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I made a walk-away split on March 20th. I wasn't sure which hive got the queen, but there were eggs in each one.

One of the hives had some bad frames that I wanted to swap out. These frames were full of brood and eggs. So, I put in a queen excluder separating two deeps with the bad frames on top and the rest of them below. I filled the upper space with undrawn frames and provided a second entrance for that half (for emerging drones and a possible new queen). I figured that, if the original queen stayed in that hive, I'd have a 50/50 chance of being able to take out the bad frames out once the brood emerged.

I figured:
+16 days for queen to emerge: 4/05
+6 till mating flight (if good weather): 4/11
+4 to begin laying eggs: 4/15
A few more to be able to notice eggs: 4/17 or 4/18 (weekend)
New bees should be emerging ~5/6 - 5/9

I inspected the hives on 4/18. It was obvious that the queen went to the new location :D .It was booming; lots of eggs, lots of brood.

The queenless part of the split was the one with the bad frames. Inside that hive, I found a small amount of eggs and brood. Yay! A new queen! :) The eggs/brood were on both sides of the excluder, however. (?) The only explanation I came up with is that maybe the newly-mated queen was small enough to fit through it. Regardless, I removed the excluder and closed it all up.

Okay, enough history. I inspected the hives again today (three weeks later) It took this long because it's been raining here for a few weeks.

In the hive with the new queen: no eggs, no worker brood, but a whole bunch of capped drone cells. Two or three deep frames full of them. The rest of the cells were either empty or had fresh nectar. There is still a decent population, but the hive's a gonner.

I'm planning on recombining the two hives, although I'll end up with too much space (two deeps and a medium from the strong hive, and a deep and a medium from the other).

Finally, my questions. What could explain this situation, with earlier brood on both sides and then only drone brood left? Should I recombine, or is it possible to save the new split by bringing over eggs and brood?

Thank for any advice you can give me.

-wanderyr
 

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Regardless, I removed the excluder and closed it all up.
Confused. Did you separate the two halves into completely separate hives ? Result ,one good queen , one bad? How many hives in total?
Drone laying queen, happens.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I inspected the hives again today (three weeks later) It took this long because it's been raining here for a few weeks.
A poorly mated or unmated queen past the mating age would explain the drone larvae. I have a nuc doing that now. I haven't had enough coffee to follow everything else you did.
 

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Eggs on both sides of the excluder may be indicative of laying workers. If that is the case, it would probably be a mistake to recombine the two halves.
 

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I see one of 2 things that happened:

You lost the queen and it went laying working. If this is the case I would not combine it. Reading thru the forums it is usually a toss up if it is worth trying to recover a laying worker hive

You split to early/had bad weather and the queen didn't get mated, and ended up as a drone only laying queen. I had a queen do this once, and I think it was because I split a hive to early or she could not get out of the robber screen. When did you first see drones in the existing hive/one that still had a queen? I would not recommend splitting hives until I start seeing lots of drone brood and/or drones crawling around in the hives during inspections. If this is the case I would thoroughly search for the queen to make sure she is not there and then either buy a queen, add frames with eggs from another hive so they can raise a queen or combine with another hive.

I would not worry about having to much space for the brood nest this time of year. My stronger hive currently has a brood nest spanning 3 mediums (most of 2, part of a 3rd) and part of a deep. I am giving them lots of space to hopefully keep them from swarming. Before someone says it, I don't want to split this hive, I have 3 hives now, and that is all that I want.
 
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