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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,138

    Default Re: Tactics for making splits

    Michael Bush explains splits quite well. Above is great stuff. If I may try to shrink down to one or two new hives where take two frames of brood from (?) hives and spread them out really does not apply.
    #1 First year, even in Texas, to make splits is aggressive. They need to get the wheels under themselves before they start to roll. But it can be done.
    #2 Better to make one split that survives than two that fail.
    #3 You need bees that stay in the new home. Read above twice, three times. Come back in several days and read it again.
    #4 The queen part is the easiest. It is the stay home part that kills you.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Holland, Texas
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Tactics for making splits

    Thank you very much.
    "Live it like you stole it"

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,719

    Default Re: Tactics for making splits

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    #1 First year, even in Texas, to make splits is aggressive. They need to get the wheels under themselves before they start to roll. But it can be done.
    Especially in Tx. If memory serves well Holland is a fairly dry desert like part of Tx. I never kept or worked bees in that area but I did keep them more towards Houston. Even in that green part of the state gets really dry.

    If you plan to have your first hive this year and make splits, you better keep a close eye on their feed needs and feed like crazy so they get strong enough to make the winter.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,138

    Default Re: Tactics for making splits

    BMAC, much better said. Thanks

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,140

    Default Re: Tactics for making splits

    The concepts of splits are:

    You have to make sure that both of the resulting colonies have a queen or the resources to make one (eggs or larvae that just hatched from the egg, drones flying, pollen and honey, plenty of nurse bees).

    You have to make sure that both of the resulting colonies get an adequate supply of honey and pollen to feed the brood and themselves.

    You have to make sure that you account for drift back to the original site and insure that both resulting colonies have enough population of bees to care for the brood and the hive they have.

    You need to respect the natural structure of the brood nest. In other words, brood combs belong together. Drone brood goes on the outside edge of the brood and pollen and honey go outside that.

    The old adage is that you can try to raise more bees or more honey. If you want both, then you can try to maximize honey in the old location and bees in the new split. Otherwise most splits are either a small nuc made up from just enough to get it started, or an even split.

    There are many variations on splits, but they all need to take those things into account. Drift is easier that you might think. Just setting both new halves of the splits beside the old location causes the returning bees to choose a new colony (turn right or turn left). Shaking in a few extra bees can also keep more bees there as bees shaken from brood combs tend to be young bees who reorient quickly to the new location.

    I think the most common mistake is trying to make too small of a split or too many.

    I make up mating nucs that are two frames and some build up pretty well, but they struggle at first and it takes some time. A stronger split does not struggle so much. Five deep frames of brood and honey is about the minimum that really takes off well. Ten frames is probably even better. More is probably not necessary.

    Part of the problem with all of this is that beekeeping is more art than science. While the above concepts are more science, deciding exactly when or how big needs to take into account forage, time of year, how fast the hive you're splitting is building up etc. In the end you need to develop a feel for how all of these things play into your decisions. That, unfortunately takes learning from your mistakes.

    I heard a story about a young man who was taking over as a bank president. The person who held the job before had been there for forty years and had made the company a lot of money. The young man asked him for advice before he left. The old man said that to make the bank money you make good decisions. The young man asked how do you make good decisions. The old man said, you make bad decisions and learn from them. In the end, this is the really the ONLY way to learn. Make mistakes and learn from them. I'm not saying you can't learn from other people's mistakes or from books, but in the end you have to make at least some of your own mistakes.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,698

    Default Re: Tactics for making splits

    The weather determines the best way to split. One year, on June 1, after finding the queen, you can move 7-8 frames of brood away and place in a new location in the same yard. The next year , you will be lucky to steal 2 frames of hatching brood(one of eggs) and bees from 5 hives to start a new hive. Be flexible, like a teenager on prom night in the back of a beetle.

    Crazy Roland

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Tactics for making splits

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    <snip>...Be flexible, like a teenager on prom night in the back of a beetle. Crazy Roland
    experience?

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    606

    Default Re: Tactics for making splits

    Quote Originally Posted by Pamela White View Post
    Hi there!!! Would someone give us newbies step by step instructions for splits. This will be my first Spring and first honey flow, etc. I am very limited on money, so want to hopefully raise my own queens. Please Start with #1 and so on and I can print it out and take it home. Thanks so much in advance.

    Simple and sweet way, I should add. I am all about getting it done practically.

    Hi Pam. i would recommend reading the ntire thread. there are many ways and approaches to doing splits. im new myself (fairly new) but alot of research goes aloooooong way.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,719

    Default Re: Tactics for making splits

    Don't discount experience as a teacher either. You can only read so long then its time to get out there and gitter done.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,374

    Default Re: Tactics for making splits

    In the world of beekeeping there are few absolutes. Bees will react differently to different conditions. What might work perfectly one year may be a failure the next. What experience gives you, though, is a perspective on what gives you the greatest chance of success or failure. Follow the basic guidelines that have been laid out here by numerous posters regarding timing, bee population, brood and feed requirements and minimizing drift and robbing danger and it will give you the greatest chance of success.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,062

    Thumbs Up Re: Tactics for making splits

    Quote Originally Posted by Pamela White View Post
    -snip- Would someone give us newbies step by step instructions for splits. -snip-
    You might find this site useful in your study for making splits.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

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