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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    778

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    I have a tbh that's pretty much full, but there's only about one lone frame of honey. However, most of the other brood frames have honey at the top. All the drones have been kicked out, so they won't be swarming or raising a new queen anytime soon, but I realize things can change on a dime with bees. I also installed a new queen several months back. She has been laying just fine.

    What I'm wanting to do, since this is the only hive I have that's active, is buy a local queen for twenty bucks, install her in an adjacent hive along with brood/honey/nurse bees (sans old queen) from the original hive.

    Keep in mind I live in Florida, so I have more time for a hive to establish itself before our "winter" kicks in.

    Should I attempt this, or just leave my lone hive be?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    Quote Originally Posted by PatBeek View Post
    What I'm wanting to do, since this is the only hive I have that's active, is buy a local queen for twenty bucks, install her in an adjacent hive along with brood/honey/nurse bees (sans old queen) from the original hive.

    Keep in mind I live in Florida, so I have more time for a hive to establish itself before our "winter" kicks in.

    Should I attempt this, or just leave my lone hive be?
    Go for it, I did this very thing (well almost seeing as it was a chop and crop) and still had the chance 9 weeks later to split that colony, *that second split* didn't go quite to plan but they have a laying queen now too.

    The original is down to one, just one, single bar without a full comb on it, that bar has a 2" x3" start going as at last inspection. So come spring, yep I'm in Australia, I'm going to have to be on my toes for sure! I'm hoping I can split those two hives to yield three additional ones, I'm totally not expecting any honey at all though.....
    Last edited by praxis178; 07-02-2013 at 01:26 AM. Reason: clarification

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    778

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    .

    What's the latest in the year people begin splits in Florida and are successful?

    .
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    778

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    Almost that time of year again..

    Are you all ready to do splits?

    By the way, this video is very valuable:


    "The Sustainable Apiary by Mike Palmer" on YouTube


    www.youtube.com/watch?v=nznzpiWEI8A
    www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    San Francisco CA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    All, new guy here. Thanks for all this great information. I have a top bar hive - very healthy and looks like ready to swarm.

    I was going to split by moving about 1/3 of the comb/workers/honey/brood

    But unlike all of the advice, I was going to buy a new queen, and hope the transplanted bees would accept her, rather than hoping for a re-queen event.

    Do you think that is a viable solution? thanks for any input and ideas

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,441

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    Yes, leave it queenless for a day and then introduce the queen in a cage or a push in cage.

    When you say it looks like it is going to swarm, do you mean there are swarm cells in the hive?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    San Francisco CA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    Quote Originally Posted by shannonswyatt View Post
    Yes, leave it queenless for a day and then introduce the queen in a cage or a push in cage.

    When you say it looks like it is going to swarm, do you mean there are swarm cells in the hive?
    I see some suspect cells, but to be truthful, I have jumped to a conclusion, because the hive is so active, full with comb/brood on almost all of the 33 bars. I figure the next step is surely going to be a swarm -- do you think I am being to rash?

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,441

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    I'm not sure what a suspect cell is. The hive may have queen cups, that isn't unusual. But if there are queen cells it should be pretty obvious, they look kind of like peanuts. I would split it though if it is at 33 bars since that means you probably don't have much room in there.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    >I see some suspect cells

    It either is or is not a queen cell with a larvae in it (or capped). If it is not, then it's not suspect. If it is, it is still not suspect, it is a queen cell.

    > but to be truthful, I have jumped to a conclusion, because the hive is so active, full with comb/brood on almost all of the 33 bars. I figure the next step is surely going to be a swarm -- do you think I am being to rash?

    If you let them run out of room, you are probably correct, they will swarm. Don't let them run out of room. Just because a hive is strong does not make it a forgone conclusion that it will swarm and it will be more productive if it doesn't.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    San Francisco CA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Splitting a Top-bar hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >I see some suspect cells

    It either is or is not a queen cell with a larvae in it (or capped). If it is not, then it's not suspect. If it is, it is still not suspect, it is a queen cell.

    > but to be truthful, I have jumped to a conclusion, because the hive is so active, full with comb/brood on almost all of the 33 bars. I figure the next step is surely going to be a swarm -- do you think I am being to rash?

    If you let them run out of room, you are probably correct, they will swarm. Don't let them run out of room. Just because a hive is strong does not make it a forgone conclusion that it will swarm and it will be more productive if it doesn't.
    Michael, All -- thanks for this advice

    ....busy now getting all in order for the split. Will keep the list updated.

    New queen arrives on Wednesday, and I want to get the hive placed, the workers/comb/brood/honey moved over in anticipation of that. As usual, the details of a setup have surprised me, so need to get busy with all that.

    steve

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