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Split Hive dilemma


Hello all,

I did a split about a month ago. It wasn’t building up too fast so I added a frame of capped brood from one of my strong hives. They made a queen cell, she emerged, went on her mating flight and came back and started laying. All appeared to be going well and I moved them into a 8-frame deep brood box. I did an inspection about five days ago. I didn’t see the queen and I only saw a small amount of eggs. I went in and looked again yesterday and did not see any eggs nor did I find the queen but I did find four queen cells along the bottom of one of the frames. It almost seems like they may have swarmed but it seems a little late for that now. The other reason I don’t think they did is because the numbers of bees in the hive did not drop off drastically. So at this point I think I am going to let happen what is going to happen. Hopefully a strong queen will emerge and mate and the hive will be back in business. Otherwise I will end up combining them with another hive.

Anyone have any other advice for me to consider?



Hi John
Were the queen cells you found all capped or were any empty etc? So there was no evidence of them 5 days before?


If it was a walk away split it takes 28~32 days for queen to lay. Depending on the weather. With a little luck she is still there. Is there any capped brood near remaining queen cells? There should be. The queen emerges 5 days earlier than worker bees. If no brood the queen cells are probably no good. Give it another frame of brood and check in a week.


Give them time for a queen to mate and start laying John. Nature doesn’t always happen when we want it to. So far you have done what I would do, and I seldom see the queen in my inspections but just look for proof she is there and active.


I didn’t notice any evidence of them. The more I think about it was closer to ten days since the last inspection. The capped brood that hasn’t emerged was from the frame that I added. There were some young larvae not capped on the frame too. Just an odd hive I guess. I have about a month and a half to two months left of weather for the girls to collect nectar and pollen. Fall flow and that’s it then right into winter. I have taken all of my supers off at the end of August and let me store anything they gather in September to fill up the hive for winter.


@Peter48 ,

Thats the plan right now! I guess just looking for some reassurance I suppose.



@Bubba the queen was laying. Just not very much. I noticed there wasn’t a lot of pollen in the hive so I gave them pollen patties and they devoured it. I put in another one when I looked at the hive two days ago. I am guessing I either rolled the queen or something else happened.


@Dan2 All of the cells were capped. see my other response for more details.


As I said John, you are doing it as I would approach it. If after another week if you can’t find eggs I would add a frame of eggs and if the hive is queenless they will make a new queen. If you add a frame of brood to make a queen leave the hive alone for 4 weeks then there should be a new queen and laying well by then.


Update: Well none of the cells that were made produced a laying queen so I ended up using the newspaper method and joined the two colonies together. I got a new queen and put her into the other weak hive I had. She has been in a little over two weeks and is laying like a champ. With the boost of bees from the other hive that should hopefully help get them thru the winter.