Reuniting after Snelgrove - when

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New Bee
May 3, 2023
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I did a Snelgrove vertical split swarm control, and reintroduced the queen last Friday (19th, so 6 days ago). Checked the bottom section yesterday and saw eggs, so she has been accepted. Haven't checked the top section this week, but presumably they are making EQCs. The bottom section has about 4 frames of bees including the queen, and the top section is double brood.

I intend the reunite the two sections as soon as possible, using the newspaper method. I've never done a unite before, and this is the first time I've done a Snelgrove, so my question is: when do you recommend that I remove the ECQs and how soon after that should I reunite, do you think? My thoughts were that I'll cut out the EQCs tomorrow (when they'll have been there for about 7 days) and unite on the same day, but I vaguely remember hearing that it's best to make the top section hopelessly queenless for a few days before uniting? The Snelgrove board is still on, so they can sense each other through the mesh, if that makes any difference.

I'd like to know this too. Did my first vertical Snelgrove 2 mod on 11th May.

My guess is that if you make the parent colony hopelessly queenless by destroying the EQCs, not letting them requeen, and then recombining within a week say, they will get themselves together and try to swarm again later in the summer. There's still loads of food about, weather's good. They'll want to reproduce.
Ideally you reduce the EQCs to one, let the queen get mated and laying and later in the year, say August, decide which of the queens is best and then unite.
Problem is in the mean time the stack of boxes may well become unmanageably tall. And you will have to buy a step ladder and more supers and frames. ?

As the parent colony has not seen a new mated queen and have mesh between them there's no need to use newspaper combine. Leaving the parent colony hopelessly queenless for a day or two might be a good idea.

Shake the bees off frames so you can find the emergency queen cells, 7 days after stage 2 sounds good. If you miss one, which is easy, they might swarm. ?

Once you reunite keep checking for swarm cells at every inspection. My guess is they will try again. You might win. Letting the top parent colony requeen you can relax. . . some.

I just had this situation and rather than carry on to stage 2 and move queen to the AS I nuced the queen (couldn't find her when setting up AS, bought me 10 days), took her away and recombined. Have to reduce EQCs to one on Saturday. At the time of doing the AS I had 2 BB and 4 supers and both parts needed another super.

Good luck.

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