If swarm cells are found, when making the split,the bees may just raise more swarm
cells in the bottom box.. In this case, proceed as previously described, but leave
one frame of sealed brood and any broodless frames below, all with adhering bees.
Take great care there are no queen cells, eggs or young larvae in these combs. The
remaining combs, together with bees and the queen are placed in the top box.
If there are any sealed queen cells, then it is advisable to put the top box above
a screened board straight away. Better still, above a board on another hive for a
All the flying bees will join those in the bottom box.
Within a week, the bees in the top box should tear down the queen cells. The queen,
on the comb where she is found, together with adhering bees, can then be returned
to the bottom box, as the bees will have lost the swarming urge.
Bees in the top box will now rear a fresh lot of queen cells on hatching larvae.
If new queens are available, then some advantage in time can be achieved and a quicker
build up of foragers.
An over-wintered colony is built up and the two queen unit is made up in an early
flow. Two or three frames of brood are placed in the second queen brood body, with
adhering bees. One frame should be sealed brood. If the parent box has adequate supplies,
then a frame of new nectar and pollen should be given to the second queen unit. Bees
from three more frames should be shaken in, as there will be a heavy drift back to
the parent box.
Obviously, the old queen must be left behind. The old box is made up with extra frames
and the new unit is placed above supers and a screened board. A queen excluder must
be used under the supers. A queen is introduced, by your favoured method, and the
entrance moderately stuffed with green grass.
The new unit should be slowly fed and a frame feeder of syrup is the obvious choice.
Any other method would need a dummy board to confine the brood nest. The unit must
be absolutely bee tight. Any robbing will reduce the chances of queen acceptance.
After a week or so, the new queen should be laying well and the screened board can
be replaced with an excluder. The new unit can build up very fast and more frames
should be added ahead of need.
Points To Watch
Later swarming preparations when the colonies become very strong, particularly likely
at the end of a flow. In this event an artificial swarm may be necessary.
Too many brood combs clogged with honey in the top box, restricting the new queen.
Some strains are prone to this, seemingly reluctant to store honey below the excluder.
This will probably lead to swarming if not dealt with. There are several ways of
Replacing full combs with empty ones.
Uniting the two colonies below the supers and perhaps swapping some full food combs.
Adding an excluder and super/s above the top box and scraping the cappings on food
combs, to encourage the bees to shift the honey into the super.
Using a combination Two Queen/Snelgrove Board under the top brood box. This will
divert returning foragers below the excluder, encouraging honey storage in the supers.
The two queen units can be united, without any special uniting procedure. If this
is left until the crop is taken, the two colonies can be simply united below the
Late Honey Flow
If the Drawhive is moved to one side and replaced with the top brood box, on a new
floor, which is then given most of the sealed brood, plus an empty super or two;
the resulting colony with a young queen and all theforagers would be very strong
and ideal to take up to the heather for a late honey flow.
The Drawhive would need watching to make sure the colony maintained enough stores.