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Thread: cut down splits

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,118

    Default Re: cut down splits

    I take enough resources to make a good nuc. But since i'm all mediums a good nuc doesn't cost the hive all that much. Today I was down to 3 frame boxes so it really didn't take much. A frame of brood, one of food, one of foundation, and a good shake of bees. You would be amazed how fast they fill that up. All of my 4-5 frame boxes are in use, but in a few days they will all be ready to graduate up a size. It all works out.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,663

    Default Re: cut down splits

    sounds like a good system there david. do you replace those frames with foundationless?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #23
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: cut down splits

    I'm not adding a lot of additional foundationless frames yet this year because i'm mostly using pf125s to establish small cell hives. You probably know, but foundationles does not = small cell.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: cut down splits

    good plan. thanks for the replies.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: cut down splits

    tbb39,

    I don't use queen excluders, try to let queens have unlimited broodnests. On cut downs, the queenless part with all the sealed brood and foragers don't need an excluder because there won't be any new brood for close to a month. The queenright part of the split won't have a large field force for at least a month or so because all they have right now is open brood and nurse bees. I have tried excluders in the past and have a hard time getting the bees to like them, maybe I don't know how to use them properly like some people would say who love them. John

  6. #26
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: cut down splits

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    tbb39,

    On cut downs, the queenless part with all the sealed brood and foragers don't need an excluder because there won't be any new brood for close to a month....
    On the other hand, since this usually has to do with a future honey harvest it gives you an opportunity to go in after a few days and arrange all of the frames with queen cells below an excluder (and maybe snag a couple for increase nucs) so that by the time harvest rolls around your supers will be brood free.

    I'm no pro at using excluders, but if you put a lot of the brood above the excluder at this time I bet the bees will quickly get used to going through it. As the brood emerges it will (hopefully) be back filled with honey.

    If one could master these techniques you could get good honey crops and sustainable increase with high quality queens produced during the prime season out of the same hives - plus swarm prevention, and brood breaks for varroa control - with just a few well timed manipulations.
    Last edited by David LaFerney; 04-20-2012 at 07:20 AM.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    2,902

    Default Re: cut down splits

    I would like to update you on how my cut down splits have done so far this year. I did cut down splits on April 18 on three of my stronger hives just to see how it works. Our main flow is just beginning and I already have nearly two full medium supers of honey per hive, not capped yet though. I am elated to say the least on how this has worked out so far. I even had two of the three hives swarm on me, but luckily was able to retrieve them and reunite them back with with the hive they came from the next day. First, I had to find the virgin queens that were with the swarms and put them into mating nucs, and then go through the hives that swarmed and destroy any remaining queen cells. So far they have not swarmed out again and are working like crazy. Only thing I would do differently next year is check the frame of eggs you give them in about a week and destroy all but one cell so they don't swarm. John

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