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Discussion Starter #1
I had 2, 10 frame hive boxes both with one super. Frames are wood with plastic foundation. Both hives had around 4 to 6 capped queen cells. All I did was split the hives in half, so each hive had about 2 queen cells each. The frames were divided up equally (brood, pollen, honey) between the 4 hives. I didn't even bother looking for the laying queens but there were day old eggs in both hives. I did the bee math and gave the unhatched queens an extra week to start laying. I inspected the hives, all the queens must have swarmed instead of one sticking around. There was no sign of a queen or eggs and the population was dwindling.
I recombined the hives and ordered 2 queens but I would still like to know what I did wrong. Is there a more sure fire method of doing spring splits.
 

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Anything is possible, but i bet they aren't all queenlessness. If you can give them each a frame of open brood - if they really are queenlessness they will build cells within 4-5 days. But the best way to make sure they are queen right is to go ahead and order 2 queens. Typically when you open the hives to introduce the new queens they will then be full of brood.
 

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Yep. I'm in Arizona and it warmed up unusually early this year. Queen cells in Feb. Go figure. Lol
 

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Were there drones around? When splitting, I always find the queen. If they've triggered swarming, move her to a nuc, then split the rest of the cells as best you can between all the splits you make, cull runty cells in the process. If the splits fail, you still have a laying queen to provide brood and eggs. Don't leave too many cells though, I usually give each split 2, don't want too many queens emerging to fight it out or swarm off.
 

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I would still like to know what I did wrong.
I would say you recombined the hives. Splitting is a gamble and if you are going to roll the dice then you got to go 60 days. No eggs in 30 days is wonderful you don't have a laying worker hive. You could have added eggs and see if they make another queen cell.
 

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I suppose if they were capped queen cells you could figure the queens will emerge in 8 days. Then two weeks for her to mate is typical and three is not unheard of. Three weeks pus 8 days is 29 days total. Were there drones flying at the time of the split?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There were lots of drones in the hive. Maybe I jumped the gun and recombined too soon, but I like playing it safe since I only have 3 hives right now. I have 2 queens on order and should be here 4/11, then I will re-split.
 

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I think u combined too early. And how far away from each other were the splits ? Any chance the majority of them flew back to the hive in the parent position ?
 

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Could be. I saw all the original brood had hatched out and there was no signs of eggs or a queen in the two hives. It also seemed the population had gotten a bit thin so I decided to play it safe. The boxes were moved about 50 yards away.
 

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but I like playing it safe since I only have 3 hives right now.
Splitting is a gamble just like beekeeping in general.
This is how you put your mind at ease:
If I split a hive I do not risk the hive that has a queen but I do have a chance of increasing the numbers. You have 3, you split one and that makes 4. If it doesn't make it you still have 3.
The gamble is you are giving up honey production (and that is not always the case) for the hopes of increasing hives.

Buying queens should lower your risks of having duds but there is no sure thing. For one thing you added risks because you had to pay for the queens. My feeling is a hobbyist should learn how to split without buying queens to get their feet wet. Then expand their operation either by using the MP method of nucs or someone else's method. Then buy queens to add genetics to their apiary. At that point you should know most of the ropes so you are not risking much.
 

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I would wait at least 6 weeks. Some queens are slow to get stated. They may be laying eggs, but not enough for you to notice them.

Sometimes they supersede the queen even though she is only just starting to lay. Had that happen a few weeks ago.
 

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I would agree with all the advice given but would stress the importance of seeing drones coming in and out of hives before doing a split. If there are few drones at the sport bar for the queens to mate with there won't be enough in the area for her to mate with.
 
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