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  1. #1
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    May 2016
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    Default Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    Below, I have summarized the steps to make a split or new nuc into outline form, for future reference. There is SO much information and SO many opinions about the "best" way, that I've been trying to reduce steps down to the simplest version to make it less overwhelming and easier to remember. I do not yet trust myself, so I am hoping for some experienced eyes on these notes and feedback. Is this outline accurate? Are there any missing steps?

    Thank you, in advance, for sharing your expertise.


    Splits & Nucleus Colonies

    1. Prepare the new colony
    a. Select the nuc or divided hive body
    b. Identify donor colonies for brood, honey & pollen (or a sugar feeder).

    2. Add Frames & Bees
    a. If adding a ripe Queen Cell (grafted, swarm or supercedure) or a mated queen
    i. 1+ frames of capped/emerging larvae
    ii. 1+ frame of honey & pollen stores or a sugar feeder
    b. If triggering a queenless colony to create emergency queen cells, both of the above plus:
    i. 1 frame of eggs & 1-3 day larvae and their nurse bee covered frame
    c. Shake bees in front of entrance and let them enter their new colony

    3. Reduce the entrance

    4. Move the hive

    a. If leaving the hive in the same beeyard, turn 90, otherwise, move to an apiary 2+ miles away.

    5. Monitor the hive
    a. Feed, if necessary
    b. Check for eggs / brood, based on what queen material was used:
    i. Mated queen: at 7 days / 12 days
    ii. Virgin queen: at 12-15 days / 17-21 days
    iii. Ripe queen Cell: at 14-17 days / 19-22 days
    iv. Newly laid egg to 3 day old larvae: 30-33 days / 35-38 days

    6. Reduce crowding to allow for growth or avoid swarming
    a. Remove frames of brood and replace with frames of drawn comb if using to boost other colonies
    b. Move to larger equipment: 8 or 10 frame hive bodies
    c. Add vertical space with additional nuc boxes. Move one frame of brood up to encourage queen to move up in the hive along with drawn frames of comb.
    Last edited by InBees; 07-11-2016 at 03:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
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    Default Re: Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    Your making it much more complicated than it really is. Here are my notes. Take two frames of brood and bees put in a nuc box add a caged queen check if released in three days if not release queen. Done!

  3. #3
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    May 2016
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    Buffalo, Minnesota, USA
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    Default Re: Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan the bee guy View Post
    Your making it much more complicated than it really is. Here are my notes. Take two frames of brood and bees put in a nuc box add a caged queen check if released in three days if not release queen. Done!
    I've watched HOURS of YouTube videos, read numerous websites & three books. I thought I WAS making it simple!! LOL.
    Last edited by InBees; 07-11-2016 at 06:34 PM.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2015
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    Default Re: Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    Give yourself a little time when you check on the bees you have to roll with the flow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    St. Michael, MN
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    Default Re: Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    I tried Dan's approach this year except I wanted them to raise their own queen. I'm new to this. I don't know what I'm doing, so why not? I ended up with a nuc with 3 frames of bees, honey and larvae and in 3 days time, there were eggs! Yep, the queen went for a ride. I put her back in her hive and took the three frames on which the hive had built queen cells, put one in the first nuc, and made up 2 more nucs. All queens emerged. I'm currently waiting another week to check for eggs. I tried the same approach with another nuc a few days ago, and they are not building a queen cell. Gonna check that hive tomorrow to make sure I didn't take that queen, too. Do I really expect to get a great queen out of this? Not really, but it's been fun learning. Next time maybe I can improve on the quality of the queen. If I can get queens that just lay enough eggs to get the nuc large enough for winter, and then get them through, it will be a bonus. It not, I'll recombine them before winter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Buffalo, Minnesota, USA
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    Default Re: Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    Gumpy, I've fumbled my way through turning a single nuc into four colonies this year. Maybe not a feat, except this is my first year out of the gate as a beek. I'd inherited two hives that both died, so I've been committed to making certain that there are enough colonies going into winter to hedge my bets. Thus the reading and watching and hopefully looking for other bee-knowledgeable souls... and way too much anxiety, set off by two immediate colony failures.

