Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wimauma, Florida
    Posts
    271

    Post

    Evening all!

    I want to make sure I do this right.

    The temperatures here will stay in the 60-70 for the next couple of weeks and then drop to 50-mid sixties and occasionally 70s for a couple of monthes.

    Is it safe to do a split?

    If it is, what is the prefered size of nuc box? 5,6,7 frame,or more?

    What should the composition be? ie: 2 honey, 2 brood, one foundation, bees brushed off of four frames, etc.

    I read different methods so I am a little concerned with the methodology. Are there certain things I should look for?

    Any help will be appreciated!!

    Thanks,
    Albert
    September 8th 2007 is National Beekeeping Day
    American Agriculture, its as close as the nearest Honeybee!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Post

    Albert,

    I'm a new beekeeper to and I live in E. Orlando. I am always excited to meet another beekeeper.

    How far West in W. Central Florida do you live?
    Troy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    São Paulo - Brasil
    Posts
    26

    Post

    Hi Albert,

    I do my splits in a 6 frame nuc box. I try not to use foundation because the small amount of bees at the begining of split, and I want them to work at brood raising not comb construction. Try to use drawn combs or even better honey frames. When the bees wants space for queen laying, they will eat this honey.

    I usually use 3 honey and 3 open&closed brood frames, with no bees. Put the nuc over the brood chamber, with a excluder under the nuc, and the new queen at the cage with both entries closed. A good amount of nurse bees will migrate upwards to take care of the brood frames. Eight days later I remove the nuc to another part of apiary, open the candy entry and leave them in peace for at least 10 days. After this I just check to make sure the queen is laying. Works fine 99.9% of the times.
    Marcelo Del Fiore<br />São Paulo - Brasil

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wimauma, Florida
    Posts
    271

    Post

    Troy,
    I live east of Tampa Bay near a town called Sun City Center. I believe that there is a well known Beekeeper slightly north of me in Riverview. I'm trying to ascertain if that is so.

    Since you live in Orlando, the meeting place of the world, I bet there must be some convention or something to do with beekeeping occasionaly. We should look into that!

    Thanks,
    Albert
    September 8th 2007 is National Beekeeping Day
    American Agriculture, its as close as the nearest Honeybee!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wimauma, Florida
    Posts
    271

    Post

    Marcelo,

    I won't have access to an extra queen, so what I thought I would do is put together a couple of brood frames, some honey and bees from a couple of different hives. One hive in particular is overflowing with bees; I thought I would take the brood frames from that one.

    I'm concerned with the time of year and weather conditions. Of course, as I said, I'm not to sure of the proper procedure. This operation will be performed during the daytime when the nurse bees are in and the majority of the foragers are out.

    I read in Michael Bush's that drones are of particulat importance. Need them to breeding. There are drones in these hives, I have seen them while going through the frames.

    I guess most people do their splits in the early summer.

    Well any other info will be appreciated!!!

    Thanks,
    Albert
    September 8th 2007 is National Beekeeping Day
    American Agriculture, its as close as the nearest Honeybee!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    Albert, before we get started how many hives are you running, do you have a couple of queen excluders and how many splits do you want to make?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wimauma, Florida
    Posts
    271

    Post

    Joel,
    I have two hives at home currently. In addition to the two I have, I have taken over 8 abandoned hives that a local rancher was going to destroy. They are in various states of disrepair and condition. Two are extremely full of bees, 4 are busy but not overflowing, and 2 not as busy as the middle 4. (I think.)

    As to pests, some of the empty hives had masses of wax worms; all of those have been boiled in lye. I found some carapaces of African Hive Beetles, but none live. No evidence of mites, but I haven't done a thorough analysis yet.

    I have 4 excluders myself and possibly more will appear.

    I would like to split one of the overflowing hives first, and if that is succesful I'll do the other.

    My home is over 6 miles from the ranch hives. I intend to bring the splits home with me, and ultimately the other hives.

    BTW, the bees are very placid, industrious, and the supers are full of honey. Even the weakest colonies are busy, just not overflowing.

    I don't know what kind of bees they are, and the rancher says they've been there for several years, and he doesn't know when or how they got there.

    Anyway, if you can assist me, I would be much obliged.

    Thanks,
    Albert
    September 8th 2007 is National Beekeeping Day
    American Agriculture, its as close as the nearest Honeybee!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Post

    the real question albert is whether you plan to purchase queens or let the hive raise their own. even central florida can experience some cool weather this time of year so a naturally mated queen mating possibilities are not without risk. I would never place undrawn foundation in a nuc unless I was also feeding on a regular bases.

    typically the minimum in this kind of case is to have one frame each of brood, honey and pollen and then to completely cover these frames with bees. add a queen cell or caged queen. any additional frame of brood, honey or pollen simple increase your chances of success.

