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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Shelbyville,Indiana,USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Hive inspection, LARGE population, when to split?

    I did the first full inspection today on one of my hives and it is very populated with bees, brood in most of the combs, just not full coverage yet. I did find the queen, but on a frame she was laying on, there was a couple cells that had 2 eggs in it. Large amount of drones and drong cells capped, broke some open when the upper box came off. And tons of honey and pollen. So should I let the queen lay more or get ready to makeup a nuc from this hive and let them make a queen? They are progressing faster than my other 2 hives.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    944

    Default Re: Hive inspection, LARGE population, when to split?

    On the frame with the queen, did you find two queen cells with eggs in them?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Shelbyville,Indiana,USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Hive inspection, LARGE population, when to split?

    no, worker cells with 2 eggs. jus a couple cells though, all were consistant with one egg. no queen cells anywhere, but TONS of drone capped

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,938

    Default Re: Hive inspection, LARGE population, when to split?

    This is the part of beekeeping that separates the men from the boys (women from girls, I guess). I'm not sure that it is something that is easy to explain. You need to know when your flow starts. You need to know if you have drawn honey supers or just foundation. You need to know if this is a new queen or not. You need to decide if you want to try to maximize honey production.

    I try to get my hives very strong, but not likely to swarm. So I remove capped brood from hives that I think are too strong for the time of year and make nucs or equalize hives. The goal is that when I put honey supers on, I don't look in the brood nest until the supers come off. I guess it has taken me 15-20 years to get to the point of understanding what the hive should look like at a certain time of year. Failure (swarming or low honey production) will be your teacher. The safe thing is to move brood and bees from the really strong hive to your others to equalize unless they are all too strong for the time of year. Then making nucs is best.

    You need to look at your hives and learn what they should look like based on the facts that I mentioned above. All of those questions make a difference on how strong the hive can be and make honey rather than swarm.

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