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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Inspected my strongest hive today and saw many drone cells and about 10 queen/swarm cells, and scattered clusters of brood. THey have filled 3 1/2 mediums. SHould I split them now and feed or should I just await the swarm and try to get a new hive ready asap and hopefully catch it?
They were getting a bit agitated so I couldnt get all the frames inspected but I saw enough. These gals are crazy - i mean its only a 2.5 month old package!

What do you guys think? Thanks!!

:ws
 

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generally first yr packages dont swarm, but if they did backfill the broodnest, they may have killed your queen like mine did to me. My best laying queen at that. All that said, they very well could be and or they made emergency cells for ya...either way, i'd def watch them. They are mean because they are queenless i am betting.... Dig down and see if you can see her....
 

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Agreed. Before you know it, they swarm and land 70 feet up in a tree, or in a neighbors yard and they belong to him now.

C2
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow thanks very much for the suggestions everyone! I did find several areas of larva so I dont think they killed the queen. I am afraid I wasnt aggressive enough in supering. Our flow is really strong in michigan right now, I am afraid they are running out of room. I will look again today

I have done some reading about splits and my current plan is to put all the frames with swarm cells in the upper hive (without the current queen) along with some brood and honey and put some empty frames in the lower hive along with the current queen to make sure they have plenty of room. I will separate the upper and lower with some newspaper or cardboard and I have a makeshift entrance for the top hive. Does that sound reasonable?

Can anyone suggest their favorite online resources for making splits? This would be my first

Thank you very much!
 

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You just found it Doc. Are you sure you have a queen? And yes, that sounds very reasonable
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ha thanks devdog I should have known this be be it :)

I havent seen her but yesterday I did see some small larva in the upper medium. Today I am going to try and find her. will post video if i can see her.
 

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I think you have to define whether or not you have an existing queen. My "swarm" turned out to be emergency cells everywhere as they were queenless and very irritable. I made 5 splits from that one hive!
 

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Doc; your split method is not going to work! They'll chew through the newspaper, and the cardboard given a little time, and the first virgin out will most likely do away with your queen and all the other cells. You need to take the old queen along with a couple frames of brood, a frame of honey and plenty of bees and make a new hive. Leave the cells, ALL of them, with the old hive to continue raising a new queen. :D
 

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well dang, i didnt read into your post good enough....my fault. I def agree with fishsticks. It wont work. You just need to do a walk away once you find the old queen if shes there....and you have the new queen in hand....or do it now, whatever floats your boat
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hey no problem. Thanks everyone for the advice.
I got home late today so I will have to hunt tomorrow.

New plan:
I have got most of the materials ready for the split. I will try to find the queen.

If i do find her then I'll do a walk away with her (old queen) in one split and the queen cells in another. I have an extra medium I can use.

If I dont find her then what? should I Split the queen cells into both hives? I was thinking if I dont find her then one of the splits would still swarm right?
Lets just hope i find her :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
wow what an adventure - it took about 3 hours total but I went throught all 40 frames and a lot of pine needles but lo and behold I found a queen on the very last frame I looked at # 40!

here she is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqdthTeXhrs


Now I saw some larva but I couldnt see any eggs ( I never can) but the larva were kind of scattered. A lot of uncapped honey in the upper brood chambers with some intermittant drone cells and capped workers. I think either the queen I found is weak and not laying consistantly or she is a newly mated queen. I have no idea since the original wasnt marked but oh well. She was down in a frame in the lowest medium near the main entrance area. There were a lot of drones down there as well.

I found about 15-20 frames with multiple quuen cells on them. some were capped and others werent. there were 2-3 that looked like they could have hatched - but i am not an expert.
here are some
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mUKBP_SjCI

Anyhow the net result is a split attempt pretty much based on this article. It sounded just like a walk away.
http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p1817.pdf
so i have 1 medium on top with 4 frames of brood (mostly capped but some larva also) and 2 frames of honey and some empty frames w/ starter strips.

I have some more equipment on the way should be here early next week but I had to improvise some things and so I have a stacked split with entrances going different ways.
THe identified queen is in the top one. with a pretty good amount of bees. Then in the lower are all 30+ queen cells and a lot of honey, some brood (mostly capped), drone cells, and some empty comb. They are separated with plywood right now but will move the new hive with the queen about 50 yards away in about a week when I get the hive equipment.


This is really exciting i cant wait to see what happens! Thanks again everyone!
 

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doc; you need to build or buy yourself a couple 5 frame nuc boxes and outfit them with frames and foundation. This swarm stuff is going to occur on at least an annual basis as long as you ever have bees and you need to be prepared for it. BTW, good job on getting it done! :D:D:D
 

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I am going through the exact situation, swarm cells (they are def swarm cells and one was almost capped) in top deep on one frame at least. It started raining so couldn't do a complete inspection. I am going in tomorrow for a real complete inspection. My question is, which is better, the Demaree method (I kind of like the sounds of this) or starting up a 5 frame nuc? Will a nuc make it thru the winter this late? (Pittsburgh) I understand alot depends on what I find tomorrow, but would like to get a game plan going in my head for whatever I find.
Thanks
Scott
 

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doc;
fish stick is right, you can take the frams with the queen cells ,put them and some other frams of honey and foundation in a nuc and produce some new queens.good luck rock.
 

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I am going through the exact situation, swarm cells (they are def swarm cells and one was almost capped) in top deep on one frame at least. It started raining so couldn't do a complete inspection. I am going in tomorrow for a real complete inspection. My question is, which is better, the Demaree method (I kind of like the sounds of this) or starting up a 5 frame nuc? Will a nuc make it thru the winter this late? (Pittsburgh) I understand alot depends on what I find tomorrow, but would like to get a game plan going in my head for whatever I find.
Thanks
Scott
You have to ask around, but i would think they would if you split them immedialty. You can always recombine if you dont think they will Scott. you can alsways strengthen the hive with brood as well
 
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