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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have had a cold spell for about a week. 10 days ago I did an inspection and found loads of cups in a problem hive, as well as the start of one QC in a hive that was doing great.

Today is the first in a week that temps were in the high 50s. I opened each respective hive and found multiple partially constructed cells in the problem hive, and unfortunately 4-5 capped cells in the good hive. Population seemed a little down in the good hive so with capped cells present they might have already left. The problem hive is named so because the bees are a little too defensive, very noisy even with a laying queen, and have never been great about drawing new comb or producing honey.

I have a few questions:

1. Concerning the problem hive, do I let the hive swarm and hope the new queen they produce does a better job? Do I find the queen and make a split? Splitting would give me another hive but I would still be stuck with the queen that has produced these problematic bees. The population is dense and I saw evidence of eggs so I think the queen is still in there.

2. As for the hive that was doing great... If the hive did swarm already, do I just leave them to do their thing and check for a laying queen in 4 weeks? I have 4-5 capped cells spread over 3 frames. Should I leave a couple cells in the original hive and transfer the remainder to a new box along with bees and stores to form a new hive? Or would this spread the population too thin?

3. Should I destroy the cells in the problem hive and place the extra cells from the good hive in there to hatch thus eliminating the problematic genes and replacing them with solid pattern, comb building, honey producing genes from the good hive?

10 days ago there were no cells in the problem hive and the start of one in the good hive. That should give me a week or less to decide what to do before the cells in the good hive start hatching. The weather is going to be nice the next few days and I feel like I should make a decision soon so I can do what I need to do and then leave them be for 4 weeks.

What would you do in my situation?
 

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If the queen cells are on multiple frames in the good hive I would go with option 3. If the mean hive also has a lot of drone cells you may consider taking them out to reduce the potential of propigation of the mean geans. I would leave atleast 2 cells in each hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If the queen cells are on multiple frames in the good hive I would go with option 3. If the mean hive also has a lot of drone cells you may consider taking them out to reduce the potential of propigation of the mean geans. I would leave atleast 2 cells in each hive.
The cells are on multiple frames. Does it matter that the two hives are on slightly different timelines? If I place capped cells in the hive with only partially drawn QC's will that screw anything up? Or will they just accept the capped cells? Also its probably not a good idea to shake the bees off a frame with capped cells correct? I am assuming I would transfer the frame, bees and all, into the problem hive.
 

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It is best not to shake the bees from the frames with queen cells so as not to damage them. They are likely to accept the cells. You should smoke them heavy or spray with sugar water to help acceptance of the bees on the frame. In addition, sometimes they build queen cups and never use them. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is best not to shake the bees from the frames with queen cells so as not to damage them. They are likely to accept the cells. You should smoke them heavy or spray with sugar water to help acceptance of the bees on the frame. In addition, sometimes they build queen cups and never use them. J
Ok. My plan is to open the problem hive and destroy all the cells they have started. Then I will transfer the frame from the good hive that has a few capped QC on it and then seal it up for 4-5 weeks. Anything else besides the smoke/sugar water I should know about>?
 

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Ok. My plan is to open the problem hive and destroy all the cells they have started. Then I will transfer the frame from the good hive that has a few capped QC on it and then seal it up for 4-5 weeks. Anything else besides the smoke/sugar water I should know about>?
Why not just transfer a cell only? Just cut one out and pin on a frame in the bad hive.
 

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yes to 3
3. Should I destroy the cells in the problem hive and place the extra cells from the good hive in there to hatch thus eliminating the problematic genes and replacing them with solid pattern, comb building, honey producing genes from the good hive?

best plan, make a queen from a non problem hive.
make an extra if you want better odds of having 2 good ones.
place a frame with good cell into each one you wish to have.
take the frames from the bad hive destroy the QCs, and add a couple to the good cells.
when you find the bad queen place her and 1 more frame in a NUC as Insurance.

let them hatch and see what plays out.

GG
 

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Why not just transfer a cell only? Just cut one out and pin on a frame in the bad hive.
This only works if you can cut out a queen cell. If you have frames with plastic foundation this will not work. Moving an entire frame is probably a better option since Johnny does not have another hive to pull resources from if he messed up cutting out and moving a queen cell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
take the frames from the bad hive destroy the QCs, and add a couple to the good cells.
I moved a frame with two capped cells from the good hive into the bad hive. I destroyed the 1 capped cell that the bad hive had finished. As I went to destroy the partial cells in the bad hive, I had a thought. If I am placing two capped cells from the good hive, more than likely those will hatch before they finish the partials they had going before I swapped. I destroyed a few partials and then left a few as crummy insurance in case something goes wrong with the capped cells from the good hive. I figure if the good cells successfully hatch, the new queen will destroy the other cells or the bees may abandon any that were not finished. Is this logical thinking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This only works if you can cut out a queen cell. If you have frames with plastic foundation this will not work. Moving an entire frame is probably a better option since Johnny does not have another hive to pull resources from if he messed up cutting out and moving a queen cell.
I do have plastic foundation and the cells are located precariously close to the bottom bar of the frame. Doubt I could have cut this out without opening the top of the cell. I ended up transferring the whole frame just like you suggested.
 

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I moved a frame with two capped cells from the good hive into the bad hive. I destroyed the 1 capped cell that the bad hive had finished. As I went to destroy the partial cells in the bad hive, I had a thought. If I am placing two capped cells from the good hive, more than likely those will hatch before they finish the partials they had going before I swapped. I destroyed a few partials and then left a few as crummy insurance in case something goes wrong with the capped cells from the good hive. I figure if the good cells successfully hatch, the new queen will destroy the other cells or the bees may abandon any that were not finished. Is this logical thinking?
Yes, no problem with your logic. Some will leave all but two or three cells for insurance Some will destroy all but the largest. IMO, no right or wrong way.
I do destroy all queen cups as I come across them. I find it makes inspections faster because I don't have to recheck them every time to make sure it is not charged. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, no problem with your logic. Some will leave all but two or three cells for insurance Some will destroy all but the largest. IMO, no right or wrong way.
I do destroy all queen cups as I come across them. I find it makes inspections faster because I don't have to recheck them every time to make sure it is not charged. J
Ok great. Thank you.
 
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