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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy folks,

Yesterday I was blessed with a few hours to play with my hive (two full deeps). I opened it up a month or so ago to check on things, and it looked like it had come a long well. So yesterday I decided to split. I set up a new SBB right next to the old hive, facing the same way, and moved the top deep to it. I went through this deep (which had 8 frames of bees) and found a few frames of honey and many frames of brood. I spotted eggs on two frames, so I feel like this box is alright. I looked at every frame, etc.. Now the bottom box was having all the field bees return, and they had no where to go. There were a lot of these guys, and they were flying all over when the top was off of the hive. So I added a foundationless medium I had to that hive (so they would have a second story to go up into like before) which had 1 frame of salvaged comb I had strung into it. Then I closed it up and walked away. I didn't want to start pulling there comb while field bees were returning and running through the hive. I don't know the lower brood boxes condition. Later that evening it looked like many of the confused bees were going into the new hive. I thought I saw a bee fannying in front of the new hive, so I'm guessing my queen might be in there. I didn't see her during the inspection. Sooooo... What do I do about the old hive? A full inspection to look for eggs seems the most sense, but to be honest, I'm not sure if I will have time for a few weeks. By then it might be to late if things went bad in that hive I imagine. Sooooo.. What should I look for to indicate things are OK or bad in the old bottom deep hive? Should I be a little concerned, a lot concerned, or not concerned? Any and all pointers welcome.

Thanks!

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So maybe do quick full inspections in 3-4 days. If there are no queen cells then grab a frame with eggs and put it in the hive that doesn't have eggs. Sounds like a plan. I *might* be able to squeeze this in on Wednesday if the weather and my wife co-operate :)
 

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if you dont have time to inspect your bees for weeks on end, maybe you should reconsider your splitting. good luck,mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mike, I supose that could be a valid arguement. Right now I'm still learning though, so I'm not super worried about making a mistake. Last year I started with a single hive, and as I progressed, I started to see the value in having more then one hive. I'm hopeful that this year I'll be able to branch out. Plus, if I let a job and busy family get in the way of having a hobby, I'd never have any hobbies! Beekeeping is sure a neat one. I've got to admit, it's been a bit of a gut check for me lately. I haven't used gloves (haven't been stung too much either) so staring in an open box of 9 or 10 full frames, and starting to pull them tends to remind me I'm alive :) I'm sure I'll get used to it at this point, but I have to admit it gets my heart pumping a bit. I'm hopeful that someday I'll get up to the point where I can gift honey to all my friends and family, and still have enough left over for some mead for me! Anyway, thanks for taking the time to respond.
 

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are the girls going into the hive with pollen??

if they are, they have open brood. if they have open brood, it is likely they have some young enough to make a queen with.
keep your fingers crossed, and remember she might not be too good a queen, but you can replace her soon as you get the chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, the girls are winging in a lot of pollen. I would have liked to split sooner, but we had a lot of rain the last few weeks.. I definately saw all stages of brood. Most was capped and the pattern was very solid. The queen I have now has been good to me.
 

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Keep your fingers crossed, and give her either 1 or 5 weeks and check for a Queen cell or fresh eggs. But if you wait the 5 weeks, they could go laying worker on you, so as soon as you can is best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, checking as soon as I can is the plan. I have a few hours of comp time saved up, so I'll try to take off early one day and sneak a peak in. The problem now is we have rain on the forecast until Saturday :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just a follow up post...

Friday I was able to do a full inspection of the old bottom box hive. It had very few bees or stores and they seemed to be starving out. It seemed all the field bees had drifted over to the queen right split. I pulled a frame from the queen right hive that was full of bees, eggs, larva, and some stores in the corners, and moved it into the weak hive. I moved the extra medium to the strong hive. I poured a cup of sugar onto the inner cover of the weak hive and closed everything back up.

I was gone over the weekend, but checked on the girls on Sunday. The weekend had good weather, and both hives had active field bees going and returning. The weak hive had eaten about half the sugar, and the bees inside looked a lot more active and happier. I'm hopeful I'll be able to check for queen cells this upcoming weekend.

One question I had, was that I noticed a few frames in the old bottom box that looked like they had had their comb chewed down by the bees. These areas were mostly right in the middle of the box. It just looked like the bees ate the comb down (maybe to try and get any food?). I didn't see any SHBs or web or worms or anything. What was up with that?
 
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