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Hi all. I tried my first split recently, and I believe I did everything according to plans. It is now nearly three weeks later and I see no eggs, and because it is a really big hive I can't seem to find anything that looks like a young queen. The bees are agressive when I check the hive, so I am hoping that means there is a queen in there somewhere. When should I consider requeening (I have plenty of eggs in other hives I could put in to to force an emergency queen, or I could buy one. I even have a weak hive I could merge with this if need be, just to get a new queen in there. But if I introduce a new queen and there is a queen already in there on the verge of laying, does that risk losing a swarm? Timing is everything it seems, but I don't quite know what the timing should look like at this stage.
 

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When I do a split I write the date on the top. I don't go in for 30 days. Usually have eggs at this time. Sometimes small larva so the queen started laying around day 26 or 27. Once it took 34 days.

At 40 days with no eggs I combine them with something else and start over.
 

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Queen hatches in 16 days +- a couple of days. Then a few days to firm up her wings etc., then a few days for mating flights. Weather can delay that.

Total you're looking at 16 days to make a new queen plus another 11 or so for her to start laying. 27 days total. Could be another week or so before you see eggs.

I agree with the previous poster, you could add a frame of eggs to see what they do with it. I still think it may be a little too early to see eggs.
 

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You should never worry, I tried it and it doesn't work.:D
Timing is everything and the more you experiment the better you get at timing. I wait 60 days before I give up on nature. If it doesn't work I dump the hive. Try again next year.
 

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I wait 60 days before I give up on nature. If it doesn't work I dump the hive. Try again next year.
I wouldn't wait that long, as it seems to me this would encourage a drone laying hive.

As Rader pointed out Bee math works. If the egg being laid counts as day one, I go 41 days, not one more than that, and it seems to work well.

Do keep in mind that if you did a walk away type split, that is really going to count as day 3-5. Splits that are done with a frame of brood usually start up with the right aged larva within 24 hours if it is present on the frame.

I have noticed though with three rounds of queen making this year, if you raise multiple queens, it seems they all tend to start laying at the same time, and those that don't, usually don't start up after.

I like this bee clubs queen calendar (though I check for laying sooner than they list it ~28days): http://www.thebeeyard.org/queen-rearing-calendar/


The bees are agressive when I check the hive, so I am hoping that means there is a queen in there somewhere. When should I consider requeening
since you have plenty of other hives you can always recombine and bolster another hive. If you really want that split, and you are the nervous type, toss another frame with eggs in your hive. Check it in 5 days to see if you have capped queen cells, AND to see if you have eggs. If you have eggs, cull the QCs. If you don't, check again in 5 days. If no eggs, let the new queens emerge. If eggs, cull the QCs.

No reason to buy a queen if you have plenty of hives, unless you really want that split going now. even so you would have to be sure there wasn't a queen in there that could kill your bought queen.
 

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I wouldn't wait that long, as it seems to me this would encourage a drone laying hive.
That is true, but if an emergency queen did not mate well she would be superseded and that will take a couple of months. In the mean time the colony is bring in nectar. I am going to waste the bees if it doesn't work but am going to keep the honey. I do my splits in the spring.
 

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That is true, but if an emergency queen did not mate well she would be superseded and that will take a couple of months. In the mean time the colony is bring in nectar. I am going to waste the bees if it doesn't work but am going to keep the honey. I do my splits in the spring.
superceeded by what? Your split would not have any eggs/larva young enough to make a new queen to supercede. They would be hopelessly queenless after the first queen attempt fails.
 

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but if they mated poorly, he would still see eggs if he checked. So he would never know if there was an issue with this hive, or if they superceeded during that 2 month period:scratch:.

My point is, waiting two months serves no specific purpose, except encouraging a drone laying hive. It is an arbitrary time frame when dealing with bees. Bee math is a much more sound approach.
 

