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Hey there,
I took on a hive split, the no queen half. It was my first hive. I've read a ton and worked a few hives with the beekeeper who gave me the split.
We split the hive on March 14.

I got a package last Friday and hived them in a separate hive on Saturday. They appear to be doing well.

Today its been 26 days since the split. On monday the hive looked like it was getting ready to swarm so I went thru the hive for the first time since the split. I didn't find a queen or capped brood but it was also the first time I ever gone thru a hive alone. I know fresh/virgin queens are really hard to spot.

Someone told me later that what I thought was swarming could have been the queen taking her flight?

The hive was fairly nasty after I went thru it. I also took the opportunity to do a sugar shake(that would piss ME off) The bees seemed to hunt us down for the rest of the day. They would sting the sleeping dogs and it was like a bombing session to make out way out to the car 5 hours later. I was told this it's common for a queenless hive to be crabby.

A few beekeepers recommended putting a frame of brood/eggs in the hive. We did that the next day -Wed. We were not %100 positive there were eggs on the frame. It was then recommended that I just requeen. I spoke to a local beekeeper that will have new queens this weekend and told him the situation. He laughed first- a sense of humor is important!! He recommended taking a frame of eggs from my new package and putting that in the queenless hive. I told a fellow beekeeper that plan and he said that the new packages have a hard enough time and not to take new eggs away from them.

So now my idea is to take the frame of brood that we put in the queenless hive and trade it for a frame of eggs from the new package.

When I went thru the hive there were multiple(7 on one frame and 3 on another) queen cells but all appeared to be empty. I don't think they were chewed open but again this is my first hive.

Questions:
Should I go back thru the hive with a fine tooth comb today and look for queen/eggs and brood?

Would you take the frame from the new package and trade for the other brood? or am I putting my new package at risk? I'm hoping if I can get the queenless hive going I can strengthen the package with frames of brood later in the season if it needs it.

Any ideas or insight would be really appreciated. Thanks a bunch for your time in reading this. I know- it's a novel!!
PS. I know I'm probably over thinking this
 

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my hive off'd the queen and they are pretty mean too.....if the new package has a frame of brood to spare, then yes, thats what I would do as well. Make sure tho that you are NOT putting the package to its death by doing so. You could also do a newspaper combine(I just did it)(search here for the how to's) and make them one big large hive, then split it again in a few weeks and let them make their own queen. With us being close to the flow if not already in the beginning stages of it, they would build up pretty quickly i would think, then you could do a split and both would be stronger for it I would think..but then again..its just an opinion.
 

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26 days from the split is the earliest I would expect to see signs of a laying queen (16 days to raise a queen, a few days before the queen goes on mating flights, several days for mating flights and gearing up to lay eggs). I think you jumped the gun on worrying about it. Give it at least another week, maybe two. Then maybe add a frame with eggs if there are no eggs/young larva. Adding a frame with eggs would help, but I would hesitate robbing resources from a newly installed package...

When you said it looked like it was getting ready to swarm what exactly did you see?

Yes, a queenless colony can be very nasty. I would not have done the sugar treatment on a new split. You probably didn't do much harm, but it is a big disturbance on a hive that is already undergoing a big upheaval.
 

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I'm with Ardilla, I wouldn't take anything from the package that just arrived. I would one take a frame from the parent hive. Just make sure to shake all the bees off. That frame already has a queen and if you have a queen in the split hive, she's going to smell different and might hunt her down and kill her. If you do a paper recombine, same thing, you need to be VERY sure that there is not a queen when you put them on top of the other hive, the last thing you want is for the 2 queens to fight and have them kill or greatly injure each other, then have no queen at all. If you have the time and are willing to wait, give them the time. Give them a frame of eggs/brood and wait. If you don't, order a queen ASAP.

Good luck and let us know what happens.

JMTCW

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The kids noticed the buzz sound from inside the house and the whole front of the hive was covered with bees. I thought I had a pic but didn't find one. I did have my son take pics of the queen cells. From the pic the queen cell on the far right looks like it's been chewed open.

I sugared them because they hadn't been treated for varroa for quite a while, they had access under their screened bottom board and I had found a bee with deformed wings or else I would have left them alone.
Thanks,


 
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