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Discussion Starter #1
A month and one week ago I did a 3 way swarm split. I gave the mother a 10 frame medium and added boxes as they grew. Today I went in to evaluate. They are in 3 boxes. The top box is all nectar. The second box has a lot of brood but it's spotty. Maybe 25% of the cells are not capped. The bottom box had eggs and larvae so it was hard to evaluate it.

The daughter mated and is in a five over five medium nuc. Last week they were bursting at the seams. I took out four frames of brood from the top box and I gave them foundation. Today they had drawn it all out and filled all of it with eggs. Here is what their brood looks like.





I am going to be gone for 3 weeks in July. Even if I give the daughter more boxes I feel like I won't be able to keep ahead of her all summer. My original thought was to over winter her in the nuc on top of another hive. Is it too early to keep her nuc size by fall? I can't start anymore new hives this year I have already gone from two to four plus two nucs.

The mother was a purchased Carnie from last spring. She has been great. She has already tried to swarm this spring and I know I will need to replace her but I am having a really hard time bringing myself to do it. Should I do it now and get it over with? I need a little encouragement that I am doing the right thing. The last time I killed a queen it was a mistake and very traumatic.:s
 

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I would not mess with those queens...they look to be doing awesome! Why not just transfer from 5 over 5 into 10 over 10? Don't replace anything until they give you a reason. JMO! I wouldn't want to go into winter with Nucs in your area...again....JMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Maybe I should just hide another hive in the weeds. I am in a community garden in Brooklyn, I can expand, but not till next spring. Here is what I am dealing with.



I will try to get some pictures from the mother's brood. I don't have a lot of experience identifying a failing queen. I am concerned that she only has two boxes of brood, only nectar in the top box.
 

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What you should do is your call, but when you say -

The bottom box had eggs and larvae so it was hard to evaluate it.

You may misunderstand how you need to evaluate a queens laying pattern. There are lots of reasons why there might be holes in a frame of capped brood that have nothing to do with the queen, but the pattern of eggs and larval shows you exactly what the queen is doing.

It sure does make you feel good when you see a nice frame of brood like that produced by a hive that you made by splitting - doesn't it. The timid folks who don't make increase really miss out in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not much. I have four medium nuc boxes that are in use. I was going to pull the top box off the nuc that should be mated nowish and put it on this daughter nuc. I am probably going to have to try and sell the other nuc if it's mated. I have a grant to order a whole new hive for my new location next spring. I might order that now and put the nuc in that and hope the people in the apartments do not think I am going crazy. I have a table saw and some boards waiting for me to make hive bodies. Good thing I have a lot of honey to give away:eek:.
 

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The queen in the hive that attempted to swam earlier this year will attempt to swarm again, maybe in August but certainly next spring. My experience is that she should be replaced. Re queen with the daughter or let them make their own with the resources in the hive (there are eggs in the parent hive right?) If you dispatch her (I know, I know) they'll make their own and give the colony a nice brood break that will control the mites somewhat.
The nuc needs regular attention and 3 weeks away probably isn't going to work.
How about removing all but the queen + 1 frame of brood + 1 of honey (+ leave it where it is so the field bees return to it) from the nuc and divvy them up among the other hives & replace with drawn frames or even foundation and keep it 5 over 5. Pull honey frames from the the other hives and replace with the brood frames from the nuc. Extract the honey frames. There is still time for the nuc to grow but not become too strong while you're gone.

Older queen replaced and they won't swarm while you are gone and probably not next spring either.
Crowded nuc has plenty of work to do for three weeks but will certainly be able to sustain itself, it's like making a summer nuc by reducing it down like this.

This is one way and easy to accomplish, hopefully others will recommend other ways.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Clyderoad, You always have a practical solution. I needed to hear that about the mother. I know that she won't be good for next year and she has got to go, right? I am not sure about trying my luck to get a good superceedure queen in Brooklyn after the flow. I am going to put if off a week by giving them a box from my mating nuc. I have to harden myself to the inevitable.

Does that mean that my new package queen from this year that tried to swarm is not going to be any good too?

Thanks again Clyderoad for your help.

David, I am going to look closer at the larvae, thanks for the tip.
 
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