Our one hive (that was requeened in the fall) was successfully overwintered, and it increased dramatically and very quickly in size this spring. With a strong honeyflow, the bees were packing in pollen and nectar, and we had added a honey super which is about half drawn and half full of nectar and capped honey now.
When inspecting the hive today, there were three capped queen cells in the hive bodies and a few that were uncapped. There were still small sections of eggs on two of the frames, and we also saw the original queen of the hive (she is marked.)
From what we understand, capped queen cells generally mean that swarming is eminent so we went ahead and did an artificial swarm. This was a first for us, so hopefully we did everything correctly.
We moved the old hive a few feet from its original position, and put the new hive body with frames of foundation in the position of the old hive. We removed three of the frames of foundation and then from the old hive, took the frame with the queen on it (which contained a little capped brood, eggs and some honey), a frame of honey and pollen, and a frame with some capped and uncapped brood and honey, and put all three of them into the new hive.
From what we understood, with the new hive in the old ones’ position, the foragers should return to the new hive. Ours, though, were returning to the old hive, so we moved the old hive further away. After doing that, the foragers were going to the new hive.
We put entrance reducers on both hives, and I began feeding the new hive with a 1:1 sugar syrup.
Does this sound like we did an artificial swarm correctly? What could we have done differently? Is there anything we should do now?
What should we expect in both of these hives over the coming weeks? And when would be the best time to do the next inspection for each of them?
Thank you so much in advance!