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Discussion Starter #1
...Just kidding, more like a stupid rookie... :-0

As usual, my plans are as good as a lost swarm. Planning on doing a split, but the bees decided to do it first.
Looking in 2wks ago saturday, the queen was laying but there were a couple of empty swarm cells. By this Saturday, the queen had quit laying and there are swarm cells, w/ larvae and lots of that jelly stuff. Being really green I can't really tell if they've swarmed yet. I've never even found the queen ever(have to work with my mentor on that!)
If they don't take up residence in the box next door can I ....

Just take a couple of frames of brood (and honey and pollen and nurses) and put them in the box and let them raise their own?

If the queen stays in the original box because I don't get her, will she swarm anyway?
If she goes into the "nuc" with a swarm cell, will she swarm anyway?

Just when I think I got it all figured out...I figure out that I don't have anything figured out!

Thanks a bunch!
 
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Discussion Starter #2
And a follow-up question...I know this is somewhat like asking the meaning of life...

Why?

They didn't seem to be too crowded. There is plenty of empty cells in the brood boxes. I did feed early, that might have done it, although they had plenty of room in a super that is still on. There are a couple of frames in the brood boxes that they never drew out that I made more accessable to them. Is it too cool yet for them to do much wax drawing? I can't imagine if they are swarming.
Should I have done another box rotation? The bottom box is pretty much empty now except for some capped brood and stores.

Thanks for tolerating all of my questions...I feel like my 3 1/2yr old son!
...and I don't really think that they are stupid bugs!


Thanks

Rick
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>They didn't seem to be too crowded. There is plenty of empty cells in the brood boxes. I did feed early, that might have done it, although they had plenty of room in a super that is still on. There are a couple of frames in the brood boxes that they never drew out that I made more accessable to them. Is it too cool yet for them to do much wax drawing? I can't imagine if they are swarming.

Swarming is what a successful hive does sometimes. It's true we can add to the causes but sometimes the main cause is sucess. The hive is successful and wants to reproduce.

I would do a split. Take the old queen and some brood and put them in another box. Shake in a lot of the nurse bees so there is a significant amount less bees in the old hive. That way you did the swarm for them.
 

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kookaburra:

You mention that you saw some empty swarm cells. I assume by that you mean no eggs Right? Either way there is a good chance that they have not swarmed unless you see some swarm cells that are capped over.
You can do an easy split right now and save all the bees.
On the original location place a new brood chamber and in it place at least 1 frame with some swarm cells.(I always choose the largest and best shaped) On either side of that frame place frames with pollen and honey (maybe 5 including the one with queen cells) Then fill in with empty frames.
Take the old brood chamber with queen and place about 3 feet to one side.(its ok to leave a few swarm cells)Even better would be to make up some mating nucs and give them a frame with queen cells. Always handy to have a few extra queens.
The new hive at the old location will receive all the field bees and will not swarm because they do not have a queen.
The old hive at the new location will not swarm because it has mainly nurse bees.
This only takes a few minutes and will keep you from losing the bees you worked so hard for.
Regards,
Kurt
 
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