Honeyflow.com | FAQ's | Community |

Snelgrove split


Ok, so I made a snelgrove split to stop swarming for 2 hives. I have questions though. I know after 9-10 days you put the queen back in the hive in the orginal location where there should be emergency queen cells from the 2 frames of eggs.

The hive that you move that has all the nurse bees and most of the orginal hive, when should they tear down the swarm cells?

When I move the queen back, should I tear down the emergency queen cells or will the bees do that?

When can I merge the hive back together to get production back up and running?

In the pic, the outer ones in the grass are the hives that I moved off their stands.


Find the queen and keep her safe.
Go back to your AS and remove ALL QCs the bees made on those two frames.
Have a quick look through the other frames…bees do move eggs.
Then just pop your queen back onto the top frames.
The Parent hive with all the old brood needs no more attention. Look in maybe three weeks later
Once you have evaluated your new queen (one brood cycle) you can re-unite.
I am doing one tomorrow.

Just a word of warning. The brood hive will produce lots of emergency cells ( I had one make 30 last year) There will be many virgins running around so it is important to keep these re-queening hive WELL away from any less -than-strong hives (i.e. weak hives and nucs)
You can theoretically thin these cells down to one good open one but the bees are best left to it.
If you MUST thin then go in four days after you have removed the queen and remove all but a nice open cell


I can’t improve on what @Dee has written. It is all in that wbka.com leaflet I gave you the link for, but it takes a bit of reading to work out exactly what he is saying. I had to read it at least 5 times. :blush:


Reading the wbka it sounds like the bees tear down the swarm cells in the PArent hive. Is that not correct? Do I need to tear them down? That is where my queen is.

After 9-10 days I was going to move the queen back to the AS. In that case I was going to remove all the emergency queen cells in the AS.

I do not want another hive so I was thinking I could merge the hive back together after 9-10 days? I didn’t see that article mention 3 weeks. My queen is fairly new and lays well (installed last August, Buckfast from Canada)


They should, and often they do, but sometimes they leave a few sneaky ones. So it is up to the beekeeper to make sure the complete job is done at the 9 day mark.

I think Wally (the author) says somewhere that you can do it late in the swarm season, whenever that might be for you - I would guess late June. @Dee is just giving you a better indicator. If you go through a 3 week brood cycle with no more real queen cells (play cups are fine), you can be pretty sure that the swarm urge has gone, and you can safely recombine. If you do it too soon, they may re-ignite… :flushed:


You don’t need to. If you find there are queen cells when you open up to find the queen the bees will make the choice after you have removed her. They will make more emergency cels too.
Unless they are a huge colony …they are NOT going to swarm.
The really really important thing you have to do is to make sure there are absolutely no QCs in the artificial swarm box when you put the queen back


I have only done this once or twice, so I defer to @Dee, who lives in Wally-country. :smile:


My one hive must have swarmed just before I did the split. I thought it seemed like fewer bees. I checked today and there are no eggs and no queen. There was one egg in a cup standing on end. I am guessing I was one day too late. So I destroyed all but 3 queen cells. My cousin wants more bees so I put one frame with a queen cell into the AS box and moved it off its stand and put the parent hive back on the original stand with 2 queen cells. The AS box now has 3 frames of brood including a capped qc. My cousin will pick it up tomorrow before the qc hatches hopefully. I am assuming the parent won’t swarm since there are only 2 qc and fewer bees.

My other hive is going as planned. I confirmed the queen was still there and there were fresh eggs. Seems like they removed some swarm cells but there were still 1 or 2 so I removed them in the parent hive. The AS did not have emergency queen cells yet that I could see. The AS still seems to be foraging well as there was more honey in the flow frames today.

I will say it seems like all 4 hives (2 AS and 2 PH) seems to generate a lot more wax since the split. Interesting.


Did you shake plenty of nurse bees in and put a frame of stores in?

How long ago did you split them?


The frame with the qc is pure honey except for the queen cell.

I should shake some more nurse bees in but the 3 frames of partial brood has some on. I am going to suggest that my cousin add a frame of brood from her other hive when she gets it home as well.

I did the split for both hives on Friday night.



Interesting they put a swarm cell in the middle of a honey frame. They must have emptied one cell just for the qc.

@Dee this is the frame I mentioned I placed in the split for my cousin for a qc and stores. Should be plenty of honey. Both sides are filled with honey and just a little pollen. She will add a frame of brood from her other hive to help boost the population.


Hey Joe - been reading this for my own edification so thanks for all the great questions! And @Dawn_SD & @Dee for awesome answers as usual :nerd_face:

I’m thinking that’s a supercedure cell, placed where it is & shaped like it is…?


If it was alone I would agree but there were 6-8 swarm cells on the bottom of other frames in the same hive. There were 2 honey frames like the pic that has qc like you see completely alone from other brood. Kind of odd but interesting.


Great. Let us know how it goes. Sometimes those QCs in isolation on honey frames are blind. The queen doesn’t usually wander over store frames let alone lay there. It’s a pity we can’t see inside. I really hope it works for you so fingers crossed


Are you saying that they don’t always have an egg in them? They feed and build the cell with no egg?

I have a second more traditional qc on another frame so I should have at least one queen.

I had my cousin add a frame of brood so worse case they have to make a new qc.


I’m saying that when you open them up they are part full of royal Jelly and nothing else


I found three just like that in one of my own colonies this afternoon. Royal jelly, no grub


Day 10 of the split…I checked both hives fomqueen cells. The one with the queen had zero. The artificial swarm had 8-12. I tore them all down and put the hive back together with an extra box and the original queen. I know the safest would be to wait 3 weeks but I am going to miss the flow and I have given the bees lots of emtpy frames and an extra box. Hopefully this was enough to squelch their need to swarm this year. As always, time will tell.

I have not checked on the hive that swarmed yet.


That sounds like it’s gone according to the text book. Isn’t that a lovely feeling?


Yes, but I will feel better when I check them again this weekend and Not find any more swarm cell. They have the flow frames half filled.

Interesting method. I will definately use it again in the future.

I am also trying to arrange frames to maximize the brood nest by moving honey under the next so they move it up. Not sure how well it works yet but I did uncap part of a honey frame that I move to the bottom and they emptied every cell that was opened and moved it. Interesting.