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  1. #1
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    Default Can I take a hive split from large cell foundation to small cell?

    Is it advised to take a new hive split from large cell to small cell cold turkey? I am a new beek amping up for my first hives in March-April where a local beek has agreed to split a hive for me. I have read numerous things on the use of small cell and introducing hives to small cell and would like to go small cell. I haven't seen anything on doing this with a split and was just wondering what effect it would have on the bees and is it smart for me a 0-1 year old beek to attempt it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Can I take a hive split from large cell foundation to small cell?

    Sorry wrong thread. I can't figure out how to delete. I will try to correct.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Can I take a hive split from large cell foundation to small cell?

    Welcome to Beesource!

    If your bees are the result of a split, then they come with comb already built by the parent hive. Presumably that existing comb is "large cell".

    Perhaps you may wish to clarify what steps you had in mind from that point to achieve your desired "small cell", in order to get responses more to the point.

    You may also find this Michael Bush page useful:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can I take a hive split from large cell foundation to small cell?

    Good point. That's why I'm new. I have no preconceived notions about what I should do. I guess my question would be, is this something that I should do right away, my assumption is yes, or allow them to get acclimated to their new home then change? If I should do this now what would be the best way to do it? If it is no different than it would be with an existing hive then I can go back over everything I have read. I was just wondering if it's a different process with a new split.

  5. #5
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Can I take a hive split from large cell foundation to small cell?

    If I were trying to start a hive of small cell bees from a hive of large cell bees, I would do a shaken swarm.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can I take a hive split from large cell foundation to small cell?

    Read the page I linked. Here is a portion:
    If you want to get back to natural or small cell size, it is NEVER to your advantage to use the already too large foundation they are already using. That is simply going nowhere at all. With a package, if you do so, you will have missed the opportunity to get a full step of regression. Dee Lusby's method is to do shakedowns (shake all the bees off of all the combs) onto 4.9mm foundation and then another shakedown onto 4.9mm to finish the main regression and then cull out the large comb until they have all 4.9mm in the brood nest. Shakedowns are the fastest method but also a stressful method and when you buy a package you already HAVE a shakedown. I would take advantage of it. If you intend to get back to natural size then STOP using large cell foundation all together. The main challenge is getting all the large cell comb OUT of the hive, so don't make that harder by putting more IN.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm
    If your split is say 5 frames of large cell, then you can fill the box the rest of the way with SC foundation. Rotate out the LC comb after enough SC comb gets built.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can I take a hive split from large cell foundation to small cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    If I were trying to start a hive of small cell bees from a hive of large cell bees, I would do a shaken swarm.
    That's the answer I was after. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Can I take a hive split from large cell foundation to small cell?

    I have 10 frame supers. So your telling me to put 5 frames of LC on the inside or outside of my SC? Then once the SC are full I take the LC frames out cut out the brood, throw it away and replace them with SC foundation? How long should I expect this to take?

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Can I take a hive split from large cell foundation to small cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edaw View Post
    Then once the SC are full I take the LC frames out cut out the brood, throw it away and replace them with SC foundation?
    Michel's suggestion of starting with a package or shook bees is the simplest solution.

    But you said you were going to use a split. No need to do a cutout of brood. You can move the LC frames to be above an excluder, (with the queen below) and wait for the brood to hatch, then remove the LC comb.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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