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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Hartford, CT
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    Default Expansion dos and donts

    I'm planning to go from 2 to 8 hives next year and wonder if splitting my 2 deeps multiple times is ideal or I should try making nucs?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    Is the idea of a nuc based on the size of the box?

    You can split them into whatever you would like. Some beekeepers recommend putting them in a smaller space to conserve heat.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
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    Feb 2012
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    Hartford, CT
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    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    No so much size but a space they can defend and grow in I guess. I don't wanna split to early and they get wiped out because they're weak or start robbing one another.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    Yeah, that won't be good. Are you planning on doing walkaway splits or buying queens or what?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
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    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    Perhaps a few swarm boxes around town in the spring ? For establishing healthy, strong new colonies, nothing beats swarms. With only 2 hives the inbreeding could pose problems down the line.
    Cheers,
    Drew

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
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    2,960

    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    If you are splitting that hard you won't have the resources to raise your own queens - with perhaps the exception of walk away splits. I think you'll do much better if you use purchased mated queens, or at least queen cells.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Hartford, CT
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    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    Inbreeding that's new to me. Are most bees of the same genetics? Or do the commercial nuc produces figure they're bees are being widely spread out to not matter? I like my type of bee too so I don't wanna introduce southern Italians who are weaker for New England into the genetics.

    I have other carn keepers in the are but their queens seem much smaller then mine.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    Inbreeding won't be a problem. You are not isolated.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Hartford, CT
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    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Inbreeding won't be a problem. You are not isolated.
    I'm not?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    10,024

    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    IF you buy queens the genetics are going to be what you buy if you do walk away splits the genetics will be what is local. Buying queens would be faster than walk away splits. It might be touch and go to reach 8 from two with walk aways.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBuzz View Post
    I'm not?
    If you are in fact from Hartford, CT, no, you're not. Queens fly for miles looking for drones to mate with. Unless you own all the hives in a given area or the only hives in a given area, inbreeding is not likely to be a problem.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
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    605

    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    If you are in fact from Hartford, CT, no, you're not. Queens fly for miles looking for drones to mate with. Unless you own all the hives in a given area or the only hives in a given area, inbreeding is not likely to be a problem.
    I live like 10min for Hartford? Ahh I gotcha so she'll be get another with the neighbors

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    Exactly. There are beekeepers in your area, and there are likely bees living feral as well.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    buzz, just a beginner here, but i made some splits this year. i found the best time was at the beginning of the main flow, which turned out to be from early april to mid may. this was also prime swarm season here, and i was able to capture several swarms by just putting out boxes with a swarm lure inside. the flow was so good, that i didn't have to use any syrup.

    one split was a 'cut down' split as describe on mike bush's website. i took the queen, a frame of honey, and two frames of brood. i let the remaining bees make their own queen and it worked great for both the parent colony and the split.

    the other split was a hive that was about to swarm. i made three out of it. one with the original queen, and two with swarm cells. i ended up having to buy a queen, because one of the splits with the swarm cells was unsuccessful getting a mated queen.

    the first swarm i caught in a trap was easter sunday. they grew fast, and i was able to harvest some honey from them. the later swarms built up ok, and hopefully will give me honey next season.

    good luck.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Hartford, CT
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    605

    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    U sure got a lotta posts for a beginner

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,772

    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    let's don't let the cat out the bag.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Huntington ,VT, USA
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    258

    Default Re: Expansion dos and donts

    Buzz, I am not entirely clear on your initial question...are you choosing between an even split, some build up time and then another even split vs breaking down the hives into 8 nucs all at once?

    I will be interested to see what the experienced have to say, but I would lean to nucs all at once in late spring after the hives are back up and cranking. It seem you could either buy in queens or pull the queens and a frame or two from both hives, let those hives build cells and then build your nucs using those cells. If your exisitng hives are reasonably strong (come spring) it would seem plenty of resources to make it work.

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