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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Akron, Ohio
    Posts
    31

    Default Making first split

    This is my first time making a split. I ordered a Sunkist queen and she is due to be here tomorrow or the next day. I thought my weaker hive was queenless...that is why I ordered a new queen to begin with. I have two existing colonies in good health. One is stronger than the other. Oh, and this is my first spring...I just started beekeeping last year. My strongest hive (8 frame deep with three mediums) (tons of bees) has a daughter queen from a late fall swarm (from a Russian) and the other hive (8 frame deep and one medium) has a Russian queen that came with my packages last year.

    My question is how do I make the split while maximizing my situation? I would like to have a crop from stronger hive this year. I know the Sunkist are known to be profoundly heavy layers and I don't want to short the new queen on space to grow. I want to be good to the knew queen - I am really excited to have her! Should I pull the Russian out of the existing hive and put her in a nuc, giving the Sunkist that hive??? I have plenty of extra equipment. I would absolutely love suggestions. Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    305

    Default Re: Making first split (with Russell Sunkist queen)

    Split two (or three) brood boxes down the middle with follower boards, so that bees cannot communicate with each other. Add the new queen to the half that has no queen. Release her in a couple of days, they'll be looking for a queen anyways. Now you have a two queen hive, which behaves as a normal hive with a queen on steroids. Queen excluder and newspaper on top of split brood boxes and then stack your supers without divider. Both queens will be working full time and the mixed pheromone will prevent workers from fighting each other or either of the queens after they eat through the paper.

    To make acceptance even better, before splitting take one of the deeps a few feet away, so that foragers and defenders naturally fly back, but nurse bees (without alegiance) stay back. That way the acceptance in the split hive will be much higher with younger bees looking for any queen.

    Or if you are not adventurous this way, give either queen a nuc and steal sealed brood from there to augment strong hive. Nucs are good at drawing new foundation, and testing new queens, which are added benefits.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Akron, Ohio
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Making first split (with Russell Sunkist queen)

    I am not sure I understand about the mixed pheromone, but I have heard of the follower boards. Also, do you always feed splits or nucs?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,318

    Default Re: Making first split (with Russell Sunkist queen)

    During a flow, such as we're having now, I set up splits with nurse bees, ripe queen cell or emerged virgin, sealed brood, and pollen/honey frames. Since a flow is on they generally develop a field force before they run out of resources. If there is no flow I feed until they are well established and develop suitable stores, if even from feeding.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Making first split (with Russell Sunkist queen)

    1. Place a new hive right next to the old one.
    2. Move two frames of brood to the new hive. Also move one frame of stores with a frame of drawn empty comb (if you have it) between the brood frames and the stores frame.
    3. Put in the new queen (in cage).
    4. In the parent hive place more drawn comb (or empty frames) in the brood nest alternated with a least two frames of brood (to replace those that we're moved).
    5. Then move the parent hive more than a few feet away from original location.


    Now the new hive is closest to the original place of the parent hive and all foragers will return to it with little brood to care for. So will concentrate on collecting nectar.


    Matthew Davey
    Last edited by MattDavey; 04-18-2012 at 07:27 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Akron, Ohio
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Making first split (with Russell Sunkist queen)

    Thanks! So make the split right before I put the new queen in, or should I make the split tonight and put her in tomorrow?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,956

    Default Re: Making first split (with Russell Sunkist queen)

    Put her in Tomorrow... let them figure out that they are queenless... better acceptance.
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Akron, Ohio
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Making first split (with Russell Sunkist queen)

    My queen is lost in the mail! The USPS isn't what it used to be....she even had a tracking number. So I checked my hive because I saw a ton of new bees making their orientation flights a day ago. It had a ba-zillion swarm cells, so I split. I didn't see the queen, but I did find all ages of larva and eggs. I think the queen was in the original hive. All of the swarm cells that I could find were placed in the new hive. I took a whole medium from the original hive. There were bees covering every frame. I also just checked the swarm dates and apparently Ohio is starting to swarm. Did I do the right thing? Will I be in trouble if the queen was in the split? How soon should I check on them? Should I forget having a honey crop from this hive or will the original hive still do well if they are queen-right?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    305

    Default Re: Making first split (with Russell Sunkist queen)

    Take a deep breath, light up your smoker and smoke the hive with swarm cells. Now noone is going to sting you, so open the hive and start looking thoroughly at each frame and try to find a queen. If you don't find her, then she is in the original hive, otherwise, put her back into the orphaned hive if she has not been split out too long. If your bees are preparing to swarm, the queen will be thin from dieting, so pay attention.

    You are going to have a lot of royal fighting with gazilion queen cell in the split. You said you have equipment, so you might consider making a multichamber hive, so that you can get two or more queens out of it. Maybe even put them in separate nuc with three frames each. Look on mike bush's site for advice on that. He has a whole power point presentation on swarm management. After they get mated and start laying, you can evaluate which one lays the best and eliminate the rest of the queens.

    Hopefully you've added more boxes and frames to your original hive. If they are in the mood, they'll continue preparing to swarm. This late in the game brood nest disruption is probably your best bet to stop this.

    You will make honey if you can catch or prevent the swams. Just before the flow do the newspaper combine of both hives, removing one of the queens to a separate nuc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Akron, Ohio
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Making first split (with Russell Sunkist queen)

    I put another empty medium with plastic foundation in the hive a couple weeks ago and they still made swarm cells. Silly bees, or maybe smart bees with a silly keeper. This same hive swarmed early last fall. If swarming is a problem with the genetics, will they always be this eager to swarm, or will that get "watered-down" as they continue the swarming behavior?
    There were lot of bees on the undrawn frames, but I couldn't see any comb started in the new box. The medium right below was full of brood and honey. How do I encourage them to draw more comb without feeding syrup? Would putting a frame that is drawn and partially full of honey in that medium help?

    I will check the split tomorrow for the queen. I made the split yesterday. That won't be disturbing them too much? And how long is too long for her to be out of the main hive if I need to put her back in?

    My new queen came in the mail today. I feel funny about pinching a queen that survived the winter. Her brood pattern is ok, but they have always struggled a bit though. She is really gentle...maybe I could put her in a nuc? If I do put her in a nuc...I should definitely feed, right?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    305

    Default Re: Making first split (with Russell Sunkist queen)

    http://www.beesource.com/point-of-vi...m-preparation/. Read this, it will help you learn the dynamics.

    You have a super full on honey. The queen won't cross that. The bees are trying to swarm this time of the year, so they are filling down, not up, therefore you foundation is being ignored. It is too late to checkerboard for you so you need empty frames IN THE brood box between the brood. If your old hive is heavily populated maybe put the new foundation under honey super and over brood box. Take 4 brood frames from the bottom brood box and put them into the undrawn box, and 4 undrawn frames and put them in the brood box. Bees get more USABLE space this way, and it greatly interrupts swarming instinct for a while.

    You should be fine with the queen. Put her back on a less populated frame, make sure noone is balling her and then put her back in the hive. If you new queen arrived, then put the old on in the nuc. You never know what you get untill tested and once the old one is dead, you cannot revive her.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Akron, Ohio
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Making first split (with Russell Sunkist queen)

    The weather is really horrible here today! It looks like I will have to wait.

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