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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Washington Island, WI, USA
    Posts
    36

    Default Making my first Splits

    All nine hives made it through winter. Ye Ha! Temperatures have been in the 40's and yet the bees are flying around several hundred yards away from the hive. Today the face of the hive was full of bees sunning themselves.
    I have 18 frames and a frame feeder in two supers on each of these hives. I Ordered 20 queens to make splits at the end of April. If I understand this correctly, I will take 2 frames of brood, 1 frame of honey/pollen and 1/2 the bees and place them into the new hive. I'll let the new hive go queenless, close it up to prevent drift for 2 days and then introduce the new queen. On day three I will open the entrance reducer and monitor the drift. Does this sound like it will work?
    Sweet Mountain Farm - www.washingtonislandhoney.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: Making my first Splits

    This has been covered 1,652,897 times but here goes again! Don't let them sit queenless for more than 24 hours. If they start queen cells they will not accept a new introduced queen, they will kill her. We introduce a cell or queen within a couple hours of making the splits and have excellent results. The bees will know within minutes that they're queenless and if the right aged larva are available they'll begin building cells very quickly, sometimes overnight. You don't need to worry about drift; just shake the young nurse bees off brood frames and they'll stay put. Only the foragers will return to the original hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Default Re: Making my first Splits

    That's a pretty small split. I prefer a strong split that has the critical mass that it needs to just take off rather than just enough bees to struggle by for two months or more before it hits critical mass. A hive that has "critical mass" has enough bees to meet it's needs and raise literally thousands of bees a day. A struggling little two frame nuc will be lucky to raise 100 bees or so in the next month. The point is if you keep that strong hive raising a thousand bees a day you'll get more bees than with all those splits. The limitation of how many bees they can raise is not the queen, it's the resources of workers, nectar and pollen and enough surplus of those to spend to raise that much brood. Better to keep splitting them where you have six or seven deep frames of brood (or 9 or 10 medium frames of brood) and three or four of honey and a flow going on. You can do that even without a queen (let them raise their own) and not set them back as much as a weak small split.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Washington Island, WI, USA
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Making my first Splits

    Thank you for your great advice! I sure appreciate it.
    Sweet Mountain Farm - www.washingtonislandhoney.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,254

    Default Re: Making my first Splits

    This has been covered 1,652,897 times but here goes again!
    Because splits are such an important method of increasing ones apiary it might be helpful if a parent heading could be made on this topic. Then anytime someone posts in the general forum it could be plucked and placed under "Making Splits". Just a suggestion.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,105

    Default Re: Making my first Splits

    Sweet Mountain
    I think you have gotten good Advise
    I also know this is a work in Progress Forum.
    A place to learn and,one to Ask for Help
    I'm glad to see those questions I have asked by someone else,
    saves me the typing
    I know there are stickies at the tops of pages but I also know when
    I take a First step after I have read it in the many books
    I feel much better about doing it when I read 20 comments
    from the guys/Gals that did it hands on.
    I learn from their mistakes and there accomplishments
    I applaud all of you for helping all of us
    Good luck on your splits and I Hope you have to much Honey
    at the end of the season


    Tommyt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Washington Island, WI, USA
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Making my first Splits

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Because splits are such an important method of increasing ones apiary it might be helpful if a parent heading could be made on this topic. Then anytime someone posts in the general forum it could be plucked and placed under "Making Splits". Just a suggestion.
    I agree. I first searched the word 'splits' and read through some of them. Didn't have enough patience to find what I needed so I entered a new thread. A parent heading on splits would be great.
    Sweet Mountain Farm - www.washingtonislandhoney.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Default Re: Making my first Splits

    Michael, thanks for your informative reply. Despite the fact that I've been keeping bees for 10 years, I'll be doing my first splits next Saturday (I have folks coming to help me lift those heavy honey boxes off the top!). I never want to split and wind up with weak hives, but this year my hives are the most populous I've ever seen them and have actually become burdensome to work! I have three hives that have four boxes each. All four boxes are crammed with brood, honey and pollen. I'm planning on splitting all three right down the middle. . .two boxes per hive. . .that'll give them each about 12 medium frames of brood with honey and pollen and the remaining 4 frames of honey and pollen only. I'm hoping to find the queen (lots of luck) so that I can move her box to the new site to simulate swarming.

    Does this sound like a plan, or do you have better info for me?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Default Re: Making my first Splits

    An even split during a good buildup is a good plan with a strong hive as you will soon have two strong hives.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Mason, West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Making my first Splits

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Because splits are such an important method of increasing ones apiary it might be helpful if a parent heading could be made on this topic. Then anytime someone posts in the general forum it could be plucked and placed under "Making Splits". Just a suggestion.
    I hope so too! Splits are intimidating for a newbie and I'm really having a hard time finding the relevant info I need through the search function. I understand most of the How, but I want to know more about the When and Why.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Default Re: Making my first Splits

    http://bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm

    Here's some information on the concepts and timing etc. There are many ways to do a split with many outcomes.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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