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Thread: spliting a hive

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    spring creek nevada usa
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    3

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    I want to expand to three hives in the spring i have two good strong hives how is the best way to start a third hive

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    C Evans

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,827

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    There are all sorts of ways to do a split. If you want to buy queen(s), then you can do it early. If not then you'll need to wait until there are drones flying before you do a split where you expect them to raise a queen. I find it works best in a minimum space for the new hive, so I'd do it in a five frame nuc. Put two frames of honey/pollen, two frames of emerging brood, one frame of open brood with eggs and shake the bees off of three more frames of brood into the box and you'll have a nuc that can raise a queen. If you want to mix up the bees and brood from both of your hives in the nuc, you can do that. A nuc usually doesn't fight like two strong hives will if you combine by just putting in frames.

    If you want to maximize your yeilds (honey) and end up with a split you can wait until the week before the honey flow and take ALL the open brood and open/capped brood from both strong hives, one of the queen and most of the honey and pollen and put them all in one hive. Leave the two established hives with just one frame of open brood, all the frames of capped emerging brood and eggs (to let them raise a queen) and just one brood box and lots of supers. The field bees will all return to the original hives and the original hives will have no open brood to care for and lots of workers for the harvest. If you leave both of the original hives queenless they will also requeen themselves and they won't swarm while they are raising a queen and establishing a brood nest wich should last until the harvest is over.

    The second method will give your MORE honey that you would have gotten without doing a split and give you another hive. The most important thing about this method is the TIMING.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    spring creek nevada usa
    Posts
    3

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    Thanks Micheal. If i buy a queen, would i just get bees off of some frames and start a hive the same way that you would a package of bees?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
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    You can, but I would give them some brood and some stores to get them a better start. A typical early split would be to put two frames of brood and two of honey/pollen and an empty frame in a five frame nuc overnight and then the next day add a queen in the cage with the cork off of the candy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    spring creek nevada usa
    Posts
    3

    Post

    OK that is what i will do in the spring
    thanks again

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