Re: Best way to make splits when your hives are full of bees?
Can't say I use any particular method. Time of year, time constraints and queen availability dictate how I approach splitting.
I often use a method similar to MP's but change things up a bit because I hate coming back to a yard and I work with singles. I will pull the frames I want for the split, shake the bees back into the brood chamber and add extra frames to fill the brood chamber. Slap on a queen excluder and then add an empty box on top. Into the empty box I add the beeless brood frames and other frames to fill the box. Smoke up the bees and a short time later I the split is ready to go. (Truth be told, mostly I'm putting the split into nuc boxes, starting them at the home yard, transferring then to brood chambers and then moving them early mornings in spring. With the distance to the yards we use this is the most efficient management method until I dream up the next one.) For what ever reason, smoking the bees up seems to work best for me from willow to dandelion bloom.