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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I split my hive a couple weeks ago, simple walk away split with help from info here. Good news, the new hive that was queenless has three queen cells and the hive is humming.

Now, the original hive where I split from is queenright and is absolutely stuffed with bees again, and I think this is a queen cup (on the right) with a larva. There is definitely a larva. Is this a swarm cell and could it be I need to split again to avoid a swarm? I am a beginner, but I have never seen so many bees in a hive.

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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If that queen cup is charged, it is a swarm cell in the making. You need to split out the original queen into a nuc and let it play out. Read up on fly back splits as this is the best way to go in this situation IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I gave the queenright colony drawn comb. My hope was to get some honey from the hive. But it sounds like the bees have other ideas. I am going to split again, today or tomorrow, whenever the weather cooperates.

On the plus side, I feel really good that I caught this before it happened, and since the package of bees I ordered was canceled this should give me the 3rd colony I was hoping to have. Now......I just hope I don't screw up the split! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have two deep boxes and a honey super on this hive separated by a queen excluder. Both deeps are completely built out. Brood is booming, and there are still stores left from over winter and feeding from earlier in the month. I have not fed in 2 weeks. The honey super is about 75% built out but empty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well baptism by fire, the best way to learn. I was debating whether to split today or tomorrow. Rain is moving in as I type. I went over to my hives just to think about my plan. When I got near them, I found the bees had swarmed already. Fortunately for me they were in two balls, 5 feet apart in small cedar trees. One of the balls was the size of a softball and very tight and calm. The other was a little looser in density and about the size of a volleyball.

I know very little about catching swarms, and I don't have a guru I can call. So I took a deep body, loaded it with built out frames and dropped in on bottom board. Then I took another empty deep and placed it on top. I was able to clip both clusters of bees and gently place them in the upper hive body. I figure I got 95%+ of the bees. There were a handful I couldn't get.

So, how did I do? Any tips moving forward?

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did check for queens, and not that thoroughly, but I didn't find any. That is NOT saying there were not two queens, just that I couldn't find them. I was rushing a bit to get them in the box before the rain.

What would happen if there were two queens? Would the strongest prevail? Or would one swarm again?

We have a couple cold nights and some rain in the forecast. I would assume that would be a good for the bees to get settled in the new hive??
 
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