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Thread: When to split?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    351

    Default When to split?

    Hi - I have two hives in NorCal, one is a package that was installed about three weeks ago, the other is a swarm I captured about a month ago. The package is coming along fairly well, having built out most of a single deep. The swarm hive is thriving, with two deeps and one super that's about one third full of uncapped honey. I'm thinking about splitting one or the other to expand my apiary, when would I do this? I've heard conflicting advice, with most tending to recommend waiting until late summer.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bon Aqua, Tn USA
    Posts
    330

    Default Re: When to split?

    It seems California is swarm country, why not put an ad in your local Craigslist for swarm removal and pick the easy ones. Someone on here the other day said when he did that, his phone rung off the wall. He had to cancel the ad, and its free to list on Craigslist.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL. USA
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: When to split?

    I would go ahead and do a split with the booming hive. The package just needs a little more time it sounds like. Take out a frame of brood or even two frames and a frame or honey put them in a 5 frame nuc box and shacks some bees in over the frames. Make sure to leave the queen in the original box. This will force them to make their queen cells and then you will have a new queen that costs you nothing. If they have more than one Q cell then wait for one to emerge and then take the frame with the other cells and put them in another nuc box with the one frame of honey and some bees then you will have two splits. Wait for each box to build and put them in a perminent box and keep doing this as you would like, just making sure that your original stays strong.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    351

    Default Re: When to split?

    Thanks beecrazy - will this significantly affect the honey production of the hive? It's so active now that I can't imagine that one frame would make much difference.

    Nantom, I did put a Craiglist ad out a few days ago, not a single call yet!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL. USA
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: When to split?

    no it shouldn't affect them at all. Put you in new frames from where you take them out and they will just make new comb and the Q will start laying in them. Should be no interruption in brood or bees. Just giving them new foundation to draw. If they are that strong it will not take long. Probly could do another split in two weeks. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    351

    Default Re: When to split?

    OK I just did it - only catch was I couldn't spot any brood frames with just eggs in them so I used two brood frames that had a mixture of capped and uncapped brood and open cells. Also one frame of honey and one with pollen, plus one with drawn comb, all in one 5 frame nuc.

    How long will it take for them to start to draw queen cells? I presume if at that time I don't see any then I didn't get eggs in a frame and should add another brood frame.

    Finally, should I feed the nuc?

    Thanks!

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