost their queens for whatever reason but they were laying really well before and bringing in pollen and nectar really well but didn't appear to be a swarm either as the bee numbers didn't look down. They each had 10-20 queen cells in different stages in the middle of frames so I moved these to 2 splits just since I had so many and figured having 4 hives release queens would be better odds than only having 2 and risk the queens not making it back. Before this, I promised a lady I would be bringing a weaker hive over but then all the queen fiascos happened so I was just trying to decide if I should go ahead with that promise or wait so I think I will wait after hearing everyone's advice. Thanks all!
 

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If your hive swarmed, like 5 days before you inspected it, and you had a strong hive where the queen was laying 2000 eggs a day... then that means 10000 young bees emerged in the days after the swarm left. Right? If she laid 2000 eggs a day, then 21 days later 2000 bees will emerge a day.

If you lost 10-15 frames of bees, and then had 10 frames replace them... would you really notice?

Sounds like you need to monitor these hives for getting queens mated and then laying well. That's easiest when the hive is close to you. I find it helpful to do a calendar with my known dates - so capped queen cell, maybe 4 days later a queen emerges, between 6-12 days after that the queen gets mated, and 9-15 days after that you will see a small patch of eggs (at first). So I would plot those on a calendar and then look back in at the 15 day mark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, I actually did mark these dates on my calendar and plan to do just that. I guess they could have swarmed and I wouldn't have noticed. Sucks if I missed 2 different swarms within a couple days of eachother despite being in both hives earlier that week and seeing eggs but oh well
 
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