Splitting hive and no queen cells

4 days ago i split a hive. took 3 frames with brood, grubs and i think eggs.
placed 3 frames full honey and shook in some nurse bees.
checked today and no queen cells altho there are drone cells.
did i look too early??

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You looked way to early Dennis, depending of the age of the egg I would expect to see a queens about day 14 and capped. Slow down and adjust to bee time. This might help.

Try not to disturb the bees while they are producing a queen, I had a few fails in the past that I put down to being too inquisitive. In the mean time assume all is going to plan, you being the expectant dad and opening the hive will not help… :relaxed:


for some silly reason i thought a queen cell would appear after 3 days.

ta again



They will start forming… but once you see it, place it back and let them do their thing.

Whilst the diagram shows queen emerging day 16, it’s best to wait 10-12 days after to ensure the queen has been mated.

Hopefully you find eggs and larvae and possibly capped brood when you check.

I split last Sunday. I’ll aim to inspect next Sunday for queen cells. If i don’t find them, I’ll add another frame with BIAS (brood in all stages).

I’ll be watching this space to see how you progress :wink: keep us updated.


It’s always put out there that splitting a colony is something that needs to be done each year as a preemptive swarm control, something I took on board when I began keeping bees and did to each colony in Spring and sure enough no swarms. Great result. But did the honey crop suffer as a result?
Last season I took another approach with frame manipulations. No splits just removing the outside honey frames and adding wired foundation in the brood nest. Result, no swarms and a bumper honey crop.
Once again there are many factors that come into play. Perhaps it was just a good season? Perhaps the queens were young?
This year I will only split IF I see signs of swarm preparations, I will still do frame manipulations but I will not split because someone says I need to split or they will swarm. Preventative not preemptive.


When I do a split I expect to see a mated queen laying eggs after four weeks normally but if there is nothing then I add a frame of eggs to the brood box and have a look about ten days later and often find the queen then.
I do preemptive Spring splits as a preventative to stop swarming. I think that is less stress on the bees than regularly checking for any swarm cells, but that was told to me by a 2nd generation commercial bee keeper 48 years ago. Better to do a split at a time that suits me and make sure, as best I can, that I don’t have my hives swarm. A colony builds up in Spring for the better foraging to come but also to swarm as a part of their life cycle.
If you only have a few hives then frame manipulation might be an option to consider but what I do works for me and saves my time.
Cheers Fred

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