Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 29 of 29

Thread: Spring splits

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,316

    Post

    >I have been reading lot on splits. I was wondering how many hives you can successfully split out of the original and still get a crop?

    It depends. It depends on how well the original queen is doing. It depends on WHEN you do the splits. It depends on the honey flow that year. How heavy the flow is. WHEN the flow is. But as far as COUNTING on doing a split and COUNTING on getting a crop, I wouldn't. I've done quite a few splits on a hive in one year before and these are factors I think that played into being able to do that:

    o It was froma package and the original package and all the splits were done into minimum sized boxes so the bees weren't too stressed warming the brood.

    o It was a young prolific queen in the hive (which was from a package).

    o All the splits and the package were done on wax coated PermaComb so the bees didn't have to draw any comb.

    >If anyone has any experience in this, please let me know! I want to get as many hives out of my original as possible, but want to get a crop this year also. (Want my cake and to eat it too!)

    If you want one split and a crop that's very doable IF you time it just right and do it just right. In fact one split at the right time can increase the crop significantly. Any more splits is always going to cut into the crop.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  2. #22

    Post

    Thanks for the info Michael! SOunds like I am only going with a single split this year then! [img]smile.gif[/img]
    If you see me runnin' you'd better keep up!
    http://hillshivery.blogspot.com/

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    983

    Post

    henry.....sounds like you may have gotten a bad (poorly mated) queen in the package. This past yr there were numerous problems with queens being not mated good due to wet weather. Rick

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Post

    Regarding the checkerboard system of swarm prevention, it orginated with a beekeeper, Walt Wright. He can be contacted at P.O. Box 10, Elkton, TN 38455 (Sorry, no email in my files).

    Walt doesn't find the conventional hive reversal method effective, but rather developed a way of pulling frames from one box and switching them with frames in another box, a process he calls "Checkerboarding."

    This manipulation breaks what he calls "the honey dome," the stored honey, the restrictive barrier of honey that he feels limits the expansion of the brood chamber.

    Obviously this system works best if you run boxes of the same size, and if you are comfortable allowing the queen to roam wherever she pleases.

    As an illustration, if you run two deeps to overwinter, you add a third brood box. Pulling frames of stored honey from the second box, replace them with empty frames, alternating new frames with the old.

    Taking the old frames of stored honey, alternate them with the complimentary new frames in the third box. If you start early enough in the spring, you can pull the bottom box out and use it as a new third box, pulling frames from the top box and alternating them with frames from the bottom box.

    As the honey flow commences, add the supers. The bees will take nectar to the top and the queen will begin moving down. Swarming is practically eliminated and there is no need to make a split to prevent swarming (not that there's anything wrong with that!).

    You do, however, get some really tall hives.

    And my apologies to Walt. This thumbnail description doesn't do justice. He ran a series of articles in ABJ in 1996 on pages 46 (January), 437 (June), 496 (July), 789 (November). He also ran another description in Bee Culture on page 46, March 1997.

    I found his method works for me.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    536

    Post

    "Regarding the checkerboard system of swarm prevention, it orginated with a beekeeper, Walt Wright"

    Walt calls his method "nectar management" now rather than checkerboarding.

    "Walt doesn't find the conventional hive reversal method effective"

    Walt does acknowledge that reversal, done correctly, is an effective swarm prevention technique. He believes, however, that it is not the most effective technique.

    "This manipulation breaks what he calls "the honey dome," the stored honey, the restrictive barrier of honey that he feels limits the expansion of the brood chamber"

    He calls this honey the "reserve." He believes that a colony will maintain a "reserve" of honey above the brood nest during the build up to swarm. His observations are that if this layer of honey is broken up by replacing every other frame of honey with an empty comb, and ensuring that there is empty comb above this, the bees perceive a need to fill these frames with nectar. The result is that the swarm impulse is postponed and the broodnest continues to expand in volume.

    "Obviously this system works best if you run boxes of the same size, and if you are comfortable allowing the queen to roam wherever she pleases"

    Walt actually advocates using a deep box for a brood nest, and shallow boxes for supers, for a number of reasons. More importantly, however, he believes that whatever size boxes you are using, the bees overwinter best in three boxes.

