Time to split?

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Darryl

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Today's inspection - QC spotted on bottom bar. Very small, not like last year's swarm cells. Had royal jelly inside but could not see any egg/larvae. Unsure if this is a swarm cell or supercedure as it's about the size of previous supercedure cells. Is there any way of determining or shall I just split? Queen not spotted but plenty of larvae and capped brood. Bees on 6+ frames.
No pic as I had no camera at the time.
 

Ian123

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Today's inspection - QC spotted on bottom bar. Very small, not like last year's swarm cells. Had royal jelly inside but could not see any egg/larvae. Unsure if this is a swarm cell or supercedure as it's about the size of previous supercedure cells. Is there any way of determining or shall I just split? Queen not spotted but plenty of larvae and capped brood. Bees on 6+ frames.
No pic as I had no camera at the time.
6 frames is quite small and small to make swarm preps if they are in a full sized box? …….if you intend using any q cells don’t shake the frames they are on.
In answer to your question I wouldn’t split anything on just 6 frames unless I wanted a couple of small mating nucs!
 

ericbeaumont

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Unsure if this is a swarm cell or supercedure
Doesn't matter at this time of year, because if it's supersedure a strong colony is just as likely to swarm on it. Your colony is not strong and perhaps the bees seek to replace her, but nothing is certain with bees.

Bees on 6+ frames.
How many of those 6+ contain brood?
 

Darryl

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Doesn't matter at this time of year, because if it's supersedure a strong colony is just as likely to swarm on it. Your colony is not strong and perhaps the bees seek to replace her, but nothing is certain with bees.


How many of those 6+ contain brood?
All 6
 

ericbeaumont

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Is the queen clipped? If they try to swarm you won't lose the bees, and if only one QC is made and it is supersedure, you haven't lost much and the queen will be replaced.

If you have a split board with a mesh panel in the middle, you could put half the box + the QC above the split board and leave the queen + the rest + the flyers below. The bees above will smell a weak queen pheromone through the mesh and, devoid of flyers, almost certainly make a supersedure.

If you don't have a split board, make one from a crownboard; tape fine mesh over the feed holes and cut an entrance in a rim.

An easier option is to cut out the QC and spread the brood a little to get them to work: put a frame of foundation into the nest and check later in the week: if they intend to swarm they won't waste energy drawing comb.

Strong flow on?
 

Darryl

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Is the queen clipped? If they try to swarm you won't lose the bees, and if only one QC is made and it is supersedure, you haven't lost much and the queen will be replaced.

If you have a split board with a mesh panel in the middle, you could put half the box + the QC above the split board and leave the queen + the rest + the flyers below. The bees above will smell a weak queen pheromone through the mesh and, devoid of flyers, almost certainly make a supersedure.

If you don't have a split board, make one from a crownboard; tape fine mesh over the feed holes and cut an entrance in a rim.

An easier option is to cut out the QC and spread the brood a little to get them to work: put a frame of foundation into the nest and check later in the week: if they intend to swarm they won't waste energy drawing comb.

Strong flow on?
Queen is not clipped and the flow is good. Dandelion and blackthorn just finishing and hawthorn and rowan just flowering. Would it be wise to put the qc frame together with brood and stores with a few frames of nurse bees shaken in, into a nuc and monitor it leaving the old queen, with remaining brood, stores and flyers in the original hive?
 

Darryl

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Split completed thanks to advice. QC (just capped) frame removed to nuc together with 1 of brood and nurse bees and another of stores and nurse bees plus another frame of shaken bees. Nuc made up with foundation and comb. Placed at far end of apiary. Assuming todays is queen's day 9, she should hatch in a week and capped brood should all be out in 2, how long should I leave it before inspecting - 3 weeks (brood cycle)?
 

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