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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    primm springs, tenn
    Posts
    29

    Question Walk away splits

    Now that winter is on the way and I am looking toward Spring, I am wanting to try and make my first ever hive split. I have been searching and reading and watching every Bee article I can find to try and see which would be the easiest or best way to split my hive. I am kinda leaning toward the WALK AWAY split. So before Spring arrives I want to hear from some of you more experienced BEEKS to find out thoughts of the majority. The hive I want to split will be going into its third year coming out of winter. I also have two hives coming two years old. My hopes are to get up to 10 hives or more. Any comments will be appreciated.

    Thanks genie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,406

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    Walk away splits are perfect way to expand. Just don't hope for any honey off of either of them. You can pull a few frames and make a nuc and still get some honey.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,497

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    Ill make up splits in the spring. If your working your hives in doubles, sort 4 frames of brood and bees to the bottom, and the rest of the surplus brood to the top box. IF you dont have surplus brood and bees, then dont make a split from the hive. If you do, find the queen, place her in the bottom box and take away the top box as a split. Easy peasy
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    All kinds of ways to make splits and most will work fine. The things I would say is don't make your splits too small, and don't make them too late. If you give them enough brood and honey to start with, they will do much better. I do my smallest splits with 4 frames (2 to 3 brood and 1 honey), but larger ones will build faster. Around here (a bit east of you), our main flow is in spring. That's when your bees will build up the fastest. If you do it then, they have time to build up and store something before the nectar dries up after June. They will also be strong enough to defend themselves when other weak colonies are getting robbed out. As long as there are some drones available your virgin queens can get mated. Around here that is usually by mid to late March.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,074

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    There are pros and cons to this method.

    The main pro is it's easy. Chop the hive into two, and walk away.

    The main con is that it's an inefficient way to produce a new queen. You are alocating 1/2 the origional hives resources to producing an emergency raised queen. This process will take 4, 5, or even 6 weeks. assuming there are sufficient drones around you can expect a 75% chance the queen will mate successfully and start laying. The other 25% don't get a queen, but by the time you know that a lot of resources have been wasted, you can either give it another comb of eggs and try again, or combine it back with the other hive.

    BTW the 75% is a broad average. Like they say in the infomercials, individual results may vary.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    There's a thousand ways to do these splits. Here's my take FWIW:

    A full strength hive will make a better emergency cell than a split/queenless nuc. Sort your frames and put open brood and larvae above a queen excluder (with the queen and a couple of frames of brood below in the bottom box). Chances are real good the open brood will bring up the nurse bees, and even with an excluder, they will build some emergency queen cells. Queens emerge around/about ten to twelve days after you do this. You could break that upper box into two nucs, keep the lower box with the queen and the field bees. If all goes right, you'll get two, likely three hives per each colony counting the old one...and no honey. Feed those nucs!

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    With two and three season hives, swarm cells could be an easy way to get some good queens. Research cut-down splits.
    Don't forget Mr. Bush's website/books. http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,406

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    Another way to do it is figure out if queen is in top or bottom. Split and add queen to the queen-less box. Much better chance of success.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Jefferson County, WA, USA
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    I did a even split last year with a double deep hive that I had. I was a nervous like you. I had never split a hive. I decided to do an even split like michal bush explains on his site. I worked for me I must have been in that 75% category of success. I put two new hives directly by the one I was going to split. Divided resources between new hives equally. I did this in the late afternoon. Took a while for them to calm down and chose a hive to be in. That night I removed old hive. I did this about a month before main flow when I started to see drones flying and weather decent for mating.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    I did two walk-away splits this past spring, part of a plan to get rid of the deep hive bodies that I started with (now using all mediums). First, I reversed the brood boxes at the end of March, then, in early May, I just moved the top deep to a new bottom board and added an empty medium above both. Both of these splits were successful. It also has the secondary benefit of breaking the brood cycle in one of the hives so there is some passive mite control achieved.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,772

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    I like walk-away splits because they're quick and easy to do. I think of them as walk-away and walk-back later splits because if they don't make their own queen, you're just wasting bees so you have to check on them. With my schedule, that means getting them a queen or combining them back. For me, walk-aways work best when the dandelions are blooming and the world is very supportive of bees. Lots of pollen, nectar flowing, etc. Anything less than ideal becomes a managed split (introduction of queen, sort of just making up a nuc) for me.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    primm springs, tenn
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    Thanks eastside buzz, that's what i was afraid of cause i really do want to get honey

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    primm springs, tenn
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    thanks for the tip. i look for the queen on occasion but i have NEVER seen my queen in the past two years. and i don't really recognize the difference between brood frames and stored nectar. can you explain so a slow beek could understand?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    primm springs, tenn
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    TomB, did you leave the splits in the same bee yard or did you move them to another location? i want to leave mind in the same general area if possible. i don't like the idea of moving them to another location, too much trouble to take care of them it seems to me.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    elkland, missouri, usa
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    try google The Nuts and Bolts of Splits & Nucs

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,583

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    Quote Originally Posted by genie View Post
    i don't really recognize the difference between brood frames and stored nectar.
    This image from the Beesource Glossary may help:


    The Glossary is located here:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...eping-Glossary
    Terms that are underlined have clickable photos.

    Members that have suitable photos to contribute to the Glossary can email them to Barry at admin@beesource.com
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Jefferson County, WA, USA
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    Quote Originally Posted by genie View Post
    did you leave the splits in the same bee yard or did you move them to another location? i want to leave mind in the same general area if possible. i don't like the idea of moving them
    You can leave them in the same yard. Check out MB website. Good easy to understand information on it. http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,772

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    I rarely move them far. Sometimes just to the end of the row. If I move them many yards away, I often find myself moving them back. It's harder to move a colony than raise a split in the same yard.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Plainfield, NJ
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    Quote Originally Posted by genie View Post
    Thanks eastside buzz, that's what i was afraid of cause i really do want to get honey
    If you hive is strong enough, have you considered a cut down split?
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm

    Chris in NJ

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,765

    Default Re: Walk away splits

    i tried the 'cut down split' as described on bushfarms.com on one of my hives last year with very good results.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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