Re: 2013 splitting challenge.
This is nothing I want to do but in my mind if this experiment is going to have any useful purpose you need to account for costs. An accurate record should be made for the cost of resources and time spent to accomplish what you achieved. Then there could be a winner based on cost per hive produced instead of max number of hives produced. The four months for expansion is fine but the duration for the experiment should be at least one year so you are counting hives that survive not ones that don't.
Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping