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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I caught a huge swarm about two weeks ago. We are on good weather and strong flow. They are absolutely booming. Just did a thorough inspection and found eggs and/or capped brood on 13 frames. They are drawing new comb like crazy to keep up with the queen.

Now I want to give the OTS queen rearing a go to create nucs for overwintering. I was going to split the hive 4 ways. Is there any reason not to do that with a freshly established colony?

Advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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Thucar, Keep in mind that the creator of the OTS system does that kind of splits on an over wintered hive. IF your swarm is brooding up lilke that and you'd like to split it I might split it in half and over winter the 2 hives then in the spring you can aggressively split it following the OTS system. I've been studying his system for 3 years, have read the book several times, and this is the second year that I've used the system. My advise is just what I would do. Feel free to do whatever you desire. Just remember if you do split it 4 ways to feed the weak splits plenty. Enjoy your bees!
 

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Also keep in mind that there might not be an ample amount of nurse bees to properly feed the queen cells. You might want to wait for a round of brood to emerge to avoid a supercedure event down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the replies. I only now noticed I had posted this in the wrong section. I could have sworn I was under Splits&Combines category... If a mod could move it to where it belongs, I would be grateful.

My thinking when performing OTS split was that I could maybe treat this hive as the built up nuc of a queen that had been removed from the original hive (as per Mel’s OTS guide) I have not decided on 4 way split. All I know is I want to increase my chances of getting into spring with live bees. I will have to wait and see how many actual sealed queen cells I end up with on the cellbuilder and how well the old queen in the nuc is doing by the time the new queens are about to emerge. I’m betting on the post-solstice queens laying up a storm and getting the numbers up for the winter.

Anyhow, the next day after posting this I moved the queen and 4 frames (2 capped brood, 2 honeyj to a nuc box. I also notched couple frames on the old hive. Today I took a quick look at the nuc (low on foragers but plenty of reserves and bees on the brood combs) The brood should start emerging any day now.

I also conducted a thorough inspection of the original hive and there I had some surprises. They were drawing out queen cups on one of the notched locations. I also saw couple more cups being built on different locations where there was young larvae. However - and this is where it gets confusing for me - there were loads of empty queen cups on the edges of the comb, no larvae in them. Would a queenless hive start building brand new queen cells? Or is it more likely they were already there three days ago and they were just contemplating swarming?

They do have quite a bit of drone brood going. About 1/4 of one frame and 2/3 of another.
 

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They were probably predisposed to building swarm cups if the hive was as strong as you say. they just finished the task after you pulled the queen I would suspect.
 
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