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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Big Stone Gap, VA
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    992

    Default At what temperature is it too cold to make a split

    Checked my hives on Sunday. One of my colonies has several swarm cells, one with a larvae and another with an egg. I had a nuc ready, and had hoped to find the old queen and make a nuc. I could not find the old queen, so I closed that hive back up.

    We have a cold front moving in, bringing thunderstorms today, and cooler temperatures the rest of the week. High temps Thursday and Friday are 65 and 62, with low to no winds. My question is, would it be too cold to split this hive on Thursday? The high temp will be 65 on Thursday.

    Shane

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    28,286

    Default Re: At what temperature is it too cold to make a split

    That's warm enough.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: At what temperature is it too cold to make a split

    Make sure you find that old queen first. I found queen cells in one of my hives and out of a knee jerk reaction I removed them. Knowing it would not help even. After closing up the hive I started thinking of every other reason this hive might have queen cells regardless of how obvious it was that these where swarm cells. The hive did eventually swarm and left the parent colony queenless. Or so I thought. SO I added some fraems of brood. One without checking carefully that the queen from the other colony was not on it (Catch that queen). the other I know didn't have a queen because I did catch that one first. Then after getting done with that I thoguth that the originally colony might have simply had a virgin queen.

    Lesson learned is that I am not experienced enough to make decisions during inspections. I need to close things up and stew on it for 24 hours. Once I have thought out the best course of action I can pack that away in my file of things I have done. but don't try to figure it out in 30 seconds while pulling frames from a hive.

    I also have anew rule. any sign of queen cell means I have to find the queen in the colony. Either right then or later. But queen cells get the old queen split from now on. at least until that methods indicates I don't like it. So far It seems to me if I remove the old queen the colony will still swarm and be queenless. I am left with the old queen.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

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

    Default Re: At what temperature is it too cold to make a split

    Quote Originally Posted by tsmullins View Post
    Checked my hives on Sunday. One of my colonies has several swarm cells, one with a larvae and another with an egg. I had a nuc ready, and had hoped to find the old queen and make a nuc. I could not find the old queen, so I closed that hive back up.

    We have a cold front moving in, bringing thunderstorms today, and cooler temperatures the rest of the week. High temps Thursday and Friday are 65 and 62, with low to no winds. My question is, would it be too cold to split this hive on Thursday? The high temp will be 65 on Thursday.

    Shane
    Sounds like perfect conditions for making splits. You should have good bee coverage on your brood, the only downside is when there is little to no flight on the queen can be a bit more difficult to locate.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,665

    Default Re: At what temperature is it too cold to make a split

    Daniel Y,I would be careful about removing the old queen when you see queen cells, it depends on where the queen cells are located. If they are in the top half or middle of the frame and only two or three cells they are probably superseding her.Myself, i would let the hive do their thing. If the queen cells (several) are on the bottoms of one or more frames they are in the swarm mode and i would then look for the queen and put her in a nuc with 2 or 3 frames of bees (one with brood) 2 drawn empty frames, one with honey, and one with foundation.If i want more hives i would cut out all but 2 queen cells from the mother hive and make nuc's out of the rest. By leaving two queen cells the mother hive should requeen it's self. I will make 2 or 3 nucs from the swarm hive (depends on how many brood frames), by doing this and removing the old queen, the hive thinks they have swarmed and most times (for me anyway) this has stopped the swarming. They won't leave without a queen. JMHO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    992

    Default Re: At what temperature is it too cold to make a split

    Thanks for the responses,

    Hopefully, we can find the old queen and move her into a nuc. If not, then I plan on doing a split. When I checked this hive a week ago, it was easy to find the queen. Not so last Sunday.

    Shane

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,286

    Default Re: At what temperature is it too cold to make a split

    If you have an excluder, shake or brush bees off of the frames you want for the nuc or split and place them in a box above an excluder above the box you have taken the queen cells from, so bees can come up onto the combs overnight. That way you don't have to look for the queen.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    992

    Default Re: At what temperature is it too cold to make a split

    Many thanks,

    I had not thought about using a queen excluder.

    Shane

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: At what temperature is it too cold to make a split

    Hey Shane,

    I made splits yesterday and the day before. When the front came through I got soaked finishing up. As long as you have plenty of bees and honey, they should be fine. I'll be doing more today.

    Richard

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