    If you have a difficult time locating the queen the queen excluders are handy in isolating the queen to a particular box. slap on the excluder (prior to this I would typically have shuffled the frames to have some equilization of brood, honey and pollen in the box), wait 4 days plus and then see in which box you still have eggs. at this point you have pretty much isolated the queen to this box. set this box aside on a new bottom and top and then proceed to split the remainder.

    the long unattended hives that you mention will quite likely be a bit difficult to break apart on the first go round. if it was me.... I would pull them apart and reassemble before I set about to do any splits. this activity (in my experience) rattle the girls pretty hard which in my mind is not the best circumstance to do splits.

    in additon... if I knew nothing about the abandoned hive I would likely try to get a sample to the state bee lab to determine lineage (ie are they ahb).

    ps... almost exactly 40 years ago I graduated from high school in plant city, fl. and I can still almost smell the orange blossom honey flowing out of the extractor.

    good luck....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wimauma, Florida
    Posts
    271

    Post

    Tecumseh,

    I know that when the orange blossoms are in bloom its all you can do not to be distracted while driving!

    Yes those boxes were stuck together pretty good. I used a cabinet maker's pry bar (which looks remarkably similar to hive tool...)to break them apart gently. This was a couple of weeks ago when I was figuring out which hives had bees in them.

    I did a little morphilogical survey on wing structure and as far as my limited knowledge allows I am pretty sure that they are not African derivatives. Having said that though, this morning we saw some brawling at the entry of one of the hives. There was some bees that had a distinctly different coloration on the abdomen. The boys and I are going to look at them under the scope this evening. And yesterday we saw on some wild flowers a jet black honeybee with bright yellow pollen on his carriers.

    I just made a box that holds 8 frames. Do you think that two each of brood, honey, pollen and as many loose bees as I can get in there, would be a good start? It would have two open slots, what should I do, if anything, with those? Some have recomended a 6 frame box, which I can make at a moments notice if need be.

    Thanks for explaining how to isolate the queen, I was wondering how to go about it.

    Again, thanks to all for the info!

    Albert
    September 8th 2007 is National Beekeeping Day
    American Agriculture, its as close as the nearest Honeybee!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Post

    albert adds:
    I know that when the orange blossoms are in bloom its all you can do not to be distracted while driving!

    tecumseh replies:
    honey extraction of orange blossom honey is quite the same exquisite experience. my memory of extraction some 45 years ago can be greatly encouraged by simply smelling a bit of 'real' orange blossom honey. my wife (who is a bit of an expert on these type of questions) tells my that smell is tied directly into the brain.

    then albert adds:
    I did a little morphilogical survey on wing structure and as far as my limited knowledge allows I am pretty sure that they are not African derivatives. Having said that though, this morning we saw some brawling at the entry of one of the hives.

    tecumseh replies:
    well you are way beyond my capabilities to distinquish races of bees although I kind of understand what you are saying.... the state lab here now has a protein (dna) test that they use whenever they have questions about one of the sample I deliver to their door.

    what you describe sounds a bit like robbing. happens quite regularly here when the migratory folks (weavers) bring their bees back south. this most often happens on the weaker hives. you can greatly reduce this 'problem' by plugging (I use duct tape-screen and stapler) to limit holes and entrance of the hives in question.

    albert adds:
    I just made a box that holds 8 frames. Do you think that two each of brood, honey, pollen and as many loose bees as I can get in there, would be a good start?

    tecumseh replies:
    that should make for a very stong split. if you have a source of queens they might even make a bit of a honey crop before this season is over. a queen cell or naturally raised queen will represent a bit of a time lag in the brood so I would suspect by late spring they would fill a box or two with bees but likely will not yield a surplus of honey to harvest.

    then albert adds:
    It would have two open slots, what should I do, if anything, with those? Some have recomended a 6 frame box, which I can make at a moments notice if need be.

    tecumseh replies:
    now I am not sure what the two opening represents??? but if they are too much plug one with screen or duct tape. 6 frames is a bit odd... a fairly standard nuc box is half size or 5 frames which most folks make up with a total of 4 frames. any lag time between new and old queen usually requires that the frames be covered with bees.

    albert adds:
    Thanks for explaining how to isolate the queen, I was wondering how to go about it.

