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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Trenton, SC
    Posts
    28

    Default Did I do this split right?

    Strong hive FULL of bees. I'm running 8 frame equipment. Here's what I started with -

    Super 3 (Some Honey)
    Super 2 (More Honey)
    Super 1 (Honey/Brood, the queen got up there while I had the excluder off. Moved her back down last week)
    Deep (Brood/Pollen/Honey)
    Medium (Brood/Pollen/Honey)

    I tried to follow the Michael Bush method by facing the new hives toward the old location. Here's what I have now -

    Super 2
    Super 1
    Empty Medium (New, foundation only to replace the one that I moved)
    Deep (Spotted the queen in the box, she is GIGANTIC!)

    Super 3
    Empty Deep (New, foundation only to replace the one that I moved)
    Medium (Brood)

    Questions -
    - Did I do this right/what are my chances for success? I have a bred queen that I'm going to load in the queenless hive tomorrow.
    - I found swarm cells in the deep that still contains the queen. One or two are capped and the rest are open. What, if anything, should be done about this?
    - Do I need to feed the queenless hive?
    - Do I introduce the new queen the same way as in a package; rubberband the cage to a frame and let the workers eat through the candy?

    I'm a little concerned about the empty spaces, especially in the small queenless hive with the deep box.

    Thanks in advance!!
    Michael Burton

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    Did the hive without the queen have eggs/young larva or are you planning on adding a queen? How many splits are you wanting to make, since you have queen cells in the hive with the queen?
    Donny

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Trenton, SC
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    Quote Originally Posted by 22DPac View Post
    Did the hive without the queen have eggs/young larva or are you planning on adding a queen? How many splits are you wanting to make, since you have queen cells in the hive with the queen?
    I've got a bred queen that I'm loading in tomorrow.

    Just planning on one split as I want some honey later in the season....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,429

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    Well I would of said you did it wrong but if you are going to add queens then what does it matter? To me if you put in a queen then you are just installing a package.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Santa barbara, CA
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    What do you expect to happen when the queen cells hatch in the queen rite hive. Swarm or supercede maybe? Are the queen cells on the face of the frame or the bottom?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Trenton, SC
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    Quote Originally Posted by dynemd View Post
    What do you expect to happen when the queen cells hatch in the queen rite hive. Swarm or supercede maybe? Are the queen cells on the face of the frame or the bottom?
    I don't know, that's why I'm asking. Both. On the bottoms and face. There are fewer bees and more space so I'm wondering if I can scrape those off and the current queen will stay put. She's huge and a prolific layer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Santa barbara, CA
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    I would scrape them all off or place them in a queenless hive. (But not one that you want to put the new queen.) I would feed the queenless hive and allow the bees to draw out some comb for the new queen.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    The concepts of splits are:

    You have to make sure that both of the resulting colonies have a queen or the resources to make one (eggs or larvae that just hatched from the egg, drones flying, pollen and honey, plenty of nurse bees).

    You have to make sure that both of the resulting colonies get an adequate supply of honey and pollen to feed the brood and themselves.

    You have to make sure that you account for drift back to the original site and insure that both resulting colonies have enough population of bees to care for the brood and the hive they have.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm

    So the question is, how evenly did you distribute the resources? Honey? Pollen? Brood? Since you faced them both to the old location the bees will be somewhat evenly distributed so the resources should be as well.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Trenton, SC
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    So the question is, how evenly did you distribute the resources? Honey? Pollen? Brood? Since you faced them both to the old location the bees will be somewhat evenly distributed so the resources should be as well.
    I would say pretty evenly except for the fact that I use a deep and a medium brood box. The new hive got the medium and the old kept the deep.

    There is capped brood, uncapped with larvae, pollen and honey in the middle frames. As you get to the outside, the frames are more pollen and honey. There are bucket loads of pollen in the frames. Above the medium is the empty deep, then a super which is almost full of uncapped honey.

    I checked the hive today. They are starting to draw out comb in the deep, albeit slowly. Not much. The queen has been released, but I also noticed capped queen cells in the bottom medium (on the bottom of frames) that I didn't notice before. There are still tons of bees in the bottom box.

