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I have a hive that is heading toward swarming. Lots of drones, some queen cells. My concern is that if I do a split now, and let the new hive raise a queen, are there enough drones in the area to mate the new queen? If the drones all come from the original hive, and only that hive, will the queen be properly mated? My second overwintered hive is not as strong, no drones, and the hives within a 1/2 mile radius did not survive the winter
Thanks. I'm in Eastern MA.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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If you have drones, then other hives in your area do too. It is generally accepted that queens will fly up to 5 miles to find a DCA. Drones in your hives may not even be all your drones. They are known to visit other hives and can hive hop quite a distance. Do the split, but let the old hive raise the new queen. Put the old queen in the split with one frame of brood and a bunch of foundation. Then put the split where the old hive is now. This is a fly back split and will get you a box of comb drawn in no time. And, it virtually eliminates the bees' urge to swarm by pulling all the forager aged bees to the new split.
 
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