Last Thursday I took the short course newbees into my beeyard for first spring inspection. We went through all the hives and the girls were sweet as sugar. But in the swarm I caught last May, I found loads of queen cups--not cells; just cups--and took note. For the past couple of days, that hive has been very swarmy. . .loud and all over the front of the hive, flying zig zags--very active. I was afraid they were going to swarm and decided that today would be the day to split. Since the hive is only a shallow and deep my plan was to split the deep frames rather than the boxes. Talk about defensive! I pulled one frame and my gloves were covered! By the second frame, I had to stop to corral up my chickens--I had let them out that morning and didn't expect such an onslaught from the bees! The girls were getting zapped and were only to happy to run to the coop! They're complaining now that they want to get out but I want to give the bees an hour to calm down. Just couldn't get through the cloud of bees that were bouncing off my veil and gloves to check frame by frame, so I took the top box (shallow) that has all the queen cups (I still see no cells. . .they might be on the face of the frame, but only cups on the bottom) and put them on a slatted rack & ssb, put a deep of foundation (I have no more deep drawn comb) on top of the shallow, gave them a robber screen, inner & outer cover. Left the deep where it is, gave it a shallow with the frame of honey that the bear messed up--The best I could do under the circumstances. Just hoping the queen's in the deep rather than the shallow that has all the queen cups! Might be I left the large hive without queen cells or queen, but that's for another day. Kept testing them to see how far they would follow me. Only about 40 feet, so I don't think they're mean (they weren't when we all went in last week); just really defensive and I think it might have something to do with what they had planned to do (swarm!). I know Iddee and Wally are going to have a lot to say about how I messed up. :roll: I'm interested in hearing what I should have done under the circumstances.