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Discussion Starter #1
Need to do splits on overwintered hives. I have studied the various methods and note that most leave the queen in the original hive location. Wouldn't it more closely mimic a natural swarm to move the queen to the new split? Are there any concerns with doing so? Particularly if there are swarm cells in the original hive? Appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.
 

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I always take the queen. The old hive has plenty of resources to raise another. That way the old hive has a new queen. I’ll see how the “old” queen in the new split does and if I don’t like her, she’s easy to find and replace.
 

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Yes move the queen.

Making a split and moving the queenless one is a bad plan because all bees that can fly will desert the queenless one to return to what they see as home. The original hive will be too strong, and the other hive weak on bees so less likely to raise a gooid queen, and also vulnerable to being robbed by the original bees, returning to get their honey back from the bit of their hive that was removed.
 

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Yes, but.............
Sometimes you can't find the Q.
Sometimes you don't have the time to find the Q.
Some times looking for the Q PO's the bees and you start taking stings.
Sometimes you get PO and you start taking stings.
And if there are swarm cells,sometimes the Q has already left with a swarm.

Oh for a perfect world!
 

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Just finished the Penn State course, and their description moves the queen to the new box.

If your colony is preparing to swarm, they will be cutting down the queens rations so she loses weight and can fly and stuff like that. The reasoning for leaving her in the old box might simply to not add more stress to her. If they aren't planning on swarming, then leaving her behind will be "business as usual" with a feeling like there is now more room. But she should continue to lay as usual.

But yes, moving her (false swarm) should make her and the bees that went with her feel like they have swarmed already. As for the bees left behind if they have queen cells already or they try to make them, hope is that they have eggs or very early larva to make a queen.

I think the problems come with locations. If you move the queen (physically) the foragers will be coming back to their old (location) that night, and you will pretty much be left with the queen, her nurse bees, house bees, and whatever hatches from the comb you gave her. If there are not resources in what you moved with her, there will be little coming in, until nurse/house bees promote to foragers.

If you leave the queen behind, the foragers will still be bringing in resources, the nurse/house bees will still be tending brood, and building comb, and foragers comes home at night. The moved brood and their nurse bees will have only their nurse/house bees to rise brood, build comb and create the new queen cells. If not requeened otherwise, it will take some time until she hatches, takes flight and comes back to lay eggs. Mean time, your house bees have to promote to foraging and start bringing in resources, nurse bees have to
promote to house bees and start drawing comb (for the new foragers to bring back stored to fill it) and new brood has to hatch to become nurse bees. You now have a broken brood cycle in the new split so they can be cleansed from varoa etc. You never got to break the brood cycle in the original.

I can see lots of reasons to move her with the new split, but arguments could be made for keeping her in the original. I think the "rule of thumb" is that she goes with the split, mostly because, you want a new queen in your original hive.
 

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Yes, but.............
Sometimes you can't find the Q.
Sometimes you don't have the time to find the Q.
You don't need to find the queen ... you just need to know where she is.

Split the colony, spacing the two boxes 6 feet or more apart. One will begin showing signs of distress, the other won't. No prizes for guessing which box contains the queen. Move that box to the new stand.

Distress might take 30 mins or so to show (it varies) - so go have a cup of coffee, or go do something else, and come back ...
LJ
 

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could also use a shaker box.
shake 10 frames, split the resources, honey , pollen, brood,, combs, etc
Shake the 10 you intend to "leave" excluder that box from the rest, come back the next day, the bees will re equalize.
take the excluded , pre chose split, for the cell or new queen, or insure the day previous they have eggs.
its a 2 trip gig but also works if you do not have far to go.

GG
 

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If you do not want to look for queen put on excluder and wait for reload of nurse bees.
Move entire hive.
Place a new hive in old location.
Add brood frame/s with bees to new hive.
Wonder what's for dinner.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the great input folks. Much appreciated. Thinking I have to ensure that drones are being produced in my area (zone 4b, New Hampshire) prior to doing splits. Anyone else in my region seeing drones yet? Perhaps this weekend if weather holds. As for the user name, no. Not a family name, lol. My occupation. But most would say the "old fart" moniker is an apt description. Thanks all!
 

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I did the following this spring:

1. Took old hive and restacked by new hive location (about 10-ft away).
2. Shook all the bees from the old hive into the new hive
3. Re-assembled the old hive in it's original location.

Did this with two old hives and two new hives.

Foragers came back to the old hives locations and a lot of the shook bees that went into the new hives flew back to the old hives locations.
The new hives with the old queens are laying very well.
The old hives produced queen cells. I took some of those queen cells and put in a mini-nuc to have some extras in case the old hives didn't re-queen. I also took a frame with queen cells and put into a third hive I had that made it through winter but didn't have any capped brood when I checked.
The hive with bees but no brood that I put in some queen cells did not re queen. I took a queen from the mini-nuc and put in there and will check next week to see how it's doing.
One of the old hives re-queened with an excellent pattern. I only left 2 queen cells in that hive and robbed the rest for the mini-nucs.
The other old hive I used for the split now has a laying queen but she isn't laying a good pattern. I'm giving her another week to get going and if she isn't doing well I will pinch her and put another queen from the mini-nuc in there. I left a lot of queen cells in there and that may have contributed to the poor laying pattern (too much queen fighting).

If there are no resources in the new hive, you could pull a couple of frames from the old hive and instead of shaking the bees into the new hive just put the whole thing into the new hive.

It was easy, the new hives had resources, and I didn't have to find queens.
 
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