    Thinking of taking my normal approach which works well; leave them alone and let them sort it out.... Thoughts?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,438

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    I would remove the queencells if you put a bought queen in there or she'll be gone when the first virgin hatches.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,023

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    I would remove the queencells if you put a bought queen in there or she'll be gone when the first virgin hatches.
    The same with your gigantic old queen. She will leave with first swarm when queen cells are capped.
    Lawrence Heafner
    15 hives; 15 years; TF for 10; Zone 7B

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Trenton, SC
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    I had those same thoughts. I've heard that the current queen and half the bees leave when the cells are capped. I'm going to check them again tomorrow and make sure the queens are still there before scraping the cells off.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,075

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    If you have the equpt. Take your huge queen and 2 frames of capped brood
    Add nurse bees
    Move this box as far as you can from the others or at the very least turn it 360 from the others

    I feel if you do this you will keep miss huge and the hive with the cells will requeen
    After it's all over if you wish you can squeeze new queen and re- introduce your Huge queen

    ??? Usually when ready to swarm/leave the queen slims down ( not so Huge)
    In this hive with HUGE and Q cell's did you separate her from the brood where as the bees would have made those cells thinking they where Q"less ??

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Trenton, SC
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    Quote Originally Posted by tommyt View Post

    ??? Usually when ready to swarm/leave the queen slims down ( not so Huge)
    In this hive with HUGE and Q cell's did you separate her from the brood where as the bees would have made those cells thinking they where Q"less ??
    No. The hive is FULL of bees, and the cells are swarm/supercedure cells, so I think they're just overpopulated and I really think I have a clogged brood nest. When I first opened the hive for the season, I had the queen excluder off for the winter, and there was capped brood in the super I left on. She seemed ahead of schedule.

    Down in the broodnest, there is some honey, and bucket loads of pollen. When I inspect today, I'm going to take some deep brood frames from the original hive, and swap with empties from the split. Then take some medium brood frames from the split and swap with empties from the original hive. Hoping to free up some space in both brood chambers, and get them to move up some into the empties I put on.

    I like your suggestion, but I'm concerned at this point about having enough in each hive. I have 8 deep brood frames in the broodnest on the original hive, and 8 mediums brood frames on the split.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,429

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    Quote Originally Posted by mgburton View Post
    - I found swarm cells in the deep that still contains the queen. One or two are capped and the rest are open.
    This is the point of swarming so why didn't they? And they still haven't?
    You did a split but it is not clear to me what your intentions were.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    I'm a little unclear what your goals were when you started this split. Swarm control? Increase? What do you want to end up with? You have the opportunity to end up with a lot of queens. You have the risk of them swarming and the emerging queens killing your bought queens. I would never have put myself in this position. I would have either introduced the new queen before they started queen cells, or let them raise their own. Now you have both happening, they have the new queen and they are raising their own. The outcome is hard to predict. They may swarm or they may just kill the new queen you bought. I'm also not sure of your motivation for buying the queen. Did you want specific genetics? Just wanted to save them time being queenless? So you need to decide if you want to make more splits and get more queens, or you want the specific genetics you bought.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Trenton, SC
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I'm a little unclear what your goals were when you started this split. Swarm control? Increase? What do you want to end up with? You have the opportunity to end up with a lot of queens. You have the risk of them swarming and the emerging queens killing your bought queens. I would never have put myself in this position. I would have either introduced the new queen before they started queen cells, or let them raise their own. Now you have both happening, they have the new queen and they are raising their own. The outcome is hard to predict. They may swarm or they may just kill the new queen you bought. I'm also not sure of your motivation for buying the queen. Did you want specific genetics? Just wanted to save them time being queenless? So you need to decide if you want to make more splits and get more queens, or you want the specific genetics you bought.
    I wanted to increase. I picked up my packages last Friday and was talking to the president of our bee club about my plan. He said it sounded reasonable. So I bought an additional queen so I could split my existing hive and be three weeks ahead, as opposed to letting them raise their own. I checked the hive about a week before, and there were absolutely no queen cells.

    When I went to split the hive, I found uncapped queen cells in my deep that remained with the parent hive. I also found the queen. I thought about scraping the cells, but I found some on the face of frames as well (not emergency queen cells) so I thought they might be supercedure cells. I'm also very hesitant to scrape cells as I was advised to do this once and ended up in the queen less situation that you describe on your website. This progressed to laying workers, which I recovered from, but it took quite a while. That was two years ago. Last year I left them completely alone and they did fine. Got honey so I was happy. This year, I wanted to increase my hive numbers. I bought packages and nucs, but figured my hive was bursting with bees and I need to learn how to split so I can increase my hive numbers in the future.

    What would you have done if you were in that situation? Scrape the cells? Load the frames with cells into nucs? I can't change it now, but it would be helpful to know for the future.

