My first split!


I did a split a few weeks ago on my strong hive. They produced five queen cells. They have all been torn down now. I did put two of them in cages and left them in the hive just in case my newly hatched queen did not make it back from her mating flight. I have also read that there is a timeline how long you can keep these queens caged up before it will mess up her mating schedule. Any advice? I have another friend that is looking to do a few splits. I thought about giving them to him.

Here are a few photos.


G’day John, I just let nature take it’s course. I have never caged any queens. I don’t break queen cells down, however if I find queen cells on more than one frame, sometimes I’ll remove a frame to add to another split to speed things up for that split. Having said that, I’m aware that the more queen cells a split has, the better the chance of that split producing a strong queen. If we allow a split/colony to have only one queen cell, chances are that that queen might be the runt of the batch.

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I hear what your saying and that thought did cross my mind @JeffH . I didn’t destroy any of the cells I figured I could give myself a little insurance by keeping the other queens in the cages until the other one returned from her mating flight. This queen is an interesting one though. Has the orange body with a black tip. Kind of cool. I will let everyone know how it all works out.

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Do you have some kind of cage that goes over the unhatched emergency cell John? Photos or link please!

This is what I used.

Cool thanks. Don’t spose you got any photos of them in use over the emergency cells?

No. I cut the cells off the bottom of the frames and placed them in the cage. I will be getting back into the hives most likely Friday night. I will try and remember to take a picture or two.

I’d be interested to know how long they can be kept in the cages (food, aggression, general survival) and what effect it has on the colony to have multiple virgins. Let us know your results. Cheers


The colony that I did a split with decided to swarm. I guess they didn’t like the living conditions. When that happened the other two queens that I had in cages did not make it. Lesson learned.

Although I now have honey supers on two of my three full colonies and I did another split with a frame of eggs/larvae from one of the strong hives.