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Snelgrove split


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:

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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.

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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

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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.


So I just did two snelgrove splits again. Just when they start to put honey in the flowhive. Sure feels like I just blew up my best two hives.

I did the split just before dark so I am hoping the flyers still go back to their old hive in the morning. The other potential issue is I left the flow hives on the artificial swarm thinking they will still bring in honey. Downside is that means some nurse bees were left in the AS. Percentage wise it wasn’t that many.

Hoping to reunite in 10 days.


Though I am sure they are not at full strength but the 2 AS with the flow hives still on them have brought in more honey. I thought they might since they are the foragers. Black locust are about to bloom.

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The one AS is adding some good weight. Unfortunately it is suppose to rain the next few days.

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Had a setback due to impatience. Live and learn I guess. I put one of the hives back together too early and they went right back to building queen cells so I just split them again. I thought it also odd that the parent hive with the queen had not torn down the queen cells after 7 days. Despite not being able to find the queen (there are fresh eggs), I merged them anyway. So I moved the queen hive again except this time I did a much better job getting all nurse bees out/off of the AS including the flow hive. I also removed the queen excluder since there is now queen. So the 10 days starts again.

The other hive is going more like text book, though I need to get into them and remerge them since tomorrow is day 11. I did peek in the other day and confirmed the parent hive had torn down all queen cells.


Interesting, I have been keeping the flow hive on the AS hives while I wait to recombine them. They are putting on weight like crazy, 15 pounds in 2 days. My theory was that since the AS is 100% of the flying bees and no nurse bees, other than the one or 2 frames of eggs you give them, they do not have young bees to feed. So this one hive I gave one frame of eggs and 7 new foundation frames no comb, and the flow hive on top with no QX since there is not queen. Very productive.

I have another hive also in the middle of a snelgrove split doing the same thing but I don’t have scales on that one.

So my point is that is seems as though you do not lose harvesting time by doing a snelgrove if you keep the supers on the AS hive. (Artificial swarm)