Spring Expansion Help
So I have been thinking about what I want to do in the spring. Here are my goals for hive count in the fall: three to four warre hives, six langs, and three to four nucs. At this point in the year I have two healthy langs and one warre. The langs are in eight frame equipment and with two deeps and one med. My warre had four boxes and I have two drawn boxes in the garage. I don't really have any extra Lang combs right now, but my tbhs have all sucked in the two years I have had them. They are both dead right now. I fully plan on cutting the comb off of the top bar and strapping them to empty Lang frames. This should give them a head start.
Part of my plan includes buying packages in the spring. I have enough cash saved up for four packages. I will put three packages into langs and the other in the two drawn warre boxes. So that brings me to five langs and two warres. At this point I need one full Lang, all of my nucs, and one or two warres.
So I will need to get the rest out of splits. Once my packages have fully filled out a deep I plan on starting to split and correct me if my timing is off. I plan on taking three brood combs out of one of my langs and placing it above an excluder in my other (both of these are my overwintered hives) Lang in order to populate it.
Question- Do I ensure that all bees are off the combs or just tap them so that flyers come off?
The next day remove brood combs and place in deep with a pollen/honey comb. I would also like to rear queens, but I suspect this split won't be strong enough. So my plan is to remove the queen from a package and place it in the new split.
Next question- How do you get attendants into the queen cage for intro?
Then graft with the queenless hive. Come back later to pinch off any unwanted queen cells.
Now I don't want to ruin the honey production of my overwintered hives. So I don't plan on really splitting them really hard, but I don't know what is a reasonable number. I don't know if I should just leave it at one split from these hives until after the main flow or split twice.
After the queen cells are ready to harvest I plan on splitting my warres until I get my goal. I will also try to make my nucs. I guess I will have to see how my packages and wintered gives look. Maybe I just take onw brood comb from each to make three nucs or some other variation.
That should get me close to my goal if all goes well. What does everybody think of that? Anything that could be done differently that would improve my plan?
Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.