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superceeded by what? Your split would not have any eggs/larva young enough to make a new queen to supercede. They would be hopelessly queenless after the first queen attempt fails.
Ace said, Not mated well. That does not mean not mated at all or no brood. I suspect that even a well mated queen is at high risk for supercedure. She is in a colony of queenless bees. What do queenless bees do when they are provided brood? A newly mated queen returning to the colony and laying eggs has just provided what? And the bees are now going to do something different with it? Why?

I agree with Ace's thinking and have seen a lot of things that indicate it is correct.

Egg is laid and queen cell is built. 16 days to emergence. 2 weeks for that virgin to get mated and start laying. 30 days have past. queen cells are built from her first brood but she remains in the colony producing brood until the new virgin emerges. at which time she is killed but has left behind a sizable brood nest. two weeks for new virgin to mate and start laying but the bees no longer consider themselves queenless and no longer build queen cells from new brood. In total 46 days from queenless to the new established queen.
 

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I did misread the "mate well" part I thought he originally said "did not mate" but still disagree (post 12 says why)

Not looking into a split for 60 days IMO is asking for trouble. To each his own.

Here is why:
If they supercede, they supercede, no bg deal outside of time lost (That isn't my issue with waiting 60 days to check) - However they DO need viable eggs to supersede!

The issue is if that queen gets eaten by a bird you are leaving a hive with no chance to supercede or be happy with a queen 3-4 weeks into your split. Meaning they are queenlesswith no appropriately aged eggs/larvae for roughly 5 weeks after the first queen hatched and left for her mating flight. That, IMO would put the hive at risk for drone laying (workers). A risk that is easily lowered by checking the hive at least once (make it day 41), to ensure that you have some form of a laying queen.



In total 46 days from queenless to the new established queen.
Only if the queen is laying some sort of eggs. In the scenario where she never returned, they are queenless with no eggs/chance to supercede. Something a five minute check could tell you at day 41.
 

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Ace's split method is to simply move a box or two to a new bottom board (don't bother looking for eggs or larva) add a cover, and see what happens.

I wait 60 days before I give up on nature. If it doesn't work I dump the hive. Try again next year.
After 60 days, if they don't have a queen, "dump" the hive. (I presume that means shake it out, or simply allow it to die.) Do not consider subsequently adding a frame of eggs/larva to give them another chance at raising a queen. :no:

One can't argue with the ease/simplicity:rolleyes: of this 'plan' - but as you can see from Ace's threads, his goal generally is not to get an additional colony. This is the Acebird version of swarm control.
 

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That, IMO would put the hive at risk for drone laying (workers). A risk that is easily lowered by checking the hive at least once (make it day 41), to ensure that you have some form of a laying queen.
If you read several post here on Beesource you come to the conclusion that turning around a laying workers hive is not that easy or guaranteed to work. So for me, why bother. That doesn't have to be everyone's attitude but for me it is. There are many things you can learn about beekeeping except patience. You either have it or you don't. I know why I fail. Other people who are instructed to do everything you can think of do not know why they failed when it doesn't work. A very common problem among newbies.
 

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I add a frame with eggs after 30 days, if I don't see eggs in the hive. Then you will know whether or not you're queenless.
 

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Just cause a hive doesn't have eggs doesn't mean you are queenless. You could have a number of queens in the hive and not have eggs.
 

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When I make splits, usually I have ripe, cultured queen cells to provide them. This speeds up the process and increases the chance of success. Sometimes I can tell if everything is going as planned, or not. If it is, all is good, if not, depending on the issues, remedies can be implemented.

No matter if everything is going well, or not, providing a donated frame/comb of mostly eggs, weekly, to the initially queenless portion of the split, will certainly help to ensure success, and doesn't cost the donor hive, much. If you make sure you shake the bees off, before transferring it, you reduce the chance of unwanted queen interactions.

Sometimes the bees from smaller splits, simply abscond once they have a queen capable of flying. For those, I simply return those combs to hives that can use them, or just use those combs (now without bees) as an additional super on a going colony. And, if it's just a nuc that has developed laying worker problems, shake those bees out (letting them beg their way into other colonies), freeze the combs with unwanted drone brood (overnight), then thaw them and use those combs, as above.
 
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