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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Paoli, IN
    Posts
    128

    Default Splitting for increase

    Hello all, first I have to say how much I enjoy browsing through this forum!
    South Central Indi
    ana.
    Now my question?

    Started two hives last year. Italian and Russian. Italians built up quick and strong. Russians never took off so I combined with Italians in the fall. They seem to have wintered well.
    Spring is near and I want to do everything I can to make an increase.
    If spring progresses nicely how early could I split? I've been shopping around for a queen for the initial split. The queen I would like isn't available until June 12th. I think this would be toward the end of the spring flow. If I could find a queen earlier would it be to my advantage or would the spring flow build up the hive strong for a better split?
    I plan on feeding pollen patties and sugar water to help the initial build up.


    Thanks for any comments. Again really enjoy the forum and thanks to those who comment on a regular basis.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Kingsland Georgia
    Posts
    314

    Default

    I use Italian queens here in the deep south. Most breeders have them available in good supply by late March, A few around now. If your hive is a double deep I would simply remove the top brood chamber super ( make sure it is strong, good eggs, brood patern, pollen, worker bees and Honey if available) place a bottom and top on it and place the new queen inside. My experince has been to move the hive to a diffrent location. Yes young worker bees will stay on the frames. But my person choice is to move it. Treat it like a new package. Make sure they have plenty of feed, if the queen is released and accepted, look for new eggs in a week or so. That how I split. I do this to each hive after the honey flow each year. I sometimes let the bees raise there own queen, but to be honest have had better success with purchaing a queen. Hope I did not confuse you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Salem, NY
    Posts
    329

    Default

    I would let the bees build up a strong population and then split. Each split should have at least 4-5 frames of bees (2-3 brood, 1 pollen, and 1 honey) If the hive is strong enough, you can either make two large splits, or multiple smaller ones. A two-story deep hive totally full of brood can be split into 4-5 nucs.

    justgojumpit

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    727

    Default

    FWIW You could probably make a split in May. Make sure that the 3 frames of brood (previously mentioned) are cappedbrood frames so that you will have plenty of nurse bees as well as workers. Also make sure that you have some day old eggs - eggs that are still horizontal to the sidewalls of the cell. From these the bees will build about 4 queen cells and depending on the date you started the split, you could have a laying queen before June 12th. No need to purchase one and she will be from local bees. Try it, you'll like it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default

    If you'd like to get a split and a crop this year here's what I would reccommend:

    I would start stimulus feeding with 1:1 sugar water, in your area, the middle of March. A quart jar right on top of the cluster will be used consistently. If you give them the feed warm it will get things going as they'll take the syrup quickly until the syrup cools. They will still take it cold just at a slower rate. Coltsfoot should be blooming the end of March in your area as well as willow, maple and and a few other early pollen sources. It might be worthwhile to use a pollen substitute until you see them bringing in Pollen. Once you start to feed (sugar water) don't stop until the early nectar flows are clearly present. Dandelion is usually a good barometer. The goal is to imitate a honey flow so you get a brood increase early. If you winter in 2 deeps that should be enough room. When you night time temps are consistently above 45, you have 6 or 7 frames of well filled out brood and a good sized cluster start looking for swarm cups being turned into swarm cells. This is the bees telling you they are ready for a split. You have the option if you have other hives in the area (so you have drones for breeding a virgin queen) to allow the queen-cells to develop. If you go this route you must make certain you split the hives within a couple of days of the cells being occupied as at 8 days the cells will be sealed and it's likely the old queen will swarm and take your split with her once any cells are sealed. When you are ready to split. Pick a nice warm afternoon with a warm night to follow. Mark the spot where the orginal hives is sitting and then take your new hive and or 2 nucs to use to start the hive and set both of the units facing each other 1 foot from the orginal entrance with neither facing in the orginal direction. Make you splits finding the old queen and placing her in one and either putting a caged queen in the new split or allowing the queen cell to hatch. Watch the field bees coming in and orienting to the new location and adjust the nucs/ hives back until the returning field bees are orienting equally to both units. Put the lids on and check back periodically to either release the caged queen or until the newly hatched queen is hatched (16 days from the egg) an mated (around 25 days). Then check for eggs and incoming pollen. You can then move the hives 1 2/2 foot /day until you get them where want them on your site. Nucs made this way should be ready for the basswood flow the middle of July, if you get one this year, and up to full strength for the late summer/fall flow.

    Good Luck, let us know how you make out!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Auger Hole, MN
    Posts
    433

    Default

    in southern MN and wisco if you make a split after about may 15th its possibly too late to make a decent crop off of each half. you're further south so maybe may first.

    splitting in mid june would be a waste of time IMO and ruin your crop for the season.

    if you have bees nearby and enough drones in the air, make a walk away split and let them raise a queen. the original hive should be fine by itself.

    to make a quick split insert a excluder between your brood chamber and come back in 5 days. look for eggs and you know which side is queenright.

    take the queenless side away and swap out a frame for a frame of eggs from the queen right side so they can raise some queens

    you can check on the queen cells 7 days later and remove some of the smaller ones. leave 2 or 3 choice cells for extra insurance

    this works up here in mid may. many times these homegrown queens are better then a purchased queen. but you need plentiful drones in the area for good mating.