    Last night I went through all of my notes about each colony. I had tables from bee rearing calendars generated at the Beeyard.org pasted in them. I had page numbers referenced from the book, Increase Essentials. I had other references from Michael Palmer and Michael Bush in those notes. Feeling like I have actually learned something, I created that outline. That's why I'm looking for feedback on my notes. Am I REALLY making it too complicated? *might* be a personal talent, btw

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    When you get to "know" how the colony operates it will be second nature to you all you have to do is keep a good calendar, right your notes on your hives. I never have failures just learning expereances that cost a lot of money.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    Now do you know why those two hives died if you can correct that your on your way.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Default Re: Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    One was dead before my mentor died. Lots of black shiny cells in the comb. Dead bees. A whole colony's worth of bees, all dead. Smelled to high heaven, like a rank chicken coop. One Google search with "foul chicken coop smelling beehive" & horror stories about AFB came up. In a panic, I immediately burned 1/3 of the equipment I'd just bought from his widow. Then, gratefully, I found level headed folk here on Beesource. The other hive swarmed before I knew what that meant, was badly infested with wax moth and SHB & might have had diarrhea over winter (haven't read about what normal fecal remains should look like, but, ewww). As disasters often go, his colonies were plagued not with one but with many problems. It was a rocky start for a new Beek. So I took to the books and got organized with note & picture taking. I am now on my 10th week of beekeeping and am finally starting to feel like this wasn't just a disastrously expensive failure of an undertaking, but maybe (fingers crossed) a do-able hobby.

  10. #10
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    Rib Lake WI
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    Default Re: Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    I'm surprised you didn't mention varroa mites. For most that is the only problem. Also weakens the hive so the wax moth and hive beetle can get a foot hold.

  11. #11
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    May 2016
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    Buffalo, Minnesota, USA
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    Default Re: Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    Varroa requires more that eyes on the bees on their comb to see it. Heck, I let the wax moths go because I thought I was looking at Queen cells!! I've committed to learning how to do a sugar roll this month and looking into common pests & disease.

    Knowing that Minnesota winters can start early, at the rate I was going, I wasn't going to have any bees to get sick, so I committed myself to increasing colonies, before all else. Four colonies and that one outline (above) represents the 10 week crash course I've been on. Diseases are next, I guess. Burn out may follow. Or winter. And if they don't make it through winter? (Varroa thoughts are suddenly dampening my spirit). At least I'll be able to say I gave this more than just a passing effort.
    Last edited by InBees; 07-11-2016 at 09:06 PM.

  12. #12
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    Rib Lake WI
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    Default Re: Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    I just showed a couple of newbees how to do the sugar roll last Saturday. His hives from the nucs he bought had 2 mites in a 1/2 cup of bees and the package had 0 . We had treated them with OAV the one hive of mine that I tested that day had 1 mite I didn't test my nucs or the one hive with chalk brood

  13. #13
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    May 2016
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    Default Re: Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    Well, THOSE are hopeful results!! But what's that you say? Chalkbrood? Another disease I know nothing except the name. :/

    My colonies are in two yards, 5 miles separated, so I am hopeful that that might increase my odds of survivors.

    At this point, I feel more like a gambler hedging bets than one involved in the science of animal husbandry. If the game is gambling, it's still more fun than the casino, IMO.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    Chalk brood isn't to bad going to try to requeen with a queen cell Michael Palmer mentioned it in one of his talks. Always something new to try.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    Quote Originally Posted by InBees View Post
    I've committed to learning how to do a sugar roll this month and looking into common pests & disease.
    I just learned how to do this. I watched a great video on it, with Dr. Dewey Caron demonstrating at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU06KJTxHR8

    I also had one of the guys from the Tri-County Beekeepers club in St. Cloud show me how to do it. I tried it on my hives and find it's actually quite simple. I liked the video approach to gathering the bees directly into the jar. I made powdered sugar from granulated using a coffee grinder, rather than using the store bought with cornstarch. Everyone here says the small amount of starch in the sugar used to roll them won't hurt them, though.

    I'd be happy to make up a jar for you. I have a piece of the #8 hardware cloth. Would also be willing to come by and demonstrate it on one of your hives. We can play show and tell. Not that I have much to show or tell as I've only been in my crash course since January.

    craig

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Buffalo, Minnesota, USA
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    Default Re: Kindly check my notes about making splits/nucs for accuracy?

    Thanks!! I'd LOVE the chance to be guided through the process. I'll PM you, Craig. And I'll keep my eyes open for chalk brood, but if it's not a big threat, I'll focus on the most important first, which continues to be getting my hives built up.

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