Results 1 to 20 of 31

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,739

    Default Tactics for making splits

    I see interest in how to go about making splits so I figured I would start a new thread to discuss just that.
    Salty asked me how I make my splits.

    So there are many different ways to make NUC splits. I will discuss 2 that I have successfully done and will also add in other thoughts based on my experience. It would be great to have others who successfully make splits chime in as well.

    Basic understanding of making splits is everything is moved out of splitting yard once splitting is done. I move everything atleast 3 miles away. Well except for 2 yards and I am not going to explain why.

    Method 1: Ruthlessly open up a hive and pull out all brood resting it on the hive next to me on end. I mean ALL the brood. I try to make sure all split boxes have 1 frame capped and 1 frame of open brood on it. So bottom box will have 2 frames brood, 2 frames food (1 pollen, 1 honey). The second box will be stacked on top and the same will happen with the second box. The third box will be placed on top of second box with same brood, food configuration. I forgot to mention all brood goes dead center of box! I will continue until all brood is back in the stack of boxes. Once this is done I will allow the bees to equalize inside the boxes. Meaning your nurse bees and forages will distribute themselves sort of evenly. That evening or next evening we place all the stacked boxes on a pallet so everything is 1 high. Then immediately move them to outyard/s. Next morning we cell all new splits.

    ***Note*** I never once mentioned about looking or finding the queen. I don't care. Everything gets a cell. Its similar to what Jim described when mentioning checking NUCs at 3 weeks and fixing those that are questionable. Again I dont care.
    You can tell where your parent queens are once you check back. It will be the box that has 9 1/2 frames of brood in it.

    Method 2: Shake all bees off brood and place all brood above a queen excluder for 24 to 48 hours. This will allow nurse bees to come up on brood and keep parent colony alive. I generally leave a frame of eggs or so in parent colony but not terribly concerned, if she is worth her salt she will mae up for it. Pull two frames bees and brood and place in seperate box (NUC box or full size box matters none) on a pallet in the evening. Once all pallets are filled move them to outyard/s, that night. Next morning add queen cells.

    Thoughts: bees drift like alot when you tear them apart. Folks doing this for a living know that drifting means lots of foragers in a few colonies which also means those takes are at about a 30 - 50% range due to all the p^ssed off bees. Acceptance levels take a hit. So thought of taking maybe 12 pallets of doubles to outyard and making all splits as similar as above and setting them down with the bees that are on the frames and thats it. Nurse bees will be on the brood and I am thinking this will alleviate some of the mass drifting of foragers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,922

    Default Re: Tactics for making splits

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post

    ***Note*** I never once mentioned about looking or finding the queen. I don't care. Everything gets a cell. Its similar to what Jim described when mentioning checking NUCs at 3 weeks and fixing those that are questionable. Again I dont care.
    You can tell where your parent queens are once you check back. It will be the box that has 9 1/2 frames of brood in it.

    Method 2: Shake all bees off brood and place all brood above a queen excluder for 24 to 48 hours. This will allow nurse bees to come up on brood and keep parent colony alive. I generally leave a frame of eggs or so in parent colony but not terribly concerned, if she is worth her salt she will mae up for it. Pull two frames bees and brood and place in seperate box (NUC box or full size box matters none) on a pallet in the evening. Once all pallets are filled move them to outyard/s, that night. Next morning add queen cells.

    Thoughts: bees drift like alot when you tear them apart. Folks doing this for a living know that drifting means lots of foragers in a few colonies which also means those takes are at about a 30 - 50% range due to all the p^ssed off bees. Acceptance levels take a hit. So thought of taking maybe 12 pallets of doubles to outyard and making all splits as similar as above and setting them down with the bees that are on the frames and thats it. Nurse bees will be on the brood and I am thinking this will alleviate some of the mass drifting of foragers.
    I use option 2. don't you find using option 1, that the hives that end up with the queen in it, also end up with all the foragers in it as they can find the queen in the yard?
    also I assume you do this while in S.C.? So people in the North because you are starting later may want to put more brood in the split/nuc early in the season.

    also because I need to track my queens I only use capped brood as I want to know if the queen cell fails, I can always put in a new cell but don't want them raising their own queen as I only get this aggresive on hive I don't like the genetics on.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,739

    Default Re: Tactics for making splits

    Its an excellent point that I am doing this in the south. I still make splits in Schoharie county after I get them home but the only expectations I have from them are solid heavy hives ready for wintering here until mid December before they become snow birds and head down south. Sometimes I get honey from them sometimes NOT! However the ones I make in the south go thru a complete honey flow down there before landing their little feet here to work.

    I often wondered if the foragers find and stick with the queen. It appears to me NOT the case. More times than not I have seen them stick to the bottom box on the pallet. I don't mind splitting either way. option 1 is down and dirty. Option 2 is more work intensive as you have to shake bees and use queen excluders. That also means you need to own more equipment.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,867

    Default Re: Tactics for making splits

    BMAC, this is just what I need, more choices on how to make splits really, I am happy you started this thread, hopefully many will chime in like you say and give us their methods, as I'm sure there are many good ones out there, just need to find one that works best for you. So far I like your "ruthless method". John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,739

    Default Re: Tactics for making splits

    Exactly. Figure out which path best suits your operation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Wayensboro, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: Tactics for making splits

    BMAC, making sure you have mostly nurse bees when making up splits to insure a higher success rate makes very good sense but I would like to know why that is not important when putting queen cells into mating nucs, I see a lot of people split a deep 4 ways to use as a mating nuc and they are often taking the hives laying queen after she is mated and laying well and replacing her with a queen cell.Does the small size of these hives prevent the foragers from tearing down the new cell when introduced?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads