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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Middle Place, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    The way that I've made splits for years has been the traditional way, I guess, of first looking for the queen then making up the nuc splits. I'm trying to make up about 80 queenless nukes for queen cell introduction. With me and my helper we made up 37 queenless nucs just by opening a colony and looking for the queen first. This takes alot of time, and some times the queen is not easy to find, especially if the colony is getting ready to swarm. Does anybody have a good methode of making up splits on a large scale, and finding the queen? Anything to cut down the time. Thanks.
    JG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,289

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    JG, pull nuc above an excluder
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,073

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    Locate the frames you want to use in the nucs. Shake all bees off and place frames with foundation in place of those frames. Place the frames you want to use in the nucs in another box. Place an excluder between the bottom brood box and the new box with the frames you are going to use for the nucs.

    In 2-3 hours the nurse bees will move up through the excluder to frames with the brood while the queen is forced to stay below.

    The come through and remove frames with bees and make up the nucs.

    Remove the excluder.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Middle Place, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    Hey thank you very much for sharring this,this will save me alot of time. I have over 100 colonies to go through, so I will try this method. Thanks again Jrbbess.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,594

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    And remember...you don't have to take everything for each nuc from only one hive. You can take brood from one or two hives, shake the bees off, and locate nuc on an excluder on another hive, taking only bees from that hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,619

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    I use the same method as described above

    When I get behind or I am dealing with alot of bees I use a different method when making up splits ,
    We will arrange the brood accordingly between the two boxes, and remove all the top boxes of the doubles to another yard
    wait a few days, and queen anything that has emergency cells
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,349

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    I have used bothmethods described by Ian. The first we use a lot, slower but you can take just the right amount, without weakening the hive too much. The second is good in that once the singles are on the ground you are more or less done. you will need to check for eggs/cells but unlike the nuc you will not need to switch the frames from into a single.

    Fr hives that are about to swarm, do notbother with finding the queen. Just explode it into ,4 or 5 frame units. They will no longer have the urge to swarm. You can find the old queen 3 days later.

    Jean-Marc

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Middle Place, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    Hey thanks Ian, I will be using this method. It sounds pretty good. Some of my hives are gearing up for swarming, and I just don't have the time to go through all my hives frame by frame looking for the queen. Im raising several hundred queens so I need to make up queenless nucs to put in the queen cells, ASAP. The bees don't wait for us to get around, everything happens at once. Thanks again, and may you have a great year.

    Jim.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,625

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    If you have at least 5 days ahead you can slip your excluder between the boxes and then look for where the eggs are at when you split them. Sometimes it's just as important to know where she isn't as it is to know where she is.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,619

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    Jim , I have tried that, but the biggest disadvantage is that it ties you to a very strict schedule, throw weather into the mix, it doesn't work
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,625

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    Ian: I have done it a few times and it's kind of nice information to have as you are splitting a hive but we have never worked it into our operation for a number of reasons the biggest one being that planning 5 days ahead during nucing season is next to an impossibility for me with everything else that is going on at the same time. Frankly what we do is to spend the time finding the queens. I know that's not what the op was asking for but 40 doubles a day is pretty doable once you get the hang of it. The easiest thing is simply to not look for anything and either look for cells in a couple days as Ian suggests or simply put a cell in everything. I have tried shaking them down below an excluder but it creates too much turmoil in the yard to suit me.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,594

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I have tried shaking them down below an excluder but it creates too much turmoil in the yard to suit me.
    Bee-Go works

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maricopa, Ariz, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    I'm with Jim........don't like the "turmoil". Most often we just make the splits and 'cell' everything. If we are using mated queens.....we make the splits, wait 72 hours and go back and look for cells or no eggs and give them a queen. I know a very large commercial that 'cells' everything with a "cell protector" now. A smaller guy I know has a unique variation......say hive #1 he splits into 5 supers stacked on top of each other. He then writes a #1 on each of the five supers....comes back at night, places each of the five supers on a pallet and moves them. 72 hours later he starts looking for eggs......if there are no eggs then he places a cell in it. If by chance the second hive of the #1 has the queen he doesn't need to check any more of the #1 but simply place a cell in them. Don't know if that made sense or not but it does save him time.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,619

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I know that's not what the op was asking for but 40 doubles a day is pretty doable once you get the hang of it.
    ya, thats what I do to when making up my nucs

    Lots of ideas out there, not all will work for everyone preferences,
    but with everyone chiming in on the issue, sure helps make sense of it all
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Lakeland, FL, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    I know this is going away from the topic a little, but how many of yall use cells to queen your singles? I have tossed around the idea of using more cells this year than mated and was wondering how well your percent take is in the singles?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Middle Place, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    I do use cells when I re-queen as well as mated queens. The desadvantages of using the cells is that the weather may prevent her from recieving good matings, (rainy, cold, ect.), or during her mating flight, she can be snatched up my an insect eating birds. When I raise queen and put in my queen cells, on a good, perfect day, I may get 80% succes.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maricopa, Ariz, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    I like 80%.....anything over that we do a "Dances with Wolves" thing around the smoker, anything under I kick the dirt and cuss.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    I quit looking for queens when doing splits.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#splitbybox
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Lakeland, FL, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    Thanks for the info. I normally use cells for making nucs and I scatter them out every which way. Take is about the same. Guess it dont really matter how you do it.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    659

    Default Re: Making Splits and looking for the Queen; Is there a better way?

    I look for the queen as I'm making up the nuc and I'm comfortable enough that if I don't see her on a frame inside of 30 seconds that she is not on it. quite often I'll find her as I'm making up the nuc and I just set her aside. The time of year also helps, it's easier to find a queen in the spring then in mid summer during a flow. My worst is that I grabed 2% of the queens but most often I grab none. It takes about 5-7 minutes to make a nuc like that from the opening the hive to putting the lid on your hive and nuc.

    If you have a partner out there with you you can double check the the frames. When my dad and I made nucs I would open the hive and as I came across the frames for the nuc I would give it a quick check 15-20 seconds then pass it to my dad who would check it until I passed him the next frame. When the nuc was made he'd close everything up while I moved onto the next hive.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

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