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  1. Hi all, I realise that the question of when to split comes up a lot, but I can't find anything conclusive about waiting for the queen to lay in queen cups. I have 1 hive, and an empty 2nd hive that I really want to populate, to give me some insurance against losing a queen etc. The spring buildup has been great, and the hive is pretty packed with brood (including a lot of drone brood and hatched drones) and honey. I've been working on the theory that before swarming, the bees will prepare cups and encourage the queen to lay in one/some. My understanding is that this is the best kind of new queen - as opposed to an emergency queen made from a worker egg in a standard worker cell, which is too small. So I've been waiting and waiting through spring for my excellent queen (a Daykel Carniolan) to lay in the multitude of queen cups dotted through the hive ... but she isn't. Our weather has been very hit and miss through spring and I don't think the temperature has been high enough so I'm not totally surprised, but there have been a few swarms in the area (but possibly from hives that are more sheltered than mine, which may feel the cold more, I don't know if that's a factor). So, my question is, when trying to get the best result from a home split, do people generally wait for the queen to lay in a queen cup, or just get it over with, split, and let the bees make and emergency queen - and possibly supercede her if she turns out to be bad? I'm also contemplating forcing the issue by attempting to graft some eggs into queen cups...
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