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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    I ordered several queens to replace existing ones I have, they should show up in a week or two. After consideration I decided not to re-queen (2) hives, I would make splits of these hives instead since they are doing so well. When I put the frames of bees with the new queen in the new hives do I have to keep the hive away from the old hive that the bees came from?? I am concerned that the bees will go back to the original hive and abandon the new hive.
    ------------------------------------------<br />Colton<br />------------------------------------------

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    A
    ------------------------------------------<br />Colton<br />------------------------------------------

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

    Post

    A lot of them will go back. I do splits all the time without moving them the 2 miles away. The secret is to shake in enough nurse bees from the parent hive. Put way more bees than you actually want and assume half will return home and the other half will stay. To get nurse bees, you shake bees off of open brood (trying to leave the one with the long abdomen).
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    After I make my splits I plan on feeding 1:1 syrup, would it also help to close up the entrance for a week to get the bees used to that hive??
    ------------------------------------------<br />Colton<br />------------------------------------------

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

    Post

    24 hours might help, but more would be too stressful, IMO. I don't close them up at all.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    Here's a few tricks.
    (All of them exploit known bee behavior "errors",
    so this could be called "bee hacking".)

    Put a uniquely colored marker in a pattern that
    bees can recognize (simple solid geometric patterns
    are best) on each of the hives that you plan
    to split. Do it now, so the bees will get
    used to having a marker.

    When it is time for the split, move the marker
    to the split, leaving the parent colony unmarked.

    This won't fool the experienced foragers one
    little bit, but it will fool the younger bees
    who have only been on a few orientation flights,
    and will reinforce the illusion that they are
    "home", even though they are now in a different
    physical location, perhaps several feet from
    the parent colony.

    In any one yard, keep the colors as far apart
    on the spectrum as possible, and try to vary
    the shapes too.

    Another popular strategy is to place the
    splits towards the center of a row of hives
    (if you have your hives in rows, which really
    is not the best configuration). Bees tend to
    "drift" from the hives at the ends of the rows
    to the center of the rows, so you can exploit
    this tendency to help the splits gain some
    accidental immigrants.

    Another trick would be to move the parent colony,
    and put the split in the exact location of the
    parent. I'm not sure I like this approach, as
    it means that I get a split full of relatively
    "stupid" foragers, but what can one expect from
    insects with brains the size of pinheads, anyway? [img]smile.gif[/img]

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