    good luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    727

    Default

    One should be wary of using swarm cells for creating queens in splits. In my experience, there seems to be a genetic tendency towards increasing swarming (esp. with Carniolans) that is encouraged by doing so. As one continues to use swarms cells in an apiary, the beek will over just a very few years find himself with hives that swarm more readily than if he/she had deliberately either purchased queens or had the bees make their queens because of a lack of one in a split. Deliberately causing the swarming tendency in the mother hive to make splits usually ends with having swarms. Having an apiary thus afflicted means that all hives must be requeened during the same season with purchased queens to get rid of a tendency which is also carried forth in the drones. The split should have day old eggs and no queen cells when the split is made to avoid problems, esp. for a newbie. OMTCW

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Paoli, IN
    Posts
    128

    Default splitting for increase

    Thanks for all the comments.
    Another point I'd like to mention to keep this discussion going:
    Reversing
    As I mentioned I combined last fall, so I ended up wintering with 3 deeps and a shallow super with honey.
    After inspection the cluster is in the upper two deeps. When the weather improves a bit more I was planning on putting the bottom deep above the other two hoping this would help with building up for the split.

    Thoughts and comments welcome
    Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Wetzel Co. West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default

    IMO I would pick a warm day 50 deg. or better and remove the bottom deep. Here in WV most people only run 1 deep and 1 Illinios for the winter. Only the rich guys run two deeps. It may be colder here, but all of the extra room hasn't helped my bees. Since they are in two deeps, let them stay. If you notice that the bees are only in the top deep, i would reverse the hive bodies. Two deeps for the bee house costs you honey, for they can overwinter on 1 deep and 1 medium.

    P.S. The nonsense that allowing bees to raise their own queens will produce swarming instinct is not true. God gave them the swarming instinct. I have bought queens and received some of the worst I've seen. Yes it definitly saves time to buy queens. I am skeptical about what goes on in these places where they make and sell queens. I personally don't think they are a bit better than the ones the bees make. They have been doing it since God created them.

    Just my opinion, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else! Thanks

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    640

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by justgojumpit View Post
    I would let the bees build up a strong population and then split. Each split should have at least 4-5 frames of bees (2-3 brood, 1 pollen, and 1 honey) If the hive is strong enough, you can either make two large splits, or multiple smaller ones. A two-story deep hive totally full of brood can be split into 4-5 nucs.

    justgojumpit
    Refering to making multiple smaller ones (nucs) reminds me of something i did back in May of 2007.

    I had moved most my hives out to pollenation and kept back 4 of my best hives I had fed and built the hives up to the point that they had 16 to 17 frames of brood in variuos stages. I waited for a warm sunny day during the tail end of the dandilion flow when a majority of the feild force was out. This is how i made my nucs per each hive.

    I had a super of 6 frames ready to recieve 3 frames from the hive that had no brood or very little, I then put the queen into this unit and sat it aside for the time being. I then split the remaining frames up between the 5 nuc boxes. Most nucs had a frame of solid capped brood, a 2 frames of brood in varios stages, out of these 2 frames I made sure one had eggs or very young larva since I was allowing them to raise their own queen. A fourth frame of honey and pollen stored from last year was given to them as well. I moved these nucs to another yard and the single in wich I had put the queen was returned where the mother hive stood to cath the feild force. Thus I had made 5 nucs plus the one left behind with old mama for a total o 6 splits from on hive.

    All the nucs had laying queens with in the first week of june. I switch them out to singles by the first week in july. I gave them an excluder and shallow super in the fourth week of july and darned if they didn't fill them up. later I fed them heavily and over wintered them as singles. The 4 original mothers made it to a double broodnest wich I requeened later in the summer.

    This was the first time I had ever done something like this to my bees though I had worked with another beek and we did pretty well the same thing and it was from that where I had gotten the idea.

    I believe that this method would work well for a beek who was planning a big increase. 20 hives goes to 120 hives.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    727

    Default

    McSpadden.
    When you combined them last fall, did you kill at least one queen of the two? Combined hives, sometimes have both queens live through the winter if you didn't bother to kill one of them. You might check this out before doing your split, otherwise you might have an early swarm. Take the third empty deep and medium off the hive, make your split and move the now filled "empty" to another location, although this last move is not absolutely necessary provided you gave them a good number of capped brood frames with attached nurse bees.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Paoli, IN
    Posts
    128

    Default pinched

    Yep the second queen was found and pinched then I did a combine with newspaper.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lake of the Woods, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    30

    Default

    So by mid may in southern minnesota you would be able to make splits and still have a crop.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Auger Hole, MN
    Posts
    433

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bee luscious View Post
    So by mid may in southern minnesota you would be able to make splits and still have a crop.
    For sure. I don't buy queens any more but when we did we would make our splits between April 20-May15. These are overwintered hives with 5-6 frames of brood in each half minimum that were split. On occasion splits made as late as the end of May have made a super or two but you risk building them up on the basswood flow instead of making honey and the brood chamber plugged out instead of room for brood.

    Now-a-days we raise queens from mid may into late June. Mating nucs made up in single deeps before early June also sometimes make a super or two before September

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    640

    Default

    I had let my nucs riase their own queen and still got honey. Had I of introduced queens at the time I would of had a whole lot more honey.
    In any case, I found that I had to feed heavily in fall to over winter them as singles. If I had introduced queens and given them a second brood nest I think they would of plugged themselves with honey to overwinter on, and that would probably be the better way to go.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

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