View Full Version : how to make splits?
05-15-2005, 01:19 AM
ive got three hives i packaged on 4/9 doing well-
about 11 bars 60-75% full. i'd like to start three
more the first week of june. i planned on hiving a queen with 4 bars of comb 2 brood 2 stores or there abouts since they might be mixed. should bars be removed that are next to each other,every
other one or from were ever they may be to get
even distribution? should the bars from the orig-
inal hive be pushed together to make a solid brood nest again or bars inserted into the gaps from removed bars? thank you!
stan in sacramento soon to be somerset
It's not really a good idea to split it in the first season, but if it,s really strong find the outer most comb on the front and back of the brood nest, they should have brood on the inside and honey on the outside,( make sure they are strait if not the brood may not have enough space to hatch), replace with empty bars. put them togheher in the new hive. flank them with bars of honey and pollen and flank these with bars of honey, 6 in all. push it all together and move it ot the front. ENSURE you have a 3/8ths inch spacer between the front bar and the front wall of the hive body. NOTE: when you choose bars of honey and pollen from the donor hive alternate so the new bars you put back in are between bars with comb. Now would probably be a good time to make minor comb corrections. When all is done make sure there is a constant supply of sugar syrup in the hive so they can draw more comb. I would also add a mated queen to minimize time lost. The best time to do this is during a flow but don't expect to harvest anything from either hive this season.
I recently did something similar not to make a split but to expand a hive. I noticed that they built a full bar of comb on the exposed sides of the brood nest very quickly.
Scot Mc Pherson
05-16-2005, 06:52 PM
I agree with miki that you don't want to split too early. You can do a split from a new installation after 2-3 months if they are strong, but its best to do splits from mature hives that have overwintered once or more.
You can also do splits directly from pacakges if you want to save a few dollars. The bees will get to a much slower start and possible make a mess of your hive when it comes to building nice even comb, but if you split a package in half and provide a 2nd queen you can get them to do it. Again, don't expect any miracles, you can at best expect them to make it through winter at worst you loose both halves and two queens.
If I were going to make a split, I would move the queen into the split and let the strong hive requeen itself. This isn't an economy choice, its a choice of increasing survival rate of the split. The main colony will probably do alright having lost only 2 combs of brood, but the split won't have to deal with raising a new queen AND already be weak beforehand.
05-16-2005, 11:37 PM
thanks for the good advice. i wont be splitting
all three in half but i will do at least one split
for the experiance. scot suprised me with the sug-
gestion not to use a new queen. i probably wont be so daring this year and will purchase a new
queen. thanks again!
Scot Mc Pherson
05-17-2005, 07:14 AM
Its the way I keep bees. I raise my own queens now, usually just from doing splits. I don't have a queen "line" but a pool of hives I raise queens from by doing the splits. I split from my best hives (based on my own criteria which is a lot more than just production, but more loosely like "my favourite hives") and they raise anywhere from 1 - 20 queens cells which I can cut out and graft anywhere I want. Yes its resource intensive for the splits, and hurts honey production for those hives, but it keeps my genetic pool varied. I don't requeen, I let the bees requeen sometimes on their own or when I dequeen them on purpose.
I don't save doomed colonies. There is a reason why they are doomed and they obviously don't have what it takes to deal with whatever nature threw at them.
06-03-2005, 10:37 PM
I like your idea for producing your own queens. Over the years it would seem that you would come up with a line that would be ideal for the environs you live in and one you like to work with.
I hope to be able to do a similar approach here though I am just really starting. So I am trying to get a varied genetic pool to start with i.e. Italians, Carnies, Russians, and Caucasions. I think the Russians will probably do best in our maritime climate though I am trying to keep a wait and see attitude to give them all a fair shake.
This should give me a fairly interesting mix of drones for my queens. I am looking forward to see what happens.
Scot Mc Pherson
06-04-2005, 09:18 PM
I don't think the russian and europeans will mix much at all during mating. They don't seem to get along together as well. I may be very wrong though.
Yes raising your own queens was the way it was done until queen breeders beat it into the industry for 100 years that we should requeen with breeding program queens. Seemed like a good idea at the time, because these bees were producing much better than other wild mated bees, but these are also bees we now seem to be having to care for a lot more these days.
Bees that can take care of themselves are the best investment. Lbs for Lbs, I'd rather have a hive produce 50lbs of surplus that I never had to bother with but pull honey at end of year than have a hive that produced 200 lbs but I had to care for it weekly.