Hive 3

During inspection, we noticed hive 3 had back filled all existing comb and produced a queen cell with larva. The current queen was preparing to swarm. If she swarmed, she would take half the hive with her. We transferred the frame that she was on to a new deep box; along with 3 frames of eggs, brood, and a small reserve of honey. We put new frames in the original box, added a queen excluder, and then set the new box on top. The hope is that this “artificial split” will hopefully trick the existing queen into thinking the hive swarmed. She will now have plenty of room to lay new eggs as her workers build up the comb in the new box. We will make this hive into 2 sometime this week.
The original box with the queen cell will be requeened with a bred queen from another beekeeper. The queen cell will be removed. The reason for this is we don’t have enough drone presence from other hives for a Virginia queen to mate with. This also eliminates the risk of the queen being eaten by a bird. We are also doing this for the sake of time. The cell will take 16 days to hatch (8 days after its capped), then 14 days for her to mature and mate drones, and another 21 days for her eggs to hatch. The hive will not be growing while all this happens. Bringing in a queen that is already mated helps speed along the hives growth, enabling them to concentrate on gathering food stores.

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