    What would you do with my situation now? Make sure queens are there and scrape the current cells? Leave them alone? You mentioned making more splits which I'm open to. I'm not really concerned about specific genetics. The best queens I've had are ones that the hive raised on its own.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    >I wanted to increase. I picked up my packages last Friday and was talking to the president of our bee club about my plan. He said it sounded reasonable. So I bought an additional queen so I could split my existing hive and be three weeks ahead, as opposed to letting them raise their own. I checked the hive about a week before, and there were absolutely no queen cells.

    So the intent of a laying queen was to buy time.

    > When I went to split the hive, I found uncapped queen cells in my deep that remained with the parent hive. I also found the queen. I thought about scraping the cells, but I found some on the face of frames as well (not emergency queen cells) so I thought they might be supercedure cells. I'm also very hesitant to scrape cells as I was advised to do this once and ended up in the queen less situation that you describe on your website.

    I am always hesitant as well. But usually if there is any suspicion that this is a swarm situation, I put each of the frames with queen cells and a frame of honey in their own split. If I had a laying queen on hand, I would have grabbed a frame of brood and a frame of honey and set up another for her. In three weeks or so I would assess the situation and decide what to do from there. Now I would have several queens and several options and hopefully no swarms...

    > This progressed to laying workers, which I recovered from, but it took quite a while. That was two years ago. Last year I left them completely alone and they did fine. Got honey so I was happy. This year, I wanted to increase my hive numbers. I bought packages and nucs, but figured my hive was bursting with bees and I need to learn how to split so I can increase my hive numbers in the future.

    Increase is a valid reason for a split. I was just trying to understand your goals to give better advice on accomplishing them.

    > What would you have done if you were in that situation? Scrape the cells? Load the frames with cells into nucs? I can't change it now, but it would be helpful to know for the future.

    I can always use extra queens, so I would put each frame with cells in it's own nuc and maximize the queen numbers. I can always sell the queens, give them away, or let the nuc grow up...

    > What would you do with my situation now? Make sure queens are there and scrape the current cells? Leave them alone?

    It is a dilemma. If you only want two hives then you have to figure the odds of them swarming compared to the odds of them ending up queenless etc. Probably, if you don't want more hives, you should take the cells out. I hate to advise that, but that seems to be the position you're in. You can let them emerge and accept that they will probably kill your purchased queen. The advantage is you get locally mated queens. The disadvantage is wasting your bought queen. I guess it depends on what you want to end up with.

    >You mentioned making more splits which I'm open to. I'm not really concerned about specific genetics. The best queens I've had are ones that the hive raised on its own.

    More splits is what I would do, but I may have different goals than you... you probably won't get any honey splitting a hive a lot of ways...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    491

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    Do you have more than one hive?

    Are the capped queen cells on the frames that were above the excluder? You said the queen got above the excluder then you moved her back down. Would those bees think they were queenless?

    The only things I know about splits are what I've read, but I am preparing to make some very soon. If I were in your situation I would put the purchased queen in a nuc with one frame of capped brood and nurse bees, one empty frame of drawn comb and a couple frames of pollen and honey, and put a feeder on them. I'd split the rest of them up into nucs with 2 frames of brood, with 2 queen cells each, until I ran out of queen cells to split with.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Trenton, SC
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Did I do this split right?

    Here's what I did -

    Parent hive (queen right + queen cells) - opened the hive back up today. Queen is still present, but smaller than she was on Friday. 90% of queen cells now capped. Removed the queen and a frame each of pollen, honey, and brood (with bees) loaded them into a spare deep I had, shook in some bees, and closed them up. Filled empty spaces in the parent and new hive with foundation frames. I imagine a nuc would be better, correct? I don't have one (or I would have used it) but plan to get one today. Just curious though, what's the downside to using a deep? More space, more difficult to defend I imagine.

    Moving the frames with queen cells wouldn't have been an option as cells were present on 5 of the frames. So a simulated swarm....I feel pretty good about it, with the exception of using the deep box.

    I opened the other hive as well (1st split from parent, purchased queen, two queen cells that I didn't see initially). Couldn't locate the queen. She was small initially, so I may have missed her. I think she's there somewhere, because the hive was very aggressive before I introduced her and they're very laid back now. Assuming I could have found her, I was thinking of loading the frames with cells into a nuc, or loading them into the queen less hive. Little nervous about just doing that (or scraping cells) unless I see the queen I introduced.

    Thoughts?

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