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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Easley, SC, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Spliting a pacage of bees

    I new to beekeeping if you get a 3lb pacage of bees can you split it into two nucs are would that make them to weak?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    601

    Default Re: Spliting a pacage of bees

    queen. no brood yet to form a new queen. non established. not enough bees. better off building the package into a strong colony and MAYBE being able to split by the end of the spring...early summer. but i recommend overwintering that package before any thing else. any chance on getting nucs in your area instead of a package ?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,715

    Default Re: Spliting a pacage of bees

    Because the bees die everyday, there isn't enough young worker bees to replace the old and misfortune ones.
    It takes one month to make new worker bees to replace the old one.
    If you are lucky with the right conditions and lots of forages they will build up very fast. Once they are
    established then you can make a split later on. Splitting them up will make them really weak in case weather
    conditions do not favor them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,379

    Default Re: Spliting a pacage of bees

    Bad Idea. Put the package into the Nuc's is just fine. But, splitting them is a bad idea. If you want to go that route get a 4lb package and split that and maybe you have a chance. But, I would just do the 3# and let them go. Dont fuss with what has been working for years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: Spliting a pacage of bees

    If you had 2 frames of drawn comb with larvae and workers then you could. Typically you can split a strong nuc into 2 nucs easy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Spliting a pacage of bees

    I have known a lot of people over the years who buy 1 package and 2 queens and do exactly as you suggest. If you actually weigh a good 3 lb pack without the syrup and subtract for the weight of the wood and screen they usually run closer to 4.5-5 lbs anyway. The excess is often put in to make up for losses in shipping. As long as the packs are not being shipped by the USPS there should be rather few losses.

    Personally I would be less inclined to do it in a northern climate, but you should be fine in SC. And it would be better if you started with drawn comb like suggested above. IMO the chances of them surviving is no less than if you didn't split them in half. You will likely be feeding syrup to both halves regardless.

    I would like to figure out who measured the average life of a summer worker bee and how they did it? We throw this 6 week figure around a lot without any citation. A new package isn't doing much in foraging because we feed for the first few weeks and the bulk of a package is all very young nurse bees.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

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