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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Hampden, ME

    Default Should I split my hive?

    I am wondering if it is worth it to try to split my hive. I live in Maine and it's the middle of June. Today I put a super on top of two deeps and the bees seem to be going strong. I was thinking about transferring three frames that have larvae on them into a new hive that has drawn out comb and some honey stores from last year. I was not planning to buy a new queen, just hoping the bees on the transferred frames would make a new queen themselves.
    Does this sound like it might work? Is it too late in the season?
    Thank you for your advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Catlettsburg, KY, USA

    Default Re: Should I split my hive?

    I was really worried about doing my first split, but you'll find it's not as complicated as you think. I did it the same way you are in letting them raise their own queen. Just make sure you get eggs and young larvae in there so they can make a good queen. You should also put a frame of honey and a frame of pollen, at least that's how I did mine and they worked out fine. Also shake some extra bees into the split because the foragers will return to their old hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

    Default Re: Should I split my hive?

    I don't do that anymore. I have tried it - in my experience, at best you will have a decent nuc or a single deep (with between 6-8 frames) that *might* get through winter.

    I am in ND (which is similar to ME seasonally only with less water - I lived in ME for four years). If you split now, your queen won't be laying until mid/late July. Your first brood cycle won't be hatching until mid-August, and you won't have new foragers until early September. That means, once you split, your adult bees will be dying off without replacement until mid-August. Your population then will be very low and that determines how much brood your new hive can raise. In ME, your flows are probably mostly over by then as well (goldenrod is probably left). That means there won't be any drawing wax either.

    I have learned (the hard way) that, in the north, small splits made after early June (I never make splits after the second week) just don't have the time to get it together and build up for winter. Giving it a queen will help - but it doesn't solve the problem of time, it only moves your timetable up maybe two weeks.

    Now, if you split the hive 50/50 - say 5 frames of brood and 5 frames of brood or something like that, it might work. I have never done that b/c by the time my hives are that strong, I don't want to interfere with the honey production.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Olmsted County, Minnesota

    Default Re: Should I split my hive?

    I would split the hive.Instead of 3 frames of larvae,I would add 1 frame of capped brood,and 1frame rhat has fresh eggs. I have found that as long as the split has larva,capped brood,and has to have eggs to make a queen out of the bees will do what is natural and make themselves a queen. If the split has no brood or eggs they will fail. The brood is a fresh supply of royal jelly,fresh hatched bees are covered in the royal gel, eggs are a must,cant make a queen out of larva that is grown for more than a day. This is my method and 7 out of 10 make their own queens. The 3 that don't usually have something else going on. Its what ive learner from other bee keeps and is a tried and true method. Good luck to u. If all else fails and u don't get a queen cell made from the bees,u can always find a keeper that makes queens and get a cell or purchase a queen.


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