I've got a buddy with a TBH full of bees right now. He went in there on Saturday and was amazed at the number of bees. It's a four foot long box. There are about 9 combs of brood, and maybe 40 pounds of honey. There was a queen cell started with an egg in it. There were very few drone cells in the hive. What should he do? Seems like it's a bit early for us to have many drones flying. If she hatches, she might not be mated well.
He really doesn't want to destroy the cell, and would love to be able to give the new queen a chance so that he can make a split with her. Any thoughts?
I suggested that he take a couple of combs of brood, including the queen cell, plus a comb or two of honey and pollen, and put them in a nuc. Move them to another yard and see what happens. A commercial beek friend suggested that he move the queen with some brood, pollen, and honey, to a nuc. Shake in several bees, then move the nuc to another yard and let the parent colony raise the new queen and watch to see if she begins to lay well.
I think the commercial beek has a good plan. The nuc would probably be less likely to keep the cell as warm as the parent colony. The queen would have enough bees to take care of her, and she would have comb to lay in while he waits on the new queen. If the new queen fails, he can reintroduce the old queen.
I just want some more opinions about the best course at this point. Anyone???