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Splits: what are the girls doing while waiting for their emergency queen to emerge?

1221 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  beepro
I've done splits successfully over the past several years but it only just now occurred to me to wonder: what are they doing while waiting? There were a lot of nurse bees suddenly with very little to do but tend the eggs/larvae that went with the split, and no more. This question isn't completely frivolous, because behind it is the pragmatic question: is it better to give a new (still queenless) split empty frames to draw out or already drawn comb for them to store honey. I'm suspecting that they are more likely to turn into field bees quicker than usual, and to be bringing in nectar and pollen. Anyone else have ideas on this? I would hazard a guess that they won't draw comb until they have a mated queen. Thoughts?
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I try and do splits just before the spring flow. As a result, they put up what I think is a lot of honey for the number of bees in the splits. I think your assumption is right, they transition to field bees quickly. And I don't see small splits in 5 frame nucs drawing much comb.
Yes, they will draw new comb with or without a new laying queen. I use this to my
advantage to build more new frame of comb. Feeding 1:1 will stimulate the comb building
process. I also alternate between a finished frame with an empty one with starter strip.
This will keep the nurse bees busy until they turn into field bees again. Ohh, they will also
repair any damaged old frame of comb as well. It is good to experiment for yourself to see
the real result.
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