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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    870

    Default splitting....too soon?

    when does everyone think I can make a split in Eastern NC? I have only one hive, checked it today....it is packed with bees and brood and still some honey and pollen. I want to make a split and let the main hive make a new queen. Is it too early in the year to make a successful split? Oh ...I have never tried to split before. Please...any advice is welcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Glennville, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: splitting....too soon?

    In theory, you can begin splitting hives as soon as you have drone brood with purple eyes. This observation suggests that other colonies in your area should be at about the same stage of drone rearing, and that it is likely that there will be mature drones for your new queen to mate with once she emerges.
    However, some suggest waiting until the week before the earliest swarm date for your local area to get the best results.
    Hopefully, a experienced beekeeper from your area will respond.

    Best regards,
    Garrett

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    lenoir N.C.
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: splitting....too soon?

    I'm in western carolina and wondering the same thing. Mine came from a spit in late march and there was drones and 2 queen cell in my box. He cut away the queen cells off the frames he keep with the queen. I no its early here but my bees are realy working hard. Do you have drones or drone cell? If so your close.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,015

    Default Re: splitting....too soon?

    If you are in eastern NC, then you are getting pretty close. Plenty of drone larvae here.... thinking mid march for myself....
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: splitting....too soon?

    I suspect you have a better chance of getting a well mated queen quickly if you wait until you have drones flying, but any time you see drones in the hive you can do splits. Too early, and you risk your new queen taking a long time to get well mated, and possibly being past the correct age to get mated, ending up with a drone layer next spring if she runs out.

    Move the existing queen into the split and notch some cells with eggs in them in the parent hive so the bees can raise a nice queen.

    Peter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: splitting....too soon?

    In addition to what has been mentioned, I always like to look at night temperatures when I'm doing a split - nothing like a nice cool 40F night to chill brood when a split cluster can't cover. Doing an over under split over a double screen board will help as the rising heat will benefit the uppe and you can leave a few more in the bottom to cover brood.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,736

    Default Re: splitting....too soon?

    thats sound advice. chilled brood sucks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,641

    Default Re: splitting....too soon?

    You also have to do some bee math. If you figure a growing colony can double the amount of capped brood in 3 weeks, you might decide to wait a few weeks.
    If you have 4 frames of brood and make a split, each half ends up with 2 frames of brood. 3 weeks later, you have 4 frames of brood in each half, 6 weeks 8 frames.

    If you wait to do the split 3 more weeks until they have 8 frames of brood, you can make a much stronger split of 3 frames of brood and leave 5 with the parent colony, in 3 weeks you have 10 and 6 (instead of 4 and 4).....that's 3 weeks well spent.

    Deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,395

    Default Re: splitting....too soon?

    Quote Originally Posted by hpm08161947 View Post
    If you are in eastern NC, then you are getting pretty close. Plenty of drone larvae here.... thinking mid march for myself....
    Listen to the ole "voice of experience". Also don't make them up too small. 3 combs minimum in a full sized hive body I would think.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: splitting....too soon?

    well I did see a few drones on the frames. they looked like possibly survivors from last fall. There was 4 deep frames and 2 medium frames that were mostly capped brood. two medium frames completely capped honey, a couple of empty frames and the other six frames were just partially filled with some honey and pollen......and every frame was covered with bees. I think it's too early to split because last night was near freezing, but man I hope I can catch them before they swarm.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Robeson Co, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: splitting....too soon?

    I think you are still about three to four weeks away from a split. Last year I did a split in Feb because it was unusually warm. Mid to late March is better. You'll see the hives explode with workers and drones. That's when it's safe to split. Just make sure you have enough pollen honey and nurses to go into it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pikeville North Carolina
    Posts
    397

    Default Re: splitting....too soon?

    Well I am just one county over "Wayne County" and my main concern in Feb. and early March is making sure they have enough feed. As you well know we always have a cold snap just when you think spring is here. I was in my hives a few days ago and saw a few drones, but the girls were light on feed so I mixed up some dough like sugar patties and mixed in some pollen patties and laid it across the top. And the girls went on it like a badger on a beefsteak. I would not even consider a split for at least a few weeks and then maybe not even then if the weather doesn't cooperate.
    An empty wagon rattles the loudest.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,113

    Default Re: splitting....too soon?

    Anything wrong with making a split early and confining them in a nuc box in a room that will be kept above 40 degrees at night until the queen emerges?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: splitting....too soon?

    You could make the split and buy a queen, then you wont have to worry about drones, and you will have some time for build up before the flow.
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