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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made 2 one-medium splits using capped queen cells over the weekend. I'm not seeing much activity in front of those splits (which is probably normal). I put frames of honey, brood, pollen in with the queen cell frames, kept the nurse bees on the brood frame(s), put grass in front of the bottom entrances to reorient the bees.

Now I'm wondering, since they're a really small micro-colony at this point, do I need to go in there at all and make sure their honey stores are adequate, etc? Or should I just leave them alone for a month?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okay, they felt heavy to me, so I guess they're alright. So it's okay not to see much activity in front of the hive? Granted, they are really low on bees in a new split, and mostly just nurse bees. When the brood hatches, I should see more. It's a little nerve wracking, but if I tamper in there it'll probably just make it worse.
 

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If you made them up adequately last weekend I wouldn't mess w/ them now or even for another week or more.
 

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If you kept the splits in the same yard as the mother hive, the field bees may have flew back thus the lack of activity. Sometimes they fly back even when blocking and obstructing the entrance. How long was the entrance stuffed with grass?

Like others have said, make sure there's enough bees to cover the brood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay! I'll check them. Entrances weren't stuffed with grass, just a pile in front for reorienting purposes.
 

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I think you should peek inside because a very very common mistake when making splits is to make them too weak. Just a peek though.

If they are too weak then you can just shake some nurse bees off of brood frames outside the entrance to the nucs and the ones that don't fly back will go inside your nucs - if there is anything in there to lure them, such as a virgin queen or open brood.

Any nucs that don't make a queen at all (as in the cell is a dud) often lose almost all of their bees if there is a better hive next door.

Since you made them up with cells they don't have to be all that strong though, but they do need to have enough bees to get rolling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Since you made them up with cells they don't have to be all that strong though, but they do need to have enough bees to get rolling.
That's another thought. There is capped brood but it should be hatching soon, and does the queen cell need to be covered by bees for warmth? I would highly doubt there's any open brood in there at this late stage, most of it was capped going in. It could be there isn't much use for nurse bees, except for warmth, which since it gets into the low 50s at night still, is a necessity.

I'm thinking to check for 2 things: 1) to make sure they still have honey frames and aren't low on food, and 2) to make sure there are enough bees to warm the brood and the queen cell if it needs it. If I open it up and all the bees are gone, it's probably too late.

Then, there's this: http://www.honeybeesuite.com/how-to-make-a-split/

"Just remember that for a long time, the part without a queen will look like no one is home. Gradually, as nurses become foragers, the discrepancy will decrease. Don’t let the number of foragers in the one part freak you out. If the split is raising a queen, everything is working according to plan."

So maybe I should just leave them alone.
 

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Yes, it does. A common mistake that beekeepers who make a lot of nucs and then use queen cells is that they think they can get away w/ setting the queen cell between the top bars. This results in the possibility of bees leaving the queen cell uncovered when temps drop and bees move down and cluster. Take the extra step and put the queen cell down on the face of the comb where bees and brood are so those bees will be more apt to keep it covered.
 
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