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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I placed one of Dwight Porter's Russian queens in a Cordovan Italian hive a few weeks ago. After several days the queen was accepted and I saw her walking around on a frame. Within a week, there were half a dozen or more queen cells started on the bottom of one frame. All were occupied, so rather than losing the batch, I moved the frame on June 21 to another hive where I had placed a queenless swarm.

Today, all the cells have been capped so I did a little excision. One beautiful long cell went into a 3 frame nuc pulled from the hive (1 honey & 2 drawn comb). They can spare the workers as I combined this hive with a bunch of bees from a cutout last week.

The other clump of two cells went into an additional deep on top of the original hive with a queen excluder in between. I pulled another honey frame to entice more bees into the new top deep & put on a notched IC to give them an alternate entrance.

Here's my question: I don't have a Cloake board handy but I do have a screened shim to physically separate the deeps. Should I give it a few days with the queen excluder or go ahead and insert the shim? I'm trying to maximize my chances of getting queens and wasn't sure if the virgins could get thru the queen excluder or not.
 

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Virgins are very small, not much larger than a worker; they'll go right through the excluder! The little 3 frame nuc you made will need some capped brood with the adhering bees or it will dwindle to nothing. By the time your new queen starts laying and her brood emerges the old bees will have passed on to bee heaven. Keep it stocked with bees and brood until they can manage for themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wound up caging (1/8" hardware cloth) 2 clumps and left the big clump alone. So theoretically, I should be able to get 3 queens. The real test, of course, is when they go into the mating nucs and come back successfully mated. But at least I've upped my chances.
 
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