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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I just could not put off my hive inspection any longer! Occasionally looking into the hive at the entrance, I was seeing dead brood on the bottom board. GREAT! Now what! I thought it was chalkbrood, but they were not infected. So I was worried about it and actually lost sleep from it last night. I woke up from having a bad dream about it, believe it or not! lol!

So, I got up when the sun was still out. It was about 1030am and got some frames built. I wanted to make sure I was prepared to deal with everything I could while I was in there. I was hoping at this point to remove the deeps that keep cursing me from switching to all mediums. I got a bunch of frames made up to replace where the deeps would hopefully disappear from. I have quilt boxes on top the hives with my own top covers.

I did not use any smoke this time and they reacted very well to me handling them. Must have been to busy with other stuff! I took the top cover off, and I could not believe the AMOUNT of WATER that come running off of it from the underside! The quilt box was soaked! Even started having mold growing on it! Well, I just figured out why the brood was dying!

I took both quilt boxes off and used just the top covers instead. I'll be letting the bees do my waterproofing work on the underside of the cover. I managed to get rid of some of the deep frames and my homemade excluders seemed to be doing a pretty good job.

Now, here is the kicker! I found eggs in both of my 2 hives I have. Even found the queen walking around on one. The one I saw the queen on had 2 queen cells! I pulled one of the cells off and put it in a bowl of paper towels and next to a heat source. Its already capped and when I pulled the cell off the comb, I accidentally exposed her a little bit. By my calculations, since my last inspection, she is no older than 14 days. So she is darn near ready to come out! I saw her squirming around a little and she does have a little color to her.

I left the other cell in the hive. My 2nd hive was even more crazy! I have like 8 swarm cells and I think I had some queen cells!

I'm utterly shocked at all this and its a huge surprise to see! I thought they had enough room for more expansion, but they have something else in mind! Maybe my nectar flow is starting!

Now, hive 1 is 2 mediums worth of bees and stores, etc. Hive 2 has 3 mediums of bees, stores, etc.

I want to make splits with all these queen cells, swarm cells, I have 8 nuc boxes ready for bees. I have yet to see my main nectar flow, can I manage this? I was hoping to make splits from all the cells! What do you guys think? Should I be more conservative on splitting them and maybe see if anyone wants to buy a queen?
 

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I want to make splits with all these queen cells, swarm cells, I have 8 nuc boxes ready for bees. I have yet to see my main nectar flow, can I manage this? I was hoping to make splits from all the cells! What do you guys think? Should I be more conservative on splitting them and maybe see if anyone wants to buy a queen?
Yes, you can make splits with these cells. It might be best to split the hive that has swarm cells ASAP. They have made up their mind to swarm. I would put the old queen in the split and move it to another location. How many splits you can make off this hive is regional and depends on how strong it is. I would not leave too many cells in the parent hive. Yes, you could offer some of these extra cells for sale, or give them to friends.

If the supercedure hive had two cells. I would probably leave them alone.

Shane
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Whew! I think I dodged the bullet today, guys! The cell I pulled out of the hive yesterday started hatching at about noon today! She popped out of the cell in the Tupperware container! Crazy!

I knew it was time to deal with the potential problems I had brewing in my hives. Got my rear out to the hives and opened up the strong hive. I cut all the swarm cells out and any cups they were starting to make on the comb face. I'm going to check again in a week and see if they are building more cells on the comb face. If thats the case I will leave them. I got a total of 7 swarm cells off of one frame! They are all in the Tupperware container and I'm estimating they will be hatching out sometime between now and monday!

Its unfortunate though, as I do not have enough equipment ready to make that many splits. Its a shame as I view these cells as such a rich resource and the best I can say I can do to them is queen lure. Unless there is a quick easy way of making a queen bank???

I took one of the cells and took 5 frames out of the strong hive and put it into a nuc box I had ready. Hopefully this split will go well for me...

The weaker hive only had one cell in it and I left it because it was in the larva stage. I'm not sure how far along it is, but figure that I may be able to make another split from it as I have a littler more time to prepare with that one. I just can't forget its there! LOL!

On top of that, I realize now I need to get a bait hive prepped as well... Crossing the fingers if a swarm happens they will take residence in it!

Unbelievable at how much anxiety this gave me! I almost got caught with my pants down, fellas!
 

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The quilt box was soaked! Even started having mold growing on it! Well, I just figured out why the brood was dying!
I never used quilt boxes so maybe I'm missing something, but shouldn't those things have been removed months ago? Aren't they supposed to be some kind of help in moisture control over winter?

Wayne
 
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