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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Coos County, NH

    Default how far to move splits

    What distence should a new nuc be moved from its parent hive?

    thanks jay capecod ma

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Fayetteville, AR, USA


    distance should not matter too much, since many of the bees on the frames with brood that you move to the nuc will be younger nurse bees that have not taken 'orientation flights'

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Worcester County, Massachusetts


    I posted this to the organic list last week, i think it's worth pasting here:

    > What does it mean when you find an uncapped supercedure cell?
    > Roni

    hi roni,

    well, as could be accurately predicted, the answer to your question is
    "it depends" (to quote mb)

    generally, "queen cell" refers to something that has an egg, larvae,
    or pupa inside.

    "queen cup" refers to something that looks like a queen cell (or the
    begining of one) but has no egg, larvae, or pupa inside...empty.

    so, "uncapped" could refer to either one of the above situations.

    it is common to find queen cups...they do not necessicarly indicate

    if it is a queen cell, and it is uncapped..and you are looking to do a
    split, then things are good. there are several ways to procede..and
    having the queen cell (and a currently laying queen) will help.

    what we learned from dee when we were out there in april was to make
    STRONG the past, i'd done 2,3,4 frame splits...but now we
    do "full box splits"....and only when there are more than 6 frames of
    brood in the parent hive. the split is made with a minimum of 6
    frames of brood (with attached nurse bees...go light on the smoke, and
    heavy on the bee suit if need be). make sure there is some stores
    (pollen, honey), and move the split to a new stand.

    leave at least 2 frames of brood with the parent hive. make sure BOTH
    have eggs and uncapped brood.

    if you can find the queen, i'd move her to the split, and leave the
    queen cell with the parent hive.

    the idea here is to give strenght to both the parent hive and the split.

    the parent hive will get all (or almost all) of the forager bees (they
    are used to the location, and will fly back from the split). they
    will also have the bulk of the stores. leave the queen cell in this
    hive, and wait 3-4 weeks to see eggs. note that depending on the
    number of frames of brood (and their ages), you will experience a drop
    in population before the brood from you newly reared queen start to
    emerge. once the queen emerges, she must make orientation flights,
    mating flights, start laying....and 21 days after this, the first of
    the brood will emerge. this is why starting with a queen cell is
    helpful, it will shorten this total time. a capped queen cell moreso
    than an uncapped one, and of course, having a virgin (or laying) queen
    will get things going even faster.

    the split will have new bees emerging daily (a growing population),
    and the old queen. remember that the roles the bees play is based on
    both the age of the bee, and the needs of the hive. some of these
    emerging bees (and the nurse bees) will become foragers quickly (as
    the hive will need foragers), and the emerging brood will also provide
    enough young nurse bees to allow the queen to keep laying prolifically.

    there is always a possibility that the new queen will not make
    it...remember, she is bigger and slower than the other bees...and is
    probably a better target for birds when on orientation and mating
    flights...she might be inbred (laying all or mostly drone brood...or a
    spotty brood pattern which can indicate the same), she might be
    inferior genetically, or she might simply die of disease.

    if the hive is too big to find the queen easily (or if you are working
    on a large scale, and can't take the time to find her in every case),
    then having eggs/open brood in both will allow either one to raise a
    new queen.

    another thing to consider is that it is difficult to do much to "help"
    while the process of raising a new queen is going on (meaning it's not
    a terrible idea to do this before you go won't be tempted
    to interfere). the virgin queen is hard to spot (small size, and not
    acting "queenlike"). the only thing worth doing is perhaps to put in
    a frame of eggs/brood after 2 weeks or so...checking a couple of days
    later should tell you if the hive think's it's queenright (it will
    make queen cells if not).

    if the new queen fails, you have a few choices.

    1. you can let them start over raising a queen...a couple of frames
    of brood from the split will provide both the larvae from which to
    make the queen, and brood with which to boost the population (remember
    the population is going down in the parent hive while they are raising
    the queen, and waiting for new brood to be laid and raised to maturity).

    2. you can secure a queen from somewhere else and introduce her.

    3. you can recombine the 2 hives.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA


    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Burgess View Post
    What distence should a new nuc be moved from its parent hive?

    thanks jay capecod ma
    If you move the parent hive instaed you don't have to move it very far at all. A few feet or even just turn it around so the entrance faces the other direction w/ the nuc in the original hives place w/ it's entrance where the other one was.
    Mark Berninghausen

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA


    I often set them right next door and shake some extra bees in to make up for the drift. Anything less than a mile the results are about the same.
    Michael Bush "Everything works if you let it." 42y 40h 39yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Devils Lake, North Dakota


    Like MB said........

    Most mine are on a pallet right next to the parent.
    The extra shake is key.

    You can also swap colonies a couple days later to
    help with drift loss of foragers.
    Closing in on retirement.......


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