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Thread: Cut-down Split

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    McAlester, OK
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    In my area, there is a significant early Spring nectar flow from the following trees: Black Locust (about 15 April) and Persimmon (about 15 May). I would like to capture this nectar flow by increasing the bee population through feeding 1:1 sugar water in February and March; and then, do a cut-down split about 1 April.

    Does anyone have any experience on post supplemental feeding after a cut-down split has been made?

    Should the queenless split having the foraging bees and capped brood continue to be fed 1:1 sugar water for few days after the split is made? If so, how may days?

    How long should the split containing the original queen, nurse bees and open brood continue to be fed 1:1 sugar water?

    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Kiel WI, USA
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    <<Should the queenless split having the foraging bees and capped brood continue to be fed 1:1 sugar water for few days after the split is made? If so, how may days?>>

    I'll say definitely not on that one. The foragers will return fully loaded, expecting the nectar to go to the brood, but the brood has almost all dissappeared. Shortage of food should not be an issue. Enough supers to hold it all should be

    I'd like to add a few questions to this also. I know Michael has said the timing is critical with cut-down splits. What happens if the timing is off? Early? Late? Is it disastrous?

    Also, has anyone else tried this? How'd it go?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Wheatfield, IN
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    I'll add to the list of questions: I plan on doing cut down splits on 3 hives 2 weeks before the main flow begins. One of my problems is that I don't have alot of drawn comb to use in the supers of the original hive. I probably only have about 10 drawn frames total that I can spread amongst the 3 original hives. The rest of the frames would be foundation.

    My concern is that without adequate drawn comb they will fill all of the brood nest with the incoming nectar leaving no room for the queen ( that I will introduce)to lay.

    Any thoughts or suggestions??
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Greenville, TX, USA
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    From my reading, a cut down split is recommended for cut comb production, so lack of drawn comb shouldn't be a killer. Anyone else?

  5. #5
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    Jan 2005
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    Langley, B.C. Canada
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    Check this site on splitting hives,

    http://www.honeybeeworld.com/spring/splits.htm


    Terry

  6. #6
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    Jan 2003
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    Richard Taylor actually recommended finding and clipping the queen, putting her into a shallow of foundation, then a QE, then a big stack of supers with foundation. This hive then went where the old one had been, the brood boxes went off to the side.

    So I would say drawn comb is completely optional, though he did warn about them attempting to abscond in the first few hours.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Lets name the two sides of the splits and talk about options.

    The old site is where you expect production to occur. This has capped brood, but no open brood. This should be happening at a time where there is some nectar available, but before the main flow. I suppose if there is no nectar before the main flow, maybe you should leave some honey in this split. Usually you take all the honey and give it to the split with the open brood.

    The new site. This is the one with the open brood and all the honey. All the foragers return to the old site, but they have enough to feed beacue they have the honey supply.

    Where the queen is is optional depending on how you wish to manage it. Some put a new younger queen in the old site so she is less likely to swarm (since they are the most crowded). Some leave the old site queenless (and leave one frame of open brood) so they will raise a new queen and not have a lot of open brood during that time and the bees can focus on harvest. Some put the old queen at the old site and let the new site raise a new queen. I think this is the riskiest as far as swarming.

    I would make sure the old site has capped brood and the new site has open brood which should keep either from absconding.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    McAlester, OK
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    Michael and others... thanks for the additional information. In late March and early April in Southeast Oklahoma, the following should be blooming: blackberry, clover (crimson and ladino), dandelion, pear, plum, redbud and willow. Therefore, in my area feeding sugar water to the split hive with the forage bees and capped brood probably will not be required when the hive is split on 1 April. However, I'm thinking about continuing with the sugar water for the split hive with the open brood and nurse bees for an additional two or three weeks after the making the split.

    Jim

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Huntington, West Virginia, USA
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    >when the hive is split on 1 April
    Jim, I'd be too superstitious to split on April Fool's Day! 8-)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    McAlester, OK
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    >Jim, I'd be too superstitious to split on April Fool's Day! 8-)

    I consider April 1st to be the best day of my life... my birthday. No superstition on my behalf; however, snow did fall in Oklahoma on the day I was born.

    If drones begin flying prior to 1 April, I may split the hives earlier.

    Jim

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