    "And my apologies to Walt. This thumbnail description doesn't do justice. He ran a series of articles in ABJ in 1996 on pages 46 (January), 437 (June), 496 (July), 789 (November). He also ran another description in Bee Culture on page 46, March 1997"

    The best way to get a handle on Walt's ideas is to order his manuscript - write to him at P.O. box 10, Elkton, TN 38455. You'll enjoy reading it!

    I have been working with Walt for almost three years now. He has demonstrated his observations to me in my hives, and his methods resulted in no swarms in 2004. I also saw increased honey production over previous years, but as you all know that may have been due to other factors. I agree with Grant that this is a very effective technique, and it requires less labor than other methods I have tried. It fosters huge populations of bees with minimal manipulations by the beekeeper. One of the most important pieces of information that I have gleaned from his observations has to do with brood nest "congestion." Walt believes that this "congestion" of the brood nest is not a causative factor in swarming. Instead, he believes that the filling in (or backfilling as he calls it) of the brood nest with feed is the final step in swarming. Since the plan is to send 50% of the work force on their way, it makes sense that the brood nest volume would be reduced to a size manageable by the remaining 50%. His plan avoids this "backfilling" or "congestion" for a sufficient length of time that the bees abandon swarm ambition and begin storing surplus honey for the next season. The end result is a large population (the result of a large brood nest that has not been reduced by the congestion/backfilling that we have all seen) that has not been reduced by splitting and requires very little labor.

    I have enjoyed working with Walt and his "nectar management" method works.
    Rob Koss

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Post

    Thanks for the clarifications, Rob. I tried to pull some quotes from those older articles which have been further refined and renamed by Walt. Walt also published his nectar management ideas after many of these articles came out. I presume anyone wishing a copy could write to Walt directly.

    Grant
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Ypsilanti, Michigan
    Posts
    38

    Post

    "As an illustration, if you run two deeps to overwinter, you add a third brood box. Pulling frames of stored honey from the second box, replace them with empty frames, alternating new frames with the old."

    When do you start doing this? Early spring?

    "Taking the old frames of stored honey, alternate them with the complimentary new frames in the third box. If you start early enough in the spring, you can pull the bottom box out and use it as a new third box, pulling frames from the top box and alternating them with frames from the bottom box."

    Sorry. I'm new. But I didn't understand why you would move the bottom box up to the top. Is it once you've completely switched out the stored honey frames with new empty ones? Do the bees then fill those with brood and when they're full of brood, you move the bottom box up to the top? What's the reasoning behind this? Thanks for the info!

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    536

    Post

    Grant - You're welcome! Yes, the information is still available from Walt. It makes more sense when you read it from front to back than in a series of articles. It's a good book to add to your collection.

    Misty - Since we have wandered off topic in this thread, I will try to answer your questions in the Walt Wright thread started by Pugs in the Bee Forum. I recommend contacting Walt for a copy of his manuscript at the address Grant listed above for a better understanding of his observations.
    Rob Koss

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    536

    Post

    twlankford asked:

    "I live in Middle Tennessee and this will be my third spring beekeeping. I started with packages, installed four nucs last year, and would like to do splits this year. I would like to add four more hives. Does anyone have an estimate of when would be the proper time in this area to make the splits and what I should be doing now to prepare."

    twlankford,

    Walt Wright contacted me and asked that I pass on his thoughts on split timing in your area. He lives in Elkton, TN. Walt says that as a general rule, the best time to take splits is when the brood nest has reached maximum volume. In his experience, that usually happens in your area around mid March, stronger colonies in early March. He also associates this timing with seasonal vegetative development: He has found that this maximum brood nest volume in your area generally coincides with the timeframe between the beginning of maple bloom and the beginning of redbud bloom. Stronger colonies will be there a little earlier than others. Generally speaking, if redbud is blooming you are probably late.

    I also sent you a private message with a few more notes that Walt offered that would have been a little lengthy here.
    Rob Koss

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads