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Thread: Making Splits

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Gilroy, CA


    I installed 4 packages of bee's last saturday on Pierco plastic frames (how are your results with plastic frames?)with frame feeders and did a check on them 2 days ago and they look great!. I had a few questions about making splits because i want to expand as much as possible so that my retired father will have a number of bee hives to manage next year(were not looking to get any honey this year, just number of hives).

    My first question is, when would be too late to make splits?.

    How many splits can you make from one hive?

    Off Topic but, I would like to give much thanks to those who created this forum, and those who make it what it is. Before accidently coming across this forum, all knowledge of bee's came from books that couldnt answer questions. After the initial huge excitment that i had i devoted all my spare time after that reading past posts and expanding my knowledge on beekeeping which led to my first 4 package of bee's which was a result of finding this website(Packaged bee's). And a fullfillment of my dads 20 year long wish to become a hobby beekeeper and for that I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart because only beekeeping took the depression out of retirement for my father

    Much Thanks
    Happiness is something final and complete in itself, as being the aim and end of all practical activities whatever .... Happiness then we define as the active exercise of the mind in conformity with perfect goodness or virtue.

  2. #2


    You won't be able to make any splits from those packages until next Spring. When preparing to make a split make sure to start feeding pollen sub.early to stimulate brood rearing. - Good luck, Tim
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Corralitos, CA, USA


    Welcome to beekeeping! You're just over the hill from me. Starting 4 hives this year should keep you and your dad busy enough learning the ropes if neither of you have done it before. Starting 3 last year kept me busy enough, of course maybe I'm just slow.

    I am not an expert on the subject of splits(let's be honest, I know nothing about doing splits), but I would say that in our area you probably won't need to use pollen substitutes as at least on my side of the coast range we have tons of acacia pollen as early as January and your area is about the same as Watsonville. My bees were just hauling it in back then and the hive population exploded.

    I did lose two of my hives in the fall to yellow jackets due to my inexperience with fall management. So this year I started three more with packages and stole frames of honey and brood from the booming hive for those hives plus another frame for a friend's first hive and the booming hive seemed to not even notice.

    Still, in our area, if you don't want any significant amount of honey this year, I would bet you could successfully split each hive as soon as they have filled two deeps with drawn comb with honey and brood. Here in California I believe most beekeepers only use one brood box per hive, so if you have two filled ones by July, which shouldn't be a problem if your hives take off, you can probably at least double the number of hives you've got at that time. -But I'd wait for more commentary from folks who actually know about this. I started doing double brood boxes last year because most of the books on beekeeping are written for people in harsher climates and the bees need significantly more stores of honey for the winter elsewhere.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Charleston, WV


    I have pulled off splits from early spring to late in the summer but the key is to have enough bees and honey for everyone to make it through the winter. As others have mentioned, you probably won't get to do that this year on new packages but look out for next year! Regarding pierco, I like it a lot. My bees have taken to it like crazy and I have done nothing special to encourage it though I hear spraying with sugar water helps. Anyhow, good luck and have fun!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Kiel WI, USA


    I would think you could split them twice without any trouble, possibly much more. You can feed them all winter, and could get by with a much smaller population. I can split in the beginning of August, and still have a hive strong enough to overwinter in Wisconsin.

  6. #6


    Some people make splits from packages before they ever install them. Just have an extra queen handy.

    I would not make splits unless you were willing to sacrifice some honey, were willing to feed them, and had at least a couple months till cold air. If they fill 2 brood boxes you can split almost anytime.


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