I found a lot of Queen cells in my biggest colony which is on 14 x 12,  it had eight frames of brood and stores in the remaining 3 frames. So the queen had no room to lay. There were about eight charged queen cells and two capped ones, but the queen was present and there were eggs.

I decided to perform a modified Snelgrove procedure as described by Wally Shaw. First time I’ve done this so will be interesting to see what the results are. The theory behind the 2 stage process is that you separate the flying bees from the queen and this should get them to abandon the urge to swarm.

As per Wally’s instructions I left 2 brood frames in the original brood box and filled out the box with drawn comb and a couple of frames of foundation. I then added two supers and a split board. I moved the queen with the remaining 6 frames of brood into a new box above the split board. I opened up the entrance in the board and this means the flying bees return to the bottom box.

Next step in 9 days time is to move the queen with 2 frames of brood back down into the bottom box. At the same time I will  put the 2 existing frames into the top box taking down any queen cells. There won’t have been enough nurse bees to provide sufficient royal jelly to produce decent queens. The top box, now queenless, can then produce new queen cells which I will then either take down to one or if there are plenty of bees in the top box I may decide to make up  2 nucs.