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What else should I do?

1140 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  squarepeg
So, I checked my hive last week and all looked well. I cut out some queen cells, and moved some frames around. Lots of capped brood, eggs, and I found the queen. There were several partially or fully capped deep frames of honey as well. I had a super on the hive, with 10 undrawn waxed frames that the bees were just absolutely covering. I assumed they were drawing out the super frames.

Yesterday, I opened the hive and there were still tons of bees in the 2 deep boxes and the super. I did not see my queen, there were some frames of capped brood but I didn't find any eggs. I pulled 5 deep frames of honey and put them in the freezer to feed back to the bees (I had placed apivar strips in the 2 deep boxes about 6-8 weeks ago). I replaced the 5 frames of honey, with the only 5 fully drawn frames of comb I have. I wish I had some more drawn frames, but I don't. It appeared the hive is close to becoming honey bound. There were several full frames of bee bread and nectar in both deep boxes, and a lot of bees with pollen on their legs.

What else can I do? I've read that splits this late don't have that good of a chance. We have cold wet winters here. Our first average frost isn't for another 2 months, but who knows with how the weather has been going. I'm hoping the 5 frames will give the queen (if she is still in there) room to lay before they fill it up with honey.
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Welcome to Beesource. Couple of questions, where are you located and did you cut out queen cups or actual queen cells? If cells, were they already capped and did you cut them all out? Sounds like your hive was in swarm prep and has now swarmed. What to do will be based on what you have already done and where you are.
I removed queen cups and queen cells (some were capped). I cut several out of both top and bottom deep box. I believe I got them all, The hive was and still appears to be absolutely packed with bees.
Before I opened the hive last week, I had the super between the 2 deeps. I was advised to do so by a friend. When I opened it last week, I called my friend and he said to cut out the cells and put the super back on top. So I did. They had drawn out part of several super frames but none were completed. Every part of the super that was drawn was full of nectar and pollen.
That is what I was afraid of. Chances are real good that by cutting out all the queen cells, your hive is now hopelessly queenless. No eggs or young larvae, no queen, and a backfilled brood nest are all signs the hive has already swarmed. Without at least one intact queen cell, the hive is doomed. You will need to get a new queen ASAP. Might as well get two and divide the hive in half and have two fairly strong smaller hives. There should be time for mated queens to get their respective hives back in order before winter. Going forward, never cut out capped queen cells unless you are making splits with them or trying to prevent an after swarm, after removing the original queen to a nuc. Your friend did not fully understand what was happening in your hive and gave you some not so good advice. IMO.
welcome to beesource drake and thanks for utilizing the 101 subforum.

there was no mention of feeding syrup or not, but sometimes colonies will respond to unlimited syrup access as they do to a super strong nectar flow, i.e. by swarming.

also the advice to split the broodnest in two with a super of undrawn foundation was not so good, and may have contributed to pushing the colony into swarm mode.
I think JWP gave you good advice. Buy two mated queens and split your hive while you still have time. If you still have a queen which appears unlikely the queens will sort things out.
So, my friend apologized for the separating the brood boxes. He gave me a mated queen, which was installed last night. The bees immediately began to march to the queen cage, and quickly accepted her. Hopefully, when I check back on Tuesday things will be all good.
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