About a week ago I performed a split on a double 8 frame box of brood.
I did the method where you shake the bees off the brood and put them in the top box with an excluder, come back 24 hours later and remove the top box now full of nurse bees.
There were about 8 capped queen cells on the frames, I put one brood frame with a cell in a NUC, removed some of the remaining ones and put the rest in the split (about 4 I think).
One Week Later
The NUC cell has hatched, I did not spot the queen yet. Will leave it for a little while longer before checking for eggs. Very few field bees flying. I think this would be expected?
The original 8 Frame with the old queen looks a bit weak, but not dying off, reasonable numbers of field bees working it. Brood a bit patchy. Would it be worthwhile adding a frame of brood from the split with a queen cell on it if I suspect this colony is failing?
The 8 frame split swarmed while I was checked the old box. This was a bit of a surprise as most of the bees in there should have been nurse bees. I am certain the old queen was not in there, but there were about 4 queen cells. Is this a mistake? Should I have removed all but one cell? Would this cause virgin queens to swarm if more than one emerged around the same time? How long after a queen emerges before they might swarm?
I caught the swarm and put into another NUC. A second swarm appeared the next day (not sure if from the same box) but it was 15meters up in a blackwood. I set a swarm trap in the tree hoping for the best. The split still has LOTS of bees.
So did not go quite to plan, but I did achieve my goal of increasing colonies in a round about way. If the NUC and old box make it, turned one box into four colonies.
What should I have done when I found 8 capped queen cells and I wanted to make more hives?