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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Amador County, California, USA
    Posts
    138

    Default How should I do my splits?

    I have several colonies with 6 frames of brood (capped and uncapped), and another 6-7 frames with honey and pollen.

    I did two splits some days ago with three frames of brood, and another 3 frames of bees (honey and pollen; 6 frames in total).

    I was speaking with a commercial beekeeper on Saturday who told me I could make 2 hives out of that, leaving 2 frames of brood behind with the queen, and making two new families with 2 frames of brood each and 2 frames with honey and pollen (and a laying queen).

    I've been thinking about this but I'm not sure if they'll be too weak.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,845

    Default Re: How should I do my splits?

    I wouldn't personally, but it depends on the stage of brood and weather as well. I made a two frame nuc with a queen that was being superceded, I consider it a little light population wise but I did it anyway as she was laying nicely. I pulled a nuc with a cell at the same time but did 3 frames of bees and it's in much better shape population wise but it had a queencell to wait on. It really depends on how you're queening the nucs too. If you're introducing a mated queen, I think 2 frames is fine but a little on the light side but if most of it is capped you can double your population pretty quickly, but if you're letting them raise their own queen, 3 frame start would be a better option IMO.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default Re: How should I do my splits?

    If you've got a decent food source that keeps the bees busy I think you could do it. A LOT depends on the queen. Queen's dictate success in these situations, followed by a good beekeeper. If you've got a good spring season underway, I think you'd do OK with the extra split.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default Re: How should I do my splits?

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm

    When it comes to splits (as with most things in beekeeping) timing is everything and that is tied to your climate as well as the current weather. If you have a lot of drones flying, then the time may not be off by much. But also it takes a strong split to really thrive. I would not make a two frame split if you're hoping for a second colony. I only make splits of a few frames for mating queens...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    DesAllemands, Lousiana
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: How should I do my splits?

    I make all my splits with 2 frames of brood and one frame of honey in march. If I still have them by May I have to split them again to keep them from swarming. It really depends on your location. In Louisiana our spring honey flow last about three months so I guess I can get away with weaker nucs than y'all can further north. I even make splits with one frame of brood and a frame of honey during the main flow and I can build them up to over winter in a double nuc.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,068

    Default Re: How should I do my splits?

    Find the queen and split her out to a new location with minimal resources. In 4 or 5 days look in the now queen less main hive and see what you have. If you have good queen cells on two frames then you can split them up. You can also give the queen more brood or even shuffle her back to the old location.

    The cell builder only needs a very strong population until the cells are capped, after that you can treat them like mating nucs - a frame of brood and one of food + a shake of bees.

    If you do split them up like that and put the laying queen back in the original spot with all the excess resources she can be producing brood and drawn comb while you wait for the new queens to start laying. Then you can divide it up between the three (or however many) of them, so that they can all take off on an equal footing so you can tell which ones are really the best.

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