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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Amador County, California, USA
    Posts
    138

    Default How many times do you think I can split my hives safely?

    I would like to know how many times I could split my hives safely, so that they have the time, and the capacity to build up successful colonies.

    Some commercial beekeepers I know, and work with split (all) their hives three times every year. I thought this was too much, but it works well with them. Would this require a lot (I mean a lot) of feeding?

    Also, is it bad that I feed them honey from other hives? My brother works on proccessing (extracting, bottling, distributing) honey for a very large commercial beekeeper, and they have a lot of honey which they have no use for (if it gets dirty, you know). I've talked with one beekeeper and he said I should not feed my bees this honey because it will pass on diseases to them.

    Thank you,
    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Crown Point, NY, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: How many times do you think I can split my hives safely?

    Well I'd say 3 is a good number. Then again I wouldn't split my best hives. Why not let them make honey??? I would split my dinks into 4, 4 frame nucs maybe even 5 nucs (june) per colony. I would milk off more nucs from these in july and august (swarm control as your on honey flow here). This will give you 8-15 nucs that can be over wintered. This serves several purposes. You will have tested queens that are over-winter in your area. You may use these nucs to increase, requeen, run 2 queen colonies, sell, ect. You also cull the worst colonies from your bee yards not break up your best ones. I can link Palmer and Webster vids if this is a practice u wanna persue.

    As for honey; last I checked thats what bees eat. The real question is what is this commercial beekeepers practices? Does he use antibiotics to treat fouls (mask/ cover up imho)? If yes to this then no I wouldn't use his honey to feed. If you have your own honey and your confident on no diseases then use your own honey, Isn't that the honey your own bees were gonna eat anyway? With that said there are always risks in life.

    Clay

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,540

    Default Re: How many times do you think I can split my hives safely?

    How many times you can safely split depends on how strong the hives is.
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: How many times do you think I can split my hives safely?

    I'm buying my first hive with a nuc, how many times should I split them to keep them from swarming?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,362

    Default Re: How many times do you think I can split my hives safely?

    ImaNewBeeToThis, if you are referring to splitting right after you buy the nuc, I'd recommend that would not be a good plan for a new beekeeper. Unless you specifically bought an over-wintered nuc, that nuc was likely made as a "split" not long before you got it.
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 01-15-2013 at 05:22 PM.
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: How many times do you think I can split my hives safely?

    When do you know it's time to split?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,903

    Default Re: How many times do you think I can split my hives safely?

    ImaNewBeeToThis.. Don't split a new nuc at all. Give it room to expand and there is little reason for it to swarm. It should have a new queen, again diminishing the urge to swarm. Build that nuc to produce honey for you.

    cchoganjr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,664

    Default Re: How many times do you think I can split my hives safely?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTheBeekeeper View Post
    I would like to know how many times I could split my hives safely, so that they have the time, and the capacity to build up successful colonies.

    Some commercial beekeepers I know, and work with split (all) their hives three times every year. I thought this was too much, but it works well with them. Would this require a lot (I mean a lot) of feeding?

    Also, is it bad that I feed them honey from other hives? My brother works on proccessing (extracting, bottling, distributing) honey for a very large commercial beekeeper, and they have a lot of honey which they have no use for (if it gets dirty, you know). I've talked with one beekeeper and he said I should not feed my bees this honey because it will pass on diseases to them.

    Thank you,
    Mike
    How many frames of brood covered w/ bees and corresponding number of frames of honey to go w/ them can you get out of your hive?
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    IG, Slovenia
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: How many times do you think I can split my hives safely?

    I think it is hard to split successful colonies, like Clayton says (hard meaning unwise). But with great nectar comes great splitting potential.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: How many times do you think I can split my hives safely?

    If I'm not suppose to split my first nuc, what are you supposed to do when both of your bodies are full of brood?

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