when to split

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Zookeep, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    Not sure what to do, I have a very large hive with capped drone brood and they started a queen cell in the upper box and Ive seen the queen and she is laying like mad, I have also seen capped drone brood in 2 other hives that I looked at, now if I do a split will the drones be ready for the new queen if I let the cell mature? this hive I could split into 3 this early in the season there are more then enough workers.
     
  2. tommyt

    tommyt New Member

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    The drones need to be 2 weeks old to be mature,
    I am in St Pete,thinking about early splits also,I saw many capped drone last week
    I'm thinking I will wait just a bit more
    IMHO if a split is made to early you will end up with a ill mated queen
    and put the splits behind,I truly don't know would like to hear from a pro

    Tommyt
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Is this just one cell Zookeep? Is it loaded (egg, royal jelly, larvae)? Where abouts on the frame is it located? If there were multiple cells along the bottom of the frames of the top box I would be concerned with swarming but this does not sound like your case.
    You can see several swarm cells being built along the bottom in this picture.
    [​IMG]

    If it is one cell located somewhere in the middle of the frame it might be a supercedure situation with the bees perhaps having perceived some issue of which you are unaware. Or it could simply bee the bees have decided to build one and will simply tear it down shortly.
     
  4. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Could be a 'play' cell. Looks like a Q cell starting but does not get developed into a full Q cell. Try and look into the cell. If it contains royal jelly then treat as a Q cell. If it is dry ---- play cell. You can get several play cells in a hive but action only needed if they start getting loaded with royal jelly.

    I am willing to be told I am wrong.
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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  6. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    I found a few play cells at the edge of a frame in the lower box on some older comb, totally empty, but the 1 cell I was talking about is in the middle of a frame in new comp upper box, combs a week old and brand new football size group of eggs in the middle of it, the queen is in overdrive as far as egg laying, I saw her yesterday with her face stuck in a cell sucking honey like the rest of the workers on that frame (took me a bit to find her cause of it) she is a very dark colored queen but does not seem to be anything wrong with her that I can see but the bees know better, just wondering if they stuck the cell there cause of sudden over crowding.
     
  7. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    had to go check again, play cells are empty for sure and the 1 lone cell in the frame now in the top box of the 3 boxes does have jelly in it but dont see a larva but could be hidden, Ill wait a few days and look again, also 1 of my weak nucs (maybe 2 1/2 frames of bees) must have lost its queen, found 5 capped queen cells, guess Ill find out soon if there is enough drones around like it or not.
     
  8. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    well, the queen is hatched in the nuc, was adding a frame of food and pollen and saw her so Ill let every1 know in 2 weeks if there were enough drones around :lol:
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    'play cell'... never heard it called that. most time I just call them dry cups... it does seem that new beekeepers have a difficult time recognizing the difference.
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    2 weeks may not be long enough. I have had queens take over 3 weeks to start laying after hatching. Just when you're ready to give up on 'em, they start!
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    dr larry conners says you can begin rearing queens when drones mature to the purple eyed larvae stage.

    two weeks (after hatching) is minimum 20 to 22 days more like the average.

    zookeep writes:
    this hive I could split into 3 this early in the season there are more then enough workers.

    tecumseh:
    if a hive is and has been crowded for some time when I first see bearding or upon inspection find an active queen cell... THEN is the time for splitting. with random native cells I usually set the existing queen off in a 5 frame nuc box (medium population) and leave everything else and then move the existing queen to another yard.
     
  12. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    Well tec I took your advice, the queen I found in the middle box 3rd frame I looked at and moved her and 4 other frames to a nuc, also I found 5 drones on the next frame over and a few more in the next hive I looked into so there is hope of mating flights soon :Dancing:
     
  13. tommyt

    tommyt New Member

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    Just checking back in to see if your queen returned
    mated and doing her thing yet?

    Tommyt