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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for opinions here- what would you do in this situation:

- on May 3 I did a walkaway split from a booming hive - took 3 frames of brood of all stages and placed in a 5 frame nuc (+honey, pollen), I made close inspection to make sure queen is not on those 3 frames. Then I checked the rest of the parent hive but did not find queen- it was very crowded and not very happy, so I did not spend all day looking for her.
- On May 4 the cold weather period started here
- On May 5 I did a quick nuc inspection to see if they started queen cells and once again to make sure the queen is not there, nuc was sad and half empty, no queen or queen cells could be seen, so I was OK writing it off- it was too cold to try to recombine with the parent hive, so I decided to leave it as is until warm days.
- On May 13 (Today) - first warmer day, I opened the nuc and found my queen there alive and laying (although slowly, but there were not many nurse bees so that can be explained). It was still too cold to dig in the parent hive, but I have no doubt they would have queen cells and maybe even virgin queen by today or tomorrow.

Now the problem- I promised those 2 nucs (the other was split on the same day and is fine with 5 capped queen cells, all look OK) to a guy, but it will not look good if I sell him 2018 queen with the nuc.
So what do I do now? Wait for new queen to mate and then swap them (rather make a new nuc and recombine the old one with parent hive) or start over?
Any opinions welcome.
Thanks!
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Separate the five queen cells and place two of them in a new nuc with a fresh set of nurse bees from the parent hive. This will be the second for sale nuc and will be at the same stage of development. Add another shake of nurse bees to the Q+ nuc. This is your back up to the booming hive that needs to get a queen mated itself. Wait three weeks and see where you stand.
 

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This is the problem with promising things that do not exist yet.

However what to do? If he wants 2 nucs with young queens, then if or when you have enough young queens, make 2 nucs with them and sell them to him.

I would consider checking the big hive for queen cells today and if possible making up another nuc or two using the available queen cells plus leave at least 2 cells in the big hive. That will improve your odds of ending up with enough queens to fulfill your promise.

If your new queens do not work out, explain all the circumstances to him and let him choose whatever option is available.

Takeaway lesson, count the chickens after they hatch.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Separate the five queen cells and place two of them in a new nuc with a fresh set of nurse bees from the parent hive. This will be the second for sale nuc and will be at the same stage of development. Add another shake of nurse bees to the Q+ nuc. This is your back up to the booming hive that needs to get a queen mated itself. Wait three weeks and see where you stand.
Ah, somehow I didn't think of that... Now this may be a bit beyond my pay grade- all 5 cells are on the same frame, how easy/safe is to remove a couple without damaging the contents? They are emergency cells on the side of the frame (plastic foundation).
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is the problem with promising things that do not exist yet.

However what to do? If he wants 2 nucs with young queens, then if or when you have enough young queens, make 2 nucs with them and sell them to him.

I would consider checking the big hive for queen cells today and if possible making up another nuc or two using the available queen cells plus leave at least 2 cells in the big hive. That will improve your odds of ending up with enough queens to fulfill your promise.

If your new queens do not work out, explain all the circumstances to him and let him choose whatever option is available.

Takeaway lesson, count the chickens after they hatch.
Right... There is not much of *today* left. Let me see if I can organize something quickly.
 

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Very high risk unfortunately.

However with 5 available, you could try your luck with 2 or 3 of them but if you kill all 3, leave the last 2.
 

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If you go in tomorrow and find any queen cells hatched, that will give you opportunity to remove the non hatched ones and start at least one extra nuc.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I am less than 50% removing capped queen cells from plastic. Better then to see what qc's you may have in the parent hive. They will all be about the same age.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK- update- I did what you guys suggested and went into the parent hive instead- they were mad at me- queenless, cold and almost dark - it was not a pretty operation, but I managed to find two frames with proper queen cells (nice swarm cells at the bottom -one on each) and moved one frame into a makeshift nuc box together with another frame with bees. I have put it in my garage for the night as it is still may drop to freezing temps tonight, but starting tomorrow it should be back to normal temperature and I will move the nuc somewhere permanent.
This was certainly my latest split ever :) Thank you all for quick advice, that's why I love this forum - you don't have to wait weeks for someone to respond to a question!
 

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Nice work Dekster.

Didn't realise how cold where you are, hope there's enough bees to cover the queen cell. Just pay in a few days to check it hatched.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Didn't realise how cold where you are.
Yes, this spring is a bit unusual here this year. I should have not split the hives so early, I was going by my "normal" calendar, I did not realize how long the cold snap would last this May. Normally we have around +15-20C (with few colder days/nights sprinkled in between) in May. I certainly got ahead of myself and the bees this year, guilty as charged... Anyway, it looks like summer is starting now, too bad half of the spring bloom/flow got wasted.
 
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