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Thread: Making Splits

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    OLD HICKORY TN USA
    Posts
    44

    Question

    I have two strong hives that I would like to make splits from. When should I make them and how many frames should be taken from them? Can they be made now and still make honey?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,925

    Post

    A search on "making splits" from the main search page (from the main menu) reveals:
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    One problem is that although making a split is basically easy, there infinite variations depending on your primary goals. But here are a few variations:

    An even split. You take half of everything and divide it up. Face both of new hives at the sides of the old hive so the returning bees aren't sure which one to come back to. In a week or so, swap places to equalize the drift to the one with the queen.

    A walk away split. You take a frame of eggs, two frames of emerging brood and two frames of pollen and honey and put them in a 5 frame nuc and walk away. Come back in four weeks and see if the queen is laying.

    A typical split. Same as above, but you either introduce a queen you bought or you come back in four days and destroy any queen cells that are capped. These were started from larvae that are too old. Now walk away and let them raise their new queen. If you introduce a queen they will be four weeks ahead of the hive that is rasing their own, so you will have to put them in a larger box than a nuc to start with.

    A cut down split. This is very timing cricical. It should be done shortly before the main honey flow. The purpose is to maximize the foraging population while minimizing swarming. There are variations on this, but basically the idea is to put almost all the open brood, honey and pollen and the queen in a new hive while leaving all the capped brood, some of the honey and a frame of eggs with the old hive. The new hive won't swarm because it doesn't have a workforce (which all returns to the old hive). The old hive won't swarm because it doesn't have a queen or any open brood. It will take at least six weeks for them to raise a queen and get a decent brood nest going. Meantime, you still get a lot of production (possibly a lot MORE production) from the old hive because they are not busy caring for brood. You get the old hive requeened and you get a split. Another variation is to leave the queen with the old hive and take ALL the open brood out. They won't swarm right away because the open brood is gone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    MB forgot one of the easiest ways. My strongest hive had a couple of queen cells started as I went thruogh them yesterday to make splits. The queen had not laid in them or I would have used them. When you see a well devoloped queen cell take that frame carefull and place it in another box with 1 to 2 frames of brood and a couple of honey. It is natures way of preparing for a split/swarm. I am in McMinnville TN. So if they are strong it will not be long.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Post

    Acutally I will do that even if I DON'T want a split because it's obvious that the bees DO want a splt. You can always recombine after the swarm fever has worn off.


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