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Not my situation yet, but could be:

If I have a hive with 2 deeps, and each has lots of bees/activity/etc, can I make a split even if I don't find a queen (if, like, she's covered over with bees and can't be seen)?

If so, would it be reasonable to make sure each deep has some "new" brood in it, so bees in a deep w/o the queen can select for a new one? If the top deep is the only 1 with fresh eggs, I could then take a frame or 2 of those and put in the lower deep -- just to make sure?

I'm a little fuzzy on the logistics here. Any ideas/suggestions/ etc would be appreciated.

Mitch
 

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I know you are in NC, but an even more important question than the number of bees in two deeps, is whether you already have a good amount of hatched drones and ready to hatch drone brood. Because as you know, with bees, it takes 10 to 20 to tango (1 queen plus her suitors). If they make queen cells from 1.5 day old larvae, you'll need to have posses of mature drones swaggering around the neighborhood about two and a half weeks later.

Unless, of course, if you plan to drop in a mated queen from away.

Nancy
 

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The population of bees isn’t the sole determining factor. More importantly, how much brood is there? I wouldn’t divide unless there are at least 7-8 frames of brood. At that point you could do as said...split and make a walk away split. Still...I don’t do it that way. Rather, because you are new at this, I would buy a mated queen. Then remove 3 frames of brood in all stages, and 1 frame honey and 1 frame honey/pollen. Brush/shake bees back into hive. Add excluder. Empty box on excluder and nuc combs in box and cover...leave overnight. Next day remove to new stand and give caged queen. Super parent. No need to look for queen.
 
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