I just upgraded my girls from their 3' box to a 4'. Now I have an open 3' box, and a real urge to attempt to make a split. I think we'll have a nectar flow late enough into the fall/winter down here that they'll survive. Or else I'll just feed them through the winter.
Anyway, I don't have the option to go a few miles for the split but could probably get about 90' away. I've read some people will do a split and just seal the bees up for a few days so they don't all go back to the original hive. This will be a queenless split.
How long should I leave them sealed up before the decide they're on their own and start raising a new queen?
Will a screen bottom board be enough for ventilation or should I do something to give them some upper ventillation as well? It's been in the upper 90's down here in Houston.
Any other advice on how to make this a success? My plan right now is to pull two frames of honey/pollen (I've got two good ones picked out) and three frames of mixed brood. I'll put them on the 3' box and seal them up for three-five days. I suppose I can put on an entrance feeder with water so they don't get dehydrated. I say I have two frames of honey and pollen picked from the donor hive, which I believe to be pretty strong now. Would taking both of these be detrimental to the donor hive or should they bounce back OK. As is they have ~15 bars of brood with honey at the top, along with two bars of mostly pollen, which I was thinking about stealing for the split. Or would stealing just one frame of mostly pollen be enough?
Shoot, maybe I don't know as much as I thought about this. If the split doesn't work out I won't be entirely bummed. But if it also hurts the donor hive I'd be really upset.