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went in to split but couldn't find the queen

968 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  alexthegreengrocer
Today I had a friend come to help me make a split (she was to take the split for her own).

Last week I found swarm cells and capped drone and lots of bees...decided to split (I already had 1 swarm earlier this year).

Today, couldn't find queen, which doesn't mean she wasn't there...I always have a hard time...BUT there didn't seem to be as many bees as last week. I wonder if maybe they already swarmed?? There were 2 uncapped queen cells and 2 capped.

Anyway, was I right not to split if I couldn't find the queen and much less bees. Lots of capped brood, honey and some larvae seen...I decided to put my med. super above the brood chamber for expansion.

My friend did leave her med super on the ground next to my hive in case they haven't swarmed yet...perhaps they will go in the 2nd hive....good idea or bad?
Boy have a learned a lot in the past 4 months as a new beekeeper!! Thanks
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The first swarm doesn't wait until the new queen hatches. Any time after a swarm cell is capped they may swarm. My guess is that you already have a split. One half is in a tree somewhere. Even if they haven't, the swarm queen will be about the same size as a worker bee.

A couple of weeks ago I found swarm cells in a hive. The were about a day from being capped. I wanted to keep the queen so I planned to take a few frames of bees and the old queen and put them in a nuc box. I found her, but it was probably only because she was marked. She was slimmed down and ready to fly.
It sounds to me like they've already swarmed. This happened to me last year and I split the remaining brood into two hives anyway - just make sure there's at least one queen cell in each hive! Each half of the brood then raised their own queen (the one standing on the original site actually was given less than half of the brood as it retained all the flying bees in the colony). It meant starting the year with two small colonies but they both built up to full strength by the end of the season. (See here for the photos: )
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