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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of splitting some hives so I can locate the queens to place them in nucs, and to re-queen the original hives.

I have located one queen and have moved her box to a temporary stand about 20 feet away and I will move two more boxes today (with help). I'm presently limited in my ability to carry things... :(

After the queens are released, I'm assuming that I recombine my boxes using newspaper.

Question: Anything special I should know about "California Mini Cages"?

Question: What steps would you recommend to assure that the re-queening and combining of boxes goes well.

Thanks,
 

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Question: Anything special I should know about "California Mini Cages"
Thanks,
Had to look it up http://www.koehnen.com/cmq.html. Did not know they had a name. Just like a California grilled cheese. I always thought it was a grilled cheese with tomato. But, who knew. :scratch:

All mine have come with those so that is normal for me. Just hang them between the frames with a marshmallow

or

hang them for a few days then pull it out put a towel over your head and release her on top of the frames and watch her walk down. The towel over your head and box just keeps her from flying away on you. (Just don't use a floral print.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
with a marshmallow
Mine are coming with the "candy-tubes", I think they come with some cage candy, or is that where the marshmallow goes.
 

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With your splitting and moving hives, keep in mind that the foragers will go back to the original location.

dickm
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My queens are arriving and so is the rain. I'm hoping to uncork my queen cages before the four days of rain arrive.

I'm thinking that I should introduce the queens to the "splits" (no field bees) and leave the field bees to be grumpy for a few more days before I combine the boxes. Am I right to be concerned by the weather?

I believe I will poke tiny holes into the newspaper when I reunite the brood boxes. "Slits" in the paper seems a little to fast to me...
 

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Is queen acceptance going to be hindered by four days of rain?

Would it be best to avoid re-combining the boxes until the field bees are able to fly again? I may be wrong but that would be my default action.
 

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The old hive with the old bees is going to be the more difficult to introduce a queen to. It is always better to try to introduce queens to young bees. The better plan is to make nucs with brood and bees, and no queen and introduce new queens to these nucs.

If the bees are old, and the weather is bad, I would not remove cork. I would put them in the hive for a few days with cork in, and uncork later. Try to have the maximum amount of sugar or marshmallow in the cage so that they take a while to release her after you close the hive up again.

In the future, I would do this:

Find 4 or 5 frames of sealed brood and shake off all the bees back into the hive. Fill the spaces where you took the brood with empty combs. Put the hive back together and put a queen excluder on top. Put the brood into a box with empty combs on top. Close her up. In a few hours bees will come up to care for the brood.

Now you have a perfect nuc. You can put her in a nuc box, or simple place a bottom board under her and leave her on top of the hive. Requeen this unit, as it is all young bees. Later you can find the old queen and recombine with newspaper, or use her as a split.

Dividing a hive this way in spring will really help to prevent swarming. Also, it sets them back very little in terms of honey production later. Pulling a nuc out of a hive in spring is a little like giving a unit of blood. The system makes up for it very quickly. You can pull nucs like this once a month during buildup period.

A more radical way is to take the hive to be requeened and split it up into a half dozen nucs. Within a day or two you will know which one got the queen (only nuc with eggs and probably more bees than the rest). Requeen the others.
 
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