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Okay, I wanted to take a couple nucs north with me in mid-April, so on March 6, I broke up a very populous 3 X 5 nuc. I took the nuc with the queen to a different part of the yard, and left the new split on the old split's stand. The idea was to get the new split stuffed with bees. This worked beautifully, and the new nuc made a couple of frames of really good big queen cells. I couldn't bear to waste them, so I made up another split.

Okay, so fast forward to now. I fell into a major panic last week, because I couldn't find any eggs, and in fact, I put a frame of eggs into the more populous nuc to see if they would build more cells,. But they didn't and today I found eggs in both nucs, nicely centered in the cell, and no multiples. So I believe I have mated queens in both nucs.

The problem is that the second nuc is pretty low on bees-- evidently I didn't shake enough bees into it when I made it up. I need to bump up the population. I have other hives making big slabs of brood, but I'm terrible at spotting unmarked queens, like a lot of beginners, and I always worry about getting the queen when I move a frame of brood. What I'm wondering is if I shake most of the bees off a frame of capped brood, is there any danger of chilling the brood because of lack of bees to cover it in the new nuc? I doubt it will get below 50 in the next few days, except for a 45 degree night on Tuesday. I'm planning to put all three of the nucs into 8 frame deeps before I haul them north, so there'd be room to put a couple frames of capped brood in the scanty nuc.

Anyway, I guess I should just make sure the frames I move don't have the queen, but considering this made me think about this stuff. I hope to learn something useful as a result.
 

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If you give the frames a shake the queen will usually be the first to fall off. By the same token what you need is frames of capped brood and the queen doesn't spend a lot of time on those frames.
Capped brood doesn't require near as much attention as open brood so as long as you had some bees on it I'd think it would be fine. One frame is probably enough.

You could also switch places with a populated hive and get more bees than you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wolfer, thanks for the suggestions. The two new nucs are right next to each other on the stand. Could it be as simple as switching them?
 

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Chill the brood in FL? Aren't daytime temps in the 70s and 80s? Don't worry about it.

Why don't you shake some bees off of combs from another hive at the entrance of the weak nuc. Foragers will fly home and younger bees will walk into the nearest hive, aka the weak nuc. Or you could also add a frame of capped brood which is in the process of emerging. You'll have more adults pretty soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mark, it is north Florida.

But I think you're right. I'm probably overthinking this. Tomorrow I'll switch the hives, and find a frame of emerging brood.
 

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Build yourself a shaker box.

Nail a queen excluder on the bottom of a old hive body. Put the box on top of the hive you want to add brood to. Shake the bees into the box, the queen will get stuck on top of the excluder while to rest of the bees are free to go into the new hive.
 

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Okay, I wanted to take a couple nucs north with me in mid-April, so on March 6, I broke up a very populous 3 X 5 nuc. I took the nuc with the queen to a different part of the yard, and left the new split on the old split's stand. The idea was to get the new split stuffed with bees. This worked beautifully, and the new nuc made a couple of frames of really good big queen cells. I couldn't bear to waste them, so I made up another split.

Okay, so fast forward to now. I fell into a major panic last week, because I couldn't find any eggs, and in fact, I put a frame of eggs into the more populous nuc to see if they would build more cells,. But they didn't and today I found eggs in both nucs, nicely centered in the cell, and no multiples. So I believe I have mated queens in both nucs.

The problem is that the second nuc is pretty low on bees-- evidently I didn't shake enough bees into it when I made it up. I need to bump up the population. I have other hives making big slabs of brood, but I'm terrible at spotting unmarked queens, like a lot of beginners, and I always worry about getting the queen when I move a frame of brood. What I'm wondering is if I shake most of the bees off a frame of capped brood, is there any danger of chilling the brood because of lack of bees to cover it in the new nuc? I doubt it will get below 50 in the next few days, except for a 45 degree night on Tuesday. I'm planning to put all three of the nucs into 8 frame deeps before I haul them north, so there'd be room to put a couple frames of capped brood in the scanty nuc.

Anyway, I guess I should just make sure the frames I move don't have the queen, but considering this made me think about this stuff. I hope to learn something useful as a result.
A couple of days ago I was so frustrated because I couldn't find queens in a hive. I was at the point of thinking I never would see one. I posted for help and got it. Take a moment to find and read that post. You will find Queens after reading it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A couple of days ago I was so frustrated because I couldn't find queens in a hive. I was at the point of thinking I never would see one. I posted for help and got it. Take a moment to find and read that post. You will find Queens after reading it.
I did read it, plus everything else I could find on the subject, but I still have trouble finding the queens. Partly it's because my hives are so populous-- brood frames often have bees 2 or 3 layers thick. But I am getting better. One tip I could give you is to have someone take photos of your frames as you inspect them. Then later you can look at them on the computer, blow them up, and quite often find the queen. But by the time your broodnest grows to a dozen or more frames, it becomes impractical.
 

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If you make them queenless on Mar 6, they will start from a four day old larvae and have a virgin queen in 12 days (Mar 18). Typically she should be mated and laying in two weeks (Apr 1) but could be as long as three weeks (Apr 8). I would check for eggs today... a shake of bees or a frame of emerging brood would boost the population. A frame of eggs would be good insurance that they get a queen.
 
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