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I'm looking for advice from those who use the double screen/snelgrove board for splits. This year was the first time that I had a snelgrove split fail on me, no queen produced. I split March 26th and just looked April 29th. No queen, so I recombined the two deeps. There was a medium between the two deeps and I took the division board out. So now I have a deep a medium and a deep. I'm thinking that I may need to put the 2 deeps together and mix the brood chambers? This is the first time in 4 years that I've had a failure using this system and I'd like to hear how you have handled this situation.

I'm down to 2 queen rite colonies and one other colony that now has 4 capped queen cells that hopefully recover. I'm kind of gun shy about moving frames from that colony as it was laying worker and I took the frame from a virgin queen that probably was killed after making queen cells. Any help appreciated!
 

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With just the information supplied I see the possibility that the Snelgrove did its job but the queen failed to return from mating. I am assuming that the old queen was left on the bottom? Did you look in to see if cells were produced?
 

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I use the Snelgrove boards (SB) as a swarm control method from which splits are inevitably created. I don't start with a specific number of splits in mind. If I have more QCs than I need I will make some splits with them. I generally destroy more cells than I use.
Perhaps enough nurse bees did not move into the top box before the SB was installed. I think if the nights are still somewhat cool more nurse bees move up. I also put the SB on early in the mornings. I wait at least 2 days after doing the brood manipulation. I also ensure there is plenty of pollen and honey in the top box.
This is only my second year of using them so I'm sure there a lot of details that are lost on me.
I don't think it is too late to try again.
This is the time of year I remove the old Queen into a weak split, remove the SB and put the supers on top of the double stack, but we had such a weird Spring I am not sure if the time is right. I guess I'll have to dig in to see if the swarm impulse has passed. This year the Redbuds didn't get frostbitten, but we had a hard freeze afterwards that I think killed the Persimmon blooms. I used the Blackberry bloom as the time to rejoin the two boxes last year.
Good luck

Alex
 

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With just the information supplied I see the possibility that the Snelgrove did its job but the queen failed to return from mating. I am assuming that the old queen was left on the bottom? Did you look in to see if cells were produced?
This is a big problem here that I failed to mention. Birds hang out in the trees by my splits collecting easy meals.

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #5
AHudd/crofter,

No queen cells seen and I looked pretty well. I guess this says I didn't leave new larva to make queens. But I took the queen and 2 full frames and left them in the bottom. So I had five full frames with open brood on top. So maybe it was predators. I made my split right away with the SB between them. Next time I'll do my manipulations then put the SB between 2 days later. Yes, there is enough time and maybe I'll try again in a few days.

We had that killing frost here also so I may lose most of my peaches this year. Lots of rain this spring so I guess Ar was the same. Has spring started for you yet crofter?
 

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The bees seem to be getting a bit from red maple and pussy willows but will be a couple of weeks yet till dandelions open. Nights still mostly below freezing.

I have lots of time to piddle around with the bees so I commonly look in about 4 days after to see how many frames have cells started. Snelgrove says tear down any capped at 4 days but I dont find they use old larvae. Commonly I see cells started on 3 frames at least so a person could make a few splits or mate an extra queen.

WWW in Ohio had large numbers of Cardinals seem to make his yard their cafeteria. He had terrible mating success.
 

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We may get a couple of peaches and pears, but the apples were killed in the pink bloom and the plum trees look like raisin trees.
Maybe next year.

Alex
 

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"Birds hang out in the trees by my splits" ----- my Barn Swallows return every year to my barn. I think they participate in the feast. I am about 50% on open mating. Fortunately it seems they are more active in the early evenings after the queens have returned.
 

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I just realized something yesterday. I get more QCs from the colonies that I place two medium drawn supers between the brood boxes as opposed to one. I should have realized this last year while reading Jim Lyons (I think) posts on two Queen colonies. :doh:

Alex
 
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