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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    62

    Default Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    Some factors to consider: I'm in New Zealand, it is summer now and flow has started. I put a nuc 10 ft infront of my main hive and it wasn't robbed. Looking to split into a 5 frame nuc with either 3 or 4 full frames and fill rest with undrawn(what do you suggest?)

    Below you can see where I'm looking to put it, should it be okay?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Amador County, CA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    That should work. Another thought... you could do a split, put the new hive where your existing main hive is and move the main donor hive, insurance that the new split will be strong w/ foragers. Take a look at Michael Palmer's site on splits. I always give the split a really small entrance to begin with, helps with defense. Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    cool ridge, wv, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    Yes, remember that any field/forage bees will drift/return to main hive, make sure you have enough nurse bees, sealed brood and you should be OK. Have done this many times.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,859

    Default Re: Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    It doesn't matter all that much if a split is 2 feet from the donor or 100 - after a few hours it's just another hive either way. Watch out for robbing when your flow ends.
    Since '09-40H-T-Z6b

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    3,766

    Default Re: Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    I split this TBH this spring both sides having capped queen cells:


    Came back three weeks later to two laying queens and cut them over into Langstroths. You can see the donor hive's cinder blocks and part of its red body. Both sides were packed with bees and no robbing evident. This was right before our main flow.

    Qkrwogud, what are those flowers in your yard? Lawn daisies?
    Last edited by jwcarlson; 12-08-2015 at 08:56 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    1,939

    Default Re: Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    I use Snelgrove boards and my splits are on top of the original hive until they are queen right and on their own. The Snelgrove boards (sometimes called double screen boards) allow for splits with the least disruption in the apiary. If you want more than one additional colony from the split, you can do a secondary split from the above-Snelgrove board portion to a queen castle (which can also be set nearby) if you have enough frames with QCs and have the other resources (nurse bees and honey/pollen frames) to stock the queen castle.

    For instance, I made one split that yielded a very strong additional colony (three deeps going into this winter, weighing @ 170 lbs), and two other nucs that I gave away in July. The person who got them failed to keep on top of them (didn't move them from the nuc box promptly) and they got so strong they swarmed. But I believe they would have been good-sized first-year colonies going into winter if they had been managed properly. And of course, I still have my original colony and queen who is doing just fine. ( I plan to split more from her next spring.) So from one split, I would have gotten three more good colonies had I kept them all. Plus the Snelgrove board is very useful at deterring swarming, which is what I was primarily interested in doing.

    (And if increase is not what you want, you can also manage the Snelgrove board to avoid swarming, without allowing the bees to make more queens. It's just a different process.)

    Compared to the splits I attempted in the previous year, Snelgrove boards yielded more successful splits without all the disturbance to the bees and an upset apiary.

    Enj,

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    50,040

    Default Re: Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    >Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    If you shake enough bees into the new hive, or you put both the new and old hive next to the old location you can even out the population.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm#howfar
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 41y 200h 38yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Greenville,SC
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    JWC, Is that spearmint growing next to the hive?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    3,766

    Default Re: Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulT View Post
    JWC, Is that spearmint growing next to the hive?
    Nope, not sure what it's called, but it sticks to itself and your shoelaces and your pants... whatever it touches. At least if the plant I'm looking at is the same as you are. The stuff I hacked down and piled in front of the nuc is a mix of stuff including "itch weed".

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by jwcarlson View Post
    Qkrwogud, what are those flowers in your yard? Lawn daisies?
    Yes they are, not that the bees are interested in them at all though.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    3,766

    Default Re: Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Qkrwogud View Post
    Yes they are, not that the bees are interested in them at all though.
    I have been thinking about trying to get some growing in my yard. I overseeded a bunch of dutch clover last year and some other variety would be nice. I can't stand the golf course lawn look. Don't really care if the bees work them, I'm sure something would get use out of them.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Rome, Ga USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    When you make the split move a good bit of unsealed brood to the new location. (Leave the queen at the original site) Shake most of the bees on the new split at the new location. Older bees will tend to go back to the original hive but the young workers will stay with the young brood. Leave hatching brood in the old location as this will populate the original hive since you shook most of the bees in the new box. Leave enough bees in the original hive to keep the temperature regulated. In fact if you split this hive as mentioned you can even do this with out a new queen and 99% of the time the bees will raise a new queen with out adding a queen cell.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Georgiabeeman View Post
    When you make the split move a good bit of unsealed brood to the new location. (Leave the queen at the original site) Shake most of the bees on the new split at the new location. Older bees will tend to go back to the original hive but the young workers will stay with the young brood. Leave hatching brood in the old location as this will populate the original hive since you shook most of the bees in the new box. Leave enough bees in the original hive to keep the temperature regulated. In fact if you split this hive as mentioned you can even do this with out a new queen and 99% of the time the bees will raise a new queen with out adding a queen cell.
    I've done this and what you said has happened. I saw a few queen cells after 4 days but they were in poor shape and I had decided to just get a mated queen. Brought it to install only to find 6 beautiful queen cells after 8 days.. wasn't sure what the best move was, but I ended up destroying the cells and adding the mated queen.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,929

    Default Re: Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    A split last summer resulted in the donor robbing the new nuc (which did not yet have a queen). The nuc offered zero resistance to their sisters.

    This summer we split again. This time the nuc got the queen ... the same one that had been in the donor hive last summer. Careful weighing showed that the nuc gained weight over the next couple of weeks while the queenless donor hive lost weight. We suspect the nuc robbed the donor hive! In this case, foragers which were transplanted from the donor hive to the nuc would have flown back to the donor hive, and found it queenless. But they knew the nuc had their queen, so perhaps they just helped themselves to some of the donor's abundant stores. Both hives are doing fine now.

    The situation sorted itself out soon enough in both cases, with the help of robber screens and some camoflage.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    I hear if you want to split near donor, do it during the day so less adult bees and also lightly shake frame before transfer. That way the ones that can fly will do so and the young ones will grip on. Means the split ends with very little adults that can fly back to donor to report that there is something to rob.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Rome, Ga USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Can a split be very near its donor hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Qkrwogud View Post
    I hear if you want to split near donor, do it during the day so less adult bees and also lightly shake frame before transfer. That way the ones that can fly will do so and the young ones will grip on. Means the split ends with very little adults that can fly back to donor to report that there is something to rob.
    Yes, this can happen. If you leave some hatching brood and enough nurse bees the hives will balance out.

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