Here is the scenerio:
I started with one hive last year and this hive survived the winter. Its population was growing well coming into the spring. About a month ago I opened up the hive and discovered swarm cells. I destroyed the cells according to popular opinion and closed up the hive. I went in again about 2 weeks later and discovered more swarm cells. I destroyed those. I went in about a week and half later and found more swarm cells. I then read some comments made by Michael Bush about how destroying swarm cells does not necessarily prevent a swarm and can end up leaving a queenless hive. Based upon this I decided to split the hive.
This is what I did:
1. Left the majority of the brood with the old hive at the old location. Figured all the foraging bees would return and repopulate this colony because I planned on shaking the majority of the house bees into the new split.
2. Tried looking for the queen. An effort in futility. This colony has two deep bodies and is loaded with brood and bees. All the books inform you to put the old queen into the new hive but the way they say it, it comes across as something easy to do. No way. For me, it is just about an impossibility to find a queen among a large colony.
3. Since I could not find the queen, I decided to just dump all the house bees off the frames into the new hive, figuring the queen will be somewhere in the brood nest and will end up in the new hive via this method.
4. Put some frames with uncapped brood and eggs into the new hive in cas e the old queen did not make it into the new hive so the colony can raise their own queen.
I plan on opening the new hive Monday to see if there is evidence of a laying queen. I did this past Friday. I will open up the old hive in about 2 weeks to check on a laying queen. I left about 4 swarm cells in it. Two of them were long and straight. Beautiful.
I have some questions:
1. Did I approach this problem correctly?
2. I was hoping to reap a lot of honey from this colony. What are my chances of getting some honey from these two colonies?
3. Should I try to recombine the hive within a month?
I started 4 more colonies this year. I have a total of 6 colonies at the moment.
Looking forward to some feedback. Thanks and sorry for the long post!