Well it turns out that I did scavenge one more queen who was a late bloomer, emerging out of her cell at least a day late. Prior to this however, I had cage the other 3-4 live virgins that I had and transferred them to a new colony for holding until I sorted through the splits to find where to go with them. Unfortunately, I placed them for holding in a nuc that had a mated queen. As a result, the virgins were neglected by the nurse bees, and left to starve. I lost 3, all starved to death. With any hope, the one remaining that was alive yesterday evening will still be kicking this evening and I can find a suitable home for her.

The splits in general have not gone as well as I hoped. Seems I do this every year. I get behind, graft late, split late, and in my hurry make the same stupid mistake. Successful splits and grafting is very time sensitive. Perhaps more than veteran beekeepers put on. If I had more time, I'd be grafting every week so I constantly had a supply of virgin queens coming available just in case I needed them. Of course the simpler option is just to constantly have at least one hive queenless so you have a steady supply of queen cells. If this is the plan, I'd recommend an inventory of about 8-10 nucs used for this purpose. That way you aren't always subjecting the same hive to being queenless. And, the one that is queenless can always be subsidized with a frame of capped brood from here and there to keep it's population up. 

Oh the things I would do with more time... :)

AuthorTom Brueggen