    tecumseh replies:
    I am guessing that is what joel was 'suggesting' when he asked if you had access to queen excluder. another thread also suggested that perhaps joel was transporting bees from ny to sc (but I am quessing here also).

    anyway good luck bro....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,349

    Post

    Albert:

    There are different methodologies for splitting based on time of year and the desired outcome. Factors that influence the method are resources available to the bees and from the beekeeper. Do you have drawn frames or foudation only? Do you have queens or cels or neither? Are yu trying to prevent hives from swarming? Are you wanting to make an increase for next year? Do you plan on making honey with the splts? etc.. etc.. I suppose I could go on but hopefully you kinda see my drift. In any event, make a decision learn from it and enjoy the experience.

    Marcelino:

    I am writing these few words from Belo Horizonte.
    Ciao.

    Jean-Marc

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    Albert Hetre's how I would do it:

    1) Make certain ALL the hives are disease free. If you don't have the experiance for this yet either get the state inspector or an experianced beekeeper to go through them with you.

    2)We've had the best success in your temperaturerange by using 4 or 5 frame nuc boxes. This configuration allows less bees to keep things warmer when the night temps drop. The styrafoam boxes will allow for easy internal feeding by just pouring feed into the bottom of the nuc and provides good insulation.

    3) When we do our spring splits we split 4-6 times from a strong 2 story colony. This time of year I would consider doing 2 + the orginal to give them the best chance in cooler weather with little nectar flow.

    4) If you are not going to purchase queens (which I don't reccomend if you don't have experiace and live in an area that is Africanized) you would need to make certain the current queen is isolated in the bottom hive body by queen excluder and that you have eggs in the top hive body. Once the queen is isolated in the bottom section the bees will raise several queen cells in the top. The timing on this is important due to the age of the larvae needing to be less than 3 days when they are started. You will be leaving the hive in this condition for no more than 14 days. If you miss the time schedule for harvesting queen cells you will have virgin queens hatching out, getting through the excluder and fighting with the established queen.

    4) On Day 14 I would carefully harvest the queen cells needed and then placing a stick in the ground in front of the orginal entrance, on a warmer day (65+), preferably sunny, bees flyin, I would set my Nuc boxes equidistant from the orginal entrance in a circle. This will aid in equalization once the splits are made.

    5) Remove the orginal hive to outside the immediate work area so it is within easy reach. Place 3 frames brood and a frame of honey to each nuc and do your best to equalize the bees on frames by judging frame coverage and shaking bees at the entrnce to equalize. Add your queen cell in between the center frames gently and add the cover.

    6) Watch the incoming bees at this point, you nucs should be about 1-2 feet from the orignal entrance which will confuse the incoming field workers and make them reorient. You will clearly see this pattern and then adjust the nucs so the bees are dividing equally to the nucs.

    7) Feed your nucs 2-1 feed or HFCS55 unless they are loaded with honey. Your queens will take another 2 weeks to hatch, mate and lay if weather is condusive to mating flights (above 65F during the 7 or so day mating period). ( you should check you nucs about 7 days after the additon of the queen cell to see if the virgin queen has hatched and has been accepted.

    8) Once the nucs are equalized and strong you can move them a foot or so a day to get them in the placement you want the permenant hives and transfer them to hive bodies.

    I want to re-itereate the point that raising your own queens this time a year and as a novice will greatly reduce you likelyhood of success but that's a judgement you have to make.

    Good Luck- Check back here the next couple of days in case I've overlooked anything and someone points it out.

    [size="1"][ November 30, 2006, 08:36 AM: Message edited by: Joel ][/size]

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wimauma, Florida
    Posts
    271

    Post

    Allright Fellows!

    My son and just relocated two complete hives, each had two brood boxes and three supers. One had a completely rotted out bottom, which made for some very interesting language, language that I had NO idea my son possesed...

    Tommorrow morning we will go through the hives top to bottom replace the brood boxes that are rotted, and generaly get them up to snuff.

    I'm going to build four five-frame nucs and four four frame ones. That will match the equipment I already have.

    I think I understand the procedure now. A couple of questions though. When we determine the queen is in the bottom box, do we mix up the frames in order to be sure there are eggs/larva of the appropriate age in each box? Later on when do you know that you need to give them more space? That is, move them to an 8 or 10 frame box.

