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Simon 

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Last week, I split a double brood hive that looked about to swarm or supersede into two colonies.

The original seems fine, but the new one is a bit puzzling. I was planning to leave it well along for 2-3 weeks for the Queen Cell to hatch, mate and get going. However, I've been keeping an eye on it and haven't seen any bees coming in or out of the entrance.

First mistake was to put the brood box on the wrong way round (ie warm, not cold) but that shouldn't have stopped them getting out. I opened the super and scored some of the capped stores to make sure they had food, but still nothing.

Today, I opened it to see what was going in and they were calm with plenty of nectar. Frames about 3 or 4 in from the end had some unhatched brood, but no eggs and the empty cells filled with nectar. I didn't check the centre frames in case there is a virgin in there.

However, there were a few bees squeezing in a crack between the floor and brood box at the back of the hive. No movement at the front, only the back.

Is this normal? I swapped the floor around so the entrance is at the back to see if that helps and will keep an eye on it.

Any suggestions?
 

Finman 

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I wonder how you splitted it? Just into 2 parts?

You should put an old hive in new site.
Then in old site a new hive with foundations+laying queen + one brood frame and food.

The first idea is to separate the laying queen and brood.

Second idea is that old bees draw the foundations and they believe that they have swarmed.

Young workers take care the brood and are not able to swarm.
 

Simon 

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I split by taking the top brood box (without Queen) away and put onto a new stand nearby. Then split the super (which was quite full) into two and mixed with empty frames.

Original hive stayed on original location. The Queen cells were at the top of the frame and there were just two, so I assumed they were probably superseding rather than swarming. Both brood boxes had about 7-8 frames of brood and the rest stores, so not much space to add new foundation.

With the original hive, there are two supers with plenty of space in them. I have made up the kit for an AS if necessary.
 

Finman 

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Both brood boxes had about 7-8 frames of brood and the rest stores, so not much space to add new foundation.
.
The right way was to put boath brood boxes to a new place to kill the swarming fewer.
 

rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
The original seems fine, but the new one is a bit puzzling. I was planning to leave it well along for 2-3 weeks for the Queen Cell to hatch, mate and get going. However, I've been keeping an eye on it and haven't seen any bees coming in or out of the entrance.

First mistake was to put the brood box on the wrong way round (ie warm, not cold) but that shouldn't have stopped them getting out. I opened the super and scored some of the capped stores to make sure they had food, but still nothing.

Today, I opened it to see what was going in and they were calm with plenty of nectar. Frames about 3 or 4 in from the end had some unhatched brood, but no eggs and the empty cells filled with nectar. I didn't check the centre frames in case there is a virgin in there.
Is the "quiet" box the upper of the two broods? We have exactly the same situation. We artificially swarmed a double brood, moving both existing brood boxes to new locations, and leaving the old queen in a new box on the old location.

The upper of the two brood boxes is exactly as yours are - almost no flying visible from the front, I was initially worried that the entrance block was too big, but I eventually saw 1 bee fly. We have a miller feeder on top (they have a lot of existing brood to keep warm) and they're fine - all troughing away at the sugar solution. Maybe all of the non-flying bees tend to be in the upper of the two brood boxes? The lower of the two is very different - plenty of activity at the front.
 

Finman 

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Hmmm. When you make a false swarm, and older bees, which have located the old place, return to the hive.

The rest are just emerged or couple of days old.

The worker must be over 2 weeks old before it start to forage and you see pollen to go in. - Is that your mystery?
 

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