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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Thumbs Up 2013 splitting challenge.

    Just for fun I thought I would see if anybody is interested in having a friendly competition this summer. This is more of a competition with yourself than with anybody else, but I want to read about your results in this thread.

    The rules:
    1.You must start with a single package of bees or a single Nuc.
    2.You have 4 months from the day you install that package or Nuc to turn it into as many hives as you can in that 4 month time period.
    3.You may not make contributions of brood or bees from any other hives except the original started hive.
    4. You may use empty drawn comb if you have it available.
    5. You may feed as you see fit.
    6. You may use queens from an outside source to head up splits from the original hive.



    Let the Preparations begin.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    2,864

    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    This should be interesting to see the results, I was planning to do this myself with all my colonies this year. I need to grow my colony numbers over the next couple years and will make splitting a priority over honey production. Only thing is I won't be starting with a package, but I will be using overwintered nucs to split from along with all my full size hives. My goal is to produce 4 frame nucs for overwintering, so I will try to make as many as I can and get them built up enough for next winter. I do plan to buy queens for my splits as my queen rearing skills are not what they need to be yet. So my situation will be a little different than what you suggest but I will keep everyone informed as to how it goes. John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    862

    Cool Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    What the hay! Nothing like throwing away one good production hive.
    Rule 7. You must make a 20 lb avg. in honey production to make them count.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Southbury, CT
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    84

    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    If you can split it multiple times and produce a surplus go for it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    3,979

    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    Too many variables here! Most of you have time for five more brood cycles than I do. Additionally, I doubt that the number will be very high anywhere with this 20 pound surplus thing thrown in. I could get a great number but they would be getting the supplimental feeding as originally postulated to reacch wintering weight. Do these maximum number of splits have to survive the coming winter--or what good is this little challenge? So what do we use? A package, a nuc, or a production hive? Do we have to raise queens or can we buy them? Need directives and agreement here or we are playing liars poker.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,358

    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by keeper View Post
    Just for fun I thought I would see if anybody is interested in having a friendly competition this summer. This is more of a competition with yourself than with anybody else, but I want to read about your results in this thread.

    The rules:
    1.You must start with a single bee
    2.You have 4 hours to realize you just went down a rabbit trail with a big dead end.
    3.You may not use your brain in keeping your bee cause you probably don't have one if you decide to take this challenge.
    4. You may use someone other beekeepers brain if you have one available.
    5. You may feed your brain with beebread as you see fit.
    6. You may use post your results from the local nut house if you have access to a computer while in chains.....



    Let the Preparations begin.



    Never know what you'll find online.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southbury, CT
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Do these maximum number of splits have to survive the coming winter--or what good is this little challenge? So what do we use? A package, a nuc, or a production hive? Do we have to raise queens or can we buy them? Need directives and agreement here or we are playing liars poker.
    This is to challenge yourself so we don't need descriptives. If you want to split it into 50 nucs and do so successfully great... we want to read about it. But if somebody else manages to turn it into 12 double deep hives I think most readers would give that person the win in their own minds.

    I will be raising my own queens, but if you want to buy queens than do so, just admit that you purchased x number of queens when you post about it. For my location I have to split into a configuration that has a chance of wintering over because if I don't it is just a waste of time and a package of bees. For me that means the smallest set up my splits will end up being is 9-10 frames each. Anything less than that I will not count because it isn't going to survive anyway.

    For timing you have 4 months or 122 days: I will start around May 1st and end Aug 30th. I am considering doing both a nuc and a package.

    This is just for fun, have fun with it. If you don't want to participate and don't want to read about it later.... Than don't... it is no skin off of anybodies back

  8. #8
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    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    I think this is a worthwhile experiment, and as long as you are honest about your results and give details on how you arrived at your results, it should be interesting and educational for others who want to increase their operation through splitting. Obviously, one of the goals is to get these nucs or hives built up enough to have a chance at winter survival. For me, getting honey from these splits is not going to happen, because once they get to the point of being able to store a surplus, that means they are strong enough to be able to be split again, at least that is my hope. And as I said earlier, I will be buying my queens, obviously letting them raise their own is going to set things way back and you would be lucky to get two sets of splits in a season. John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,502

    Default 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.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #10
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    Jan 2009
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    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    I think worrying about costs is making this project more involved than what was originally intended. I do think that this experiment can and should serve a useful purpose, that being getting as many viable splits out of one hive as you can. I can understand counting only hives that survive the winter if that becomes one of the rules, but I don't see that it has to be done in order to make this whole thing legitimate. I would stick with just counting splits and leave it up to the beekeeper to only winter ones that they feel can do it based on cluster size and food reserves. Even the best of beekeepers lose hives over winter. John

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    862

    Cool Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    This isn't going to work for me. My packages are all in the hive before April. I'm sell nucs from my packages by the time you want to get started. By the time you make your first split I'll have 2 production hives. Really can't see splitting a hive to DEATH. My goal this year was to run 1000 hives and produces 100 ton of honey. This challenge is more up to the weather then me. I can try and make 1000 production hives, but that doesn't mean they are going to produce 200 lbs. avg.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    2,987

    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Honey Householder View Post
    What the hay! Nothing like throwing away one good production hive.
    Rule 7. You must make a 20 lb avg. in honey production to make them count.
    This needs to be a 20lb min per hive or you eliminate your entire entry. 20lb average includes every colony you have in the contest since it includes all of their totals. Also is it 20 lbs of harvested honey or that they simply made 3 deep frames of honey over the course of the summer? I would not be harvesting from such efforts. Not sure production of honey fits in with the goals of this contest either. You could turn it into the next contest which is how many of these splits survive to the end of December. That still boosts the quality issue a bit.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    Ron, with that kind of confidence and starting that early you should be able to take one two pound package and turn it into at least eight production hives with a 75 lb. average, maybe you can even do better than that, c'mon and challenge yourself. John

  14. #14
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    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    I do think that this experiment can and should serve a useful purpose, that being getting as many viable splits out of one hive as you can. I can understand counting only hives that survive the winter if that becomes one of the rules, but I don't see that it has to be done in order to make this whole thing legitimate.
    So take a strong hive around 50,000 bees and divide it up 250 times, add a mated queen to each one and you have 200 splits. These will basically be mini nucs that may or may not survive the winter and will have to be fed till the cows come home.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #15
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    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    Ace, what I was referring to was getting as many total viable splits at the end of the year, not splitting one hive hundreds of times from the very beginning, good luck with that. This was meant to be a serious discussion about splitting, what you are offering is not serious. John

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southbury, CT
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    84

    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    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.
    My only cost will be sugar if I choose to feed, and time. I have enough equipment, I will rear the queens I need and the Package is going to be a freebie, the nuc I already have.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
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    1,242

    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    I might have to get in on this sounds like fun and by the looks of things i think i'm going to have 12 hives coming out of winter there all strong right now.
    The only thing i'll try is to make my own queens that should be a rule splits are easy but so are queens.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  18. #18
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    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,142

    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    So how do you judge it? How many colonies are still alive from those next spring?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Southbury, CT
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    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    So how do you judge it? How many colonies are still alive from those next spring?
    All sorts of colonies don't survive winter... Even if you are a pro like Micheal Palmer or Kirk Webster, some years you will have heavy losses.. My personal goal will be to build up more than 8 double deep colonies from a single package. That is my current record.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: 2013 splitting challenge.

    Have a great time but unless bees have to make it thru the winter to count, your contest is of little interest to me.

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