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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cary, NC USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Should i leave them alone?

    My brother and I split a one year old hive that made it through the winter great. Last weekend when we opened the hive we noticed queen cups being started everywhere, so we knew it would have to be split to keep the neighbors from freaking out over swarms. The one year hive, I will refer to it as hive 1, was only composed of one 10 frame deep, but was absolutely booming. The bees were starting to backfill the brood frames and the queen was just laying wherever she could. When we did the split we left hive 1 in its original location, and pulled 4 frames from it to start the new hive, hive 2. We did not see any eggs in any of the Q cups and since we couldn't find the queen we did our best to make sure each hive had at least one frame with some eggs on it (this wasn't difficult since the queen was laying in any available space). We added another deep to hive 1, since it still had 6 loaded frames and was left in the original position so we knew their population would still be fairly large with foragers returning.
    Today, about a week after the split, I opened both hives. I'm pretty certain that the queen is still in hive 1 (they already built out one of the new frames in the bottom box and I could see eggs in the bottom of a number of cells on that new wax). Hive 2 had several supersedure cells (queen cells in the middle of the frames) nearly capped. All the frames that are originally from hive 1 are fairly well covered with bees, and there is a small amount of fresh comb being built on several of the new frames. Should I try to find a frame of emerging and capped workers from hive 1 and transfer that frame to hive 2, whose population looks to be about half that of hive 1, or should I just leave them alone? Temps in our area are supposed to be really mild for the next week at least, if not for the rest of the year. Our goal for these hives is for them to be healthy going into the winter, we don't really care about getting honey off of them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    786

    Default Re: Should i leave them alone?

    Hive 2 has emergency Queens coming, prefectly normal. If you really do not care about honey evening out hives may prevent robbing. The bees in hive 1 may swarm on you anyway which will even out populations without moving frames.
    I would move a frame with cells from #2 and some bees with frames to a 3rd hive. Leave cells in #2 hive. Be gentle with your queen cells after they are capped.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,086

    Default Re: Should i leave them alone?

    Myself, I would checker board frames with hive 1 and install the brood frames into hive 2.
    Then you should be golden.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cary, NC USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Should i leave them alone?

    Thanks for the replies. I am a little worried about the possibility of hive 1 still swarming, and have already placed the new undrawn frames between the older drawn frames (checkerboarding?). In hive 2 I have all the drawn frames together in the center, because we can really only open the hives on the weekends and we knew it would be rather cold the couple of days after we did the split. This is really our first split and I'm kind of hesitant to split up hive 1 again, at least until I feel a little more certain about the success of hive 2. My worst nightmare would be ending up with 3 failing hives. There seems to be a pretty good flow on right now and we haven't fed anything to either hive yet. All we really have are boardman feeders and I've witnessed first hand the robbing frenzy that those things can set off, but do you think it would be a good idea to see if hive 2 would take any sugar water?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,086

    Default Re: Should i leave them alone?

    You can always feed above the inner cover with your boardman feeder or just jar feed, add a medium super then cover.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cary, NC USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Should i leave them alone?

    So just pull the top cover off, put another box on top of the inner cover and place the boardman feeder in that box with the telescoping cover above? Will the bees start building comb off the tele cover?

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