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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Carroll County, NH

    Default Nucleus colony split options

    Hi. I have three over-wintered nucleus colonies now thriving in one deep, one medium super. Nectar flow is on... finally.

    I anticipated splitting these to make six hives so added honey laced foundation in another deep on top. They seem to be taking to it and drawing comb.

    Am I being too ambitious to think I can split these hives the second week in June or next week?

    We have a very short season - dandelions just bloomed last week - and I want six hives. I also want honey and hoped to take the queen away and let the girls stash their bounty while making a new queen at the three home hives.

    Any insights appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Cookeville, TN, USA

    Default Re: Nucleus colony split options

    I think that once you have enough comb to overwinter the hives you want then you should go ahead and do it if you want. It's the B side of my philosophy that it is better to go into winter (or spring or summer or fall) with 2 small (but healthy/viable) hives than one big one - which has never failed me yet. The nuc you make this month could make a honey crop next spring.

    Our season is short too - it just ends because of heat and drought (usually in June) instead of cold.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Denver, Colorado

    Default Re: Nucleus colony split options

    If I were you, I would take the queen out with just a couple of frames of capped brood. I would keep track of the days using the queen calendar available on my website. When it came time for queens to be just about to hatch from the old hive, I'd divide them up, each new hive containing one frame with queen cells on it. These become your new hives and then the task is to get them up to winterable condition.

    In fact, I did do this, this year. One hive produced six. Another not so good because all the queen cells were on two frames, but you can always cut them out and spread them around that way.

    When winter comes, if you have hives that aren't doing so hot, moosh the poorly performing queen and merge the hives so more may profit from the comb and honey.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms,
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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