Splitting a Colony with Queen Cells present – Follow up

When we make a split we try to use the natural biology to our favor. We did this by moving the old queen into a new box so she thinks she has swarmed and will stay. The original colony went through the queen rearing process as if they had swarmed. We split this particular colony into 3 boxes because there were so many queen cells and made sure there were several queen cells in each split. Sometimes the first queen out takes a swarm away from the hive as a virgin queen. Sometimes she kills the other queens and stays. Remember that the queenless hives after the split don’t have much to do and may be packing honey into the brood areas so make sure they have plenty of room. Our hives are ready for splits earlier this year than normal. Location, food and weather can all impact this.

In this video, we found a hatched queen in the colony, and we also found a queen just about to emerge that she hadn’t killed yet so we went ahead and split them again to save her. It was just luck, in fact it appears that the queen may be on her way to take out the rest of the queen cells just as we are doing the inspection!


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