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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Randolph, VT
    Posts
    4

    Default Need Guidance Making Splits

    Hello-

    I would like some guidance about how to make splits, and do so in a way that lessens the chance of transferring the queen from the original hive to the new hive. We made splits last year, and so I know what we need to create a split (sufficient honey, brood, pollen, etc.)---I just can't remember what we did to lessen the chance of tranferring the queen. Does anyone have any suggestions? I want to say that we placed the frames to be used for the split in a super and placed that on top of the original hive with a bee escape below the super with the frames for the split, based on the notoin that the nurse bees wont leave the brood. But that may be WAY off (my recollection on this is too hazy).

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    -Holly

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Galt, CA
    Posts
    881

    Default Re: Need Guidance Making Splits

    Holly,

    Here's a link to Michael Bush's web site:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm

    Easiest way to make sure you don't transfer the queen, find her. Truly is the short answer there.

    Good luck,
    C2
    Last edited by Batman; 05-04-2011 at 01:16 AM. Reason: spelling

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: Need Guidance Making Splits

    With a two box hive, go through the boxes to find frames you want in the split. Shake or brush the bees off of those frames into the bottom box that you are leaving in place with the old queen in it. Then put excluder over that box, and add the new box of shaken nekid frames over the excluder and put on the hive top. Come back just before dusk the next day and set the top box off to a new stand. It will have your queenless split and enough nurse bees to care for the brood. Add a feeder to it and you're off to the races.

    This way the chances are very good the queen is below the excluder and so in the original place when you set the split off. You will want to put another box on top the queen right hive when you set off the split, as they will still have all the forager bees and will need to expand as nectar comes in. You need a feeder on the split as they have no forager bees now since being moved to a new location, and they'll need a simulated nectar flow to raise good queen cells. It will be good to have a frame of mostly pollen in the split next to the frame of eggs so then you'll just need to feed some sugar water in the feeder.

    Have fun!
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Need Guidance Making Splits

    Ray is right and that works well. I have used that method a couple times with good results.

    Another way if you have a few days advance is to simply divide your brood evenly between your two brood boxes (if you use two and they are the same size) and put a queen excluder between them. If you come back four days later only one side of the excluder will have eggs in it and that side is where the queen is. You can safely make your nucs from the other side. If you wait 9 days only one side will have un-capped brood and it is even easier to figure out which side holds the queen.

    The way Ray mentioned will insure you have mostly young nurse bees that will except a new queen the best. I prefer to just find the queen but some times I just wish I would have put an excluder in the last time I was in the yard because it would speed things up, lol. I had to search three times through a colony to find the queen in one colony today and the next colony I found her on the second frame.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Need Guidance Making Splits

    The other solution to finding the queen is don't buy a queen and don't even try to find the queen. She will be in one box or the other. As long as both have open brood and eggs the queenless one will raise a queen.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Radford, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    290

    Default Re: Need Guidance Making Splits

    My problem is trying to decide *when* to make a split. Last year, our May was cold and wet, and by the end of June, we were already in dearth. And no, that was not usual for our area. The result of trying to split then was some mighty hateful bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Sumter SC
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Need Guidance Making Splits

    Any thoughts of taking an empty box, open the hive, and take frames #1,3,5,7,9 out of the top box and then #2,4,6,8,10 out of the bottom and place into the empty box. Combine the frames together from the original 2 parent hive boxes into the parent bottom box (being careful to put the brood and pollen frames together) and place and new brood box on top of both splits? One will have the queen and the other will have new brood to make a queen.

    Thoughts?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: Need Guidance Making Splits

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    With a two box hive, go through the boxes to find frames you want in the split.
    Thanks RayMarler for the post. Never thought of doing that and it does make a lot of since. I'm going to give it a try. New queen arrives on the 12th so on the 10th I'm doing the split like you said, waiting till the next day to move them off the top. Or do you recommend I get the new queen, install the queen excluder the way you say and put the new queen in the top box while it is still on the bottom box?

    I am planning to move the split to a 5 frame nuc however as I take it off the original hive.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: Need Guidance Making Splits

    I would not add the queen into the split until after you have removed the split to it's new location. Adding her when it is still part of the original but above the excluder, might result in a killed new queen in the cage, as the bees are still part of a queen right hive.

    So now I'll throw in another idea, why not take off 2 - 5 frame nucs? One can get the new queen, one can raise their own queen? Then add a super on top the original to expand up into, since they get all the field force and still has the active queen in brood production. And, since you've removed two nucs of brood, there's less brood to feed (especially if you used mostly the younger open larva frames which need the feeding) so you may get some honey production increase with the reduction in brood needing feeding... In essence, you'll have a reduced brood and nurse bees hive with full regiment of field force foragers.

    Keep us informed what you do and what the results are and good luck!

    Oh, this is all depending on how strong of hive you are splitting, if not booming, then just take off the one nuc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: Need Guidance Making Splits

    Ray,

    Do you think it would be a problem if I used a standard 10 frame box for the split's nurse bees to move up into, then pull it and divide into two 5 frame nucs? Can't get 2 five frame nuc boxes on top of a standard 10 frame cause the width is too wide I'm thinking.

    And thanks for the warning regarding the queen added after I remove the split (better safe than sorry). I know my brother in law up in Michigan is able to run a two queen hive by stacking them and I think he was just using a double screen bottom board to separate the two. He says it helps keep the upper, if weaker, hive warmer. He later combines the two for a strong hive given the delay in brood raising in his colder climate. Not sure if he was putting the queens in at the same time or what.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: Need Guidance Making Splits

    Yes, that's what I meant, doing the 2- 5 frame nucs. Here is one way to do it... Into the upper box over the excluder goes frame mostly pollen, frame mostly sealed brood, frame mostly older open larva, frame with plenty of eggs, 2 frames full mostly open nectar, frame with eggs, frame of mostly open larva, frame of sealed brood, frame of pollen. The frames left with the queen and all the shaken bees go into the bottom box under the excluder. The next day in the evening dusk, I'd remove that top box, split it easily right down the middle moving the frames into nucs and setting the nucs on their own stands. I'd then set a super on the original box with the queen. I'd let the two nucs raise their own queens. I have enough hives I have drones around, running foundationless or drone combs in hives, so I'd let them raise their own queens.

    You have a purchased queen coming? so can put a queen in one and let the other raise a queen BUT, the one you put a queen into, it's frames should not have any eggs or any younger open larva in which they could make a queen of their own. If it does they may decide to build their own blood queen and refuse the one you are introducing, so use a frame of foundation would work better instead of the frame of eggs for that nuc. Since they have an introduced queen they'll bee an active hive sooner so the frame of foundation will give them something to do, drawing it out and they won't build too fast and get away from you. You'll have to keep a close eye on it and give them a full box when they get that foundation frame drawn.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

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