    Thanks,
    Albert
    September 8th 2007 is National Beekeeping Day
    American Agriculture, its as close as the nearest Honeybee!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Post

    joel sezs:
    4) On Day 14

    tecumseh replies:
    the 'bee' calendar can be a bit confusing.. this is fourteen days from the time the eggs is laid. if you are rearing your own natural cells via joels instructions this should be about 9 to 10 days after you have placed the existing queen in the bottom box. about 30 days from this same time you started this procedure you should check for laying queens.

    albert ask:
    do we mix up the frames in order to be sure there are eggs/larva of the appropriate age in each box?

    tecumseh replies:
    now my approach is a bit different than joel's in that I seperate the box physically. I don't really concern myself with locating the queen, but simply set half the hive on a new bottom. so I do try to get a good distribution of eggs/larvae to make certain that the queenless portion has 'resources' with with to make a new queen(s). no matter how you may do this process (and especially if you are expecting any kind of cold weather) make certain that the brood (all stages) are at the center of the brood nest (this reduces the chances of chilled brood).

    if you did locate the queen the important point to remember is to place most of the eggs and very young larvae in the queenless portion.

    then albert ask:
    Later on when do you know that you need to give them more space?

    tecumseh replies:
    you should begin worring about this (given a good flow or feeding regime) approximately 60 days down the road from the start of the process. This should be the approximate time when the first new brood begins to hatch for your natural queens. if you experience a very good honey flow then do make certain that these new nucs do not become honey bound which can squeeze out laying space for a new vigorous queen (this may create the circumstance for swarming).

    and a question for albert... now I was trying to recall when the citrus bloomed in central florida and my old hard drive has completely failed me in regards to this detail????

    once again good luck....

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wimauma, Florida
    Posts
    271

    Post

    Tec,

    Depends on the lattitude, and the variety, The fall is pretty much no bloom time, but late winter through mid summer has a lot of blooming. The major producers of oranges for Tropicana grow one variety I guess, and thats an early spring bloom.

    Actually I created a log book to document what is blooming in my neck of the woods, so I could have a clearer picture of what the bees are doing and to what they are doing it to.

    Thanks,
    Albert

    Oh, I forgot, the bees are very busy carrying pollen into the nuc, and doing their bee business. Everything seems pretty calm and industrious at both the nuc and the original hive. I wrote all my activity in my log book and marked an inspection date 45 days from now to check the progress of the nuc. It got a little chilly last night so I put an old comforter over the nuc to help it retain heat. Again the bees seem none the worse for wear.

    Again, Thanks to everyone for the help and encouragement!
    Albert
    September 8th 2007 is National Beekeeping Day
    American Agriculture, its as close as the nearest Honeybee!

  16. #16

    Post

    Albert,

    There are a lot of beekeepers just to the east of you. I have purchased Nucs and Queen cells from a large beekeeper in Dade City. FYI you are in a region with a lot of AHB (they entered through the port of Tampa several years ago). So do not tolerate any aggressive behavior, if you have any doubts call your bee inspector, and he will test some samples for you.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Post

    ditto what panhandle sezs and good luck...

    ps.. I would guess the green peppers should be blooming about now.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    {It got a little chilly last night so I put an old comforter over the nuc to help it retain heat.}

    And yet another hopless beekeeping addict joins the support group called beesource!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wimauma, Florida
    Posts
    271

    Post

    Joel,

    Seems ridiculous doesn't it? It seems to me that the bigger, brawnier, badder the guy, the more ridiculous you are with your animals!

    My chickens have names, my pig is a 250lbs prima dona - with her own house I might add. Her boyfriend is a lab/shepard mix who also raises all the stray kittens, fledges any baby birds, and lets me know if the creek is runnng dry.

    I was worried. It was getting cool and I didn't know if four frames with bees was enough to create a critical mass of buzzing for heat. So I put a blankie on the bees.

    Anyway I checked all the hives today and the nuc's brood are coming out. i was pleased generally speking with the conditions of two of the 3 hives and the nuc. One hive is under assault from SHBeetles, Mites, and Wax worms. We are puting in screened bottom boards tommorrow in addition to new, clean boxes. Any frames that have honey will be pulled and the remainder consolidated to one super over one brood box. I'm putting in a trap for the SHBeetles also. No chemicals though.

    I'm debating as to how to deal with the mites. I'm leaning to SBBs with an oil filled tray beneath. That should help, but those bees need to make it on their own with minimal help from me.

    Thanks
    Albert
    September 8th 2007 is National Beekeeping Day
    American Agriculture, its as close as the nearest Honeybee!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Post

    albert sezs:
    So I put a blankie on the bees.

    tecumseh thinks...
    how precious. well it didn't hurt anything and it did likely make sleeping a bit easier... right?

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