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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looks like a swarm coming. Will split tommorrow. Help me get this right. I can't get my Russian Queens until early May. So I am going to take the two deep supers and divide the brood, honey, pollen, and bees as evenly as I can. I am going to locate the queen/queens and make sure she is in one box. Any queen cells will go in the other box and be moved about 2 miles to my other farm. I will them start to feed 2-1 sugar water and megabee to both. then the next day I will do my other hive the same way. Feel free to shoot holes in my plan as long as it is constructive. I'm listening!!!:s
 

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I checked my hives Saturday. They had drone cells coming, but none were hatched. It should be soon. My hives are in Jamestown, TN just south of the KY state line. I think you may have trouble getting a virgin queen bred with the cool weather still to come. Others may chime in, but I would be worried about the queenless hive being able to get a bred queen this early. Last year was different. This year we are 3-4 weeks behind due to the weather. If they have swarm cells on the bottom, they may know what they are doing and have sufficient drones to breed the queen. If there emergency cells on the side of the frame, the queen may be injured or failing. You'll need young larvae for the bees to work with to make a queen. I would wait as long as I could. Give them more room or reverse boxes to save time unless swarm cells are the case.

Mark
 

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Do you have swarm cell on the bottom of the frames?
Do you have drones?
I checked my hives I reversed the about three week ago and I have brood in the top and bottom. I am in the nashville area. I have capped drone cells but no drones yet.
 

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I've heard its better to move the box with the old queen, so they might think they swarmed already.

But I don't know if that's true.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I haven't confirmed anything yet. I have only had the inner cover off and there is a lot of bees. It got in the 70s here last week, back to 48 today. It will be back to mid 60s Tue & Wed and warm & damp latter week. So I will know by noon tomorrow what I have got. I'm thinking you'll are probably right about the drones. But I'm hoping I have some. It was unusually warmer here a few days than it was in Tn.I watch Nashville weather some. If nothing else I will reverse the two deeps, and maybe minupulate some frames.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
kq6ar.
I wondered which one I should move. That kind of makes sense don't it. I understand that sometimes when they are prepared to swarm it is hard to stop them. So moving the swarming old queen might help. Stop her desire to roam :D.
 

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Creating a nuc with the old queen or even another hive body with the queen would simulate a swarm. I don't think you would have to move the colony away. I did a 50/50 split on the same spot last year and everything went fine. There were plenty of drones available when I did it though. Everything is off this year due to the cold weather. I guess nectar flow will be about the same, but may be a week later. The first week or two in April should be time and also a good time to split.

Mark
 

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This is basically the same thing I did last week when I finally got out to inspect one of my hives in a remote location. Saw some queen cells, let them behind and took 4 frames and the queen to kinda of similate a swarm. I moved the queen right hive back home and put it in a fullsize hive body with some extra frames that they will have to clean up a little bit. But very similar to what you did. Now I am crossing my fingers as I am sure you'll be doing in the near future. Good luck to ya!
 

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You can leave both in the orignial yard. I do splits all the time in the same yard. The nurse bees will stay with the brood in the 'split'. Some of the foragers will return to the original hive....but if you took plenty of bees in the first place there'll be plenty remaining.
 

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Do you have drones?
Not just drones, but mature drones? Larry Conner's book (Bee Sex Essentials) says that drones don't typically start taking mating flights until 12-18 days. Working backward, in order to have mature drones now (Mar 23), your queen would have had to start laying drones back in mid-February (+/- 38 days).

Seems way early to me, but I'm north of you. Maybe some Kentucky beeks will chime in.
 

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Looks like a swarm coming……. Any queen cells will go in the other box
Not just drones, but mature drones?....Seems way early to me, but I'm north of you.
I supposed that if he’s seeing swarm cells then there should be mature drones. But….I’ve been mistaken before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The weather stunk here today, didn't warm up until 1-2 oclock and then there was a very cold wind blowing. So it turned out to be a good day to wait on tearing apart the hive. Instead I started on my new hive stand. 24' long / 21 inches wide.4- 2"x6" x 12', 2- 4x4 post on the ends, 2- 6x6 post in the center where the boards meet. The post are set into the ground 1'. All lumber is pressure treated. I had the post left from other jobs. The landscape is on a slight slope. The bottom of the hives on the low end is 9" high, the high end is 19" at the bottom of the hive. It will accomodate 8 hives with room to tear apart and stack any part. I will use 8 cross braces and add weight bearing stacks of cribbing as needed (before needed hopefully). I got it about 2/3 done today. I am using all sbb which will remain open all summer. I will use the plastic corrugated tray to close the bottoms up in the winter when the weather is extremely cold. Didn't get stung as I was working about 5' in front of the active hives. It was a good day even though it didn't warm as much as it was supposed to. Tommorrow is going to be 70, an even better day. I am thinking of using a variation of the Imirie Shim for top entrances when they get in the supers. I will use queen excluders on the hives that I shim. My shims will only be 3/8" high with a 3'4" long opening. I WILL use the vented supers from Kelleys on top of all my hives. I have made several 5 1/2" extension supers to add to the vented supers for feeding with the 4 quart feeders from Kelleys. This should prevent robbing. Sorry to ramble but I want to know what you'll think of my plans.
"IF TOMMORROW NEVER COMES, IT DIDN'T NEED TO BE DONE ANYWAY"
Brent Cook.
 

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I am thinking of using a variation of the Imirie Shim for top entrances when they get in the supers. My shims will only be 3/8" high with a 3'4" long opening.
This may cause you a problem during a nectar flow. If your present boxes are properly designed, then they already have 'bee space' between the top of the frames in one box and the bottoms of those in the one above. If so, adding anothe 3/8inch between them will create a mess.
ps you may want to start this as a new topic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Finished my new hive stand yesterday, and by the time I was done (around 1:30) it had clouded up. So after watching the hives for 2 days, I decided I was overreacting too early. First, I see no drones yet, and they are not bearding like they did last week one day. I will wait until next week after the rain we are getting today and cooler weather over the next couple of days. I will update next week when I open them and go deep to see what I have.

Thanks to everyone:cool:

Oh and I am going to start a thread about Imirie shims and openings between supers.
 

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I was thinking about this and my question is can you split hives when no second queen is available and allow the split to raise a new queen even if there are no queen cells made yet?
 
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