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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mystic, IA, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    Surely someone else has had this problem, but I can't find an answer on the threads. I'm a rank amateur, obviously, but over the past few years I've gone from 2 to 9-needing to be split into 10 hives. This is getting out of control for me! I can't keep up! I don't want to kill them but I do not know what to do! How much space does a colony need to be well nourished? I know that depends a lot on what grows hereabouts but how do I find that out? Thanks for your time! and please, spare me the ridicule. I KNOW I don't know what I'm doing!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,722

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    Welcome to Beesource!

    > I don't want to kill them but I do not know what to do!

    You have a valuable commodity here! Why not offer the splits for sale?
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    Sell them when they get out of hand. That's what I do.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon USA
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    I'm a newbie too, but if you leave them alone won't they just swarm? I mean they seem pretty self-regulating in that manner, i.e. if you only have two hives then when they get too crowded they swarm with the surplus of bees going somewhere else and leaving you with two hives. Am I missing something here?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Glen Arm,MD
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    one of the problems with just letting them swarm is they may end up in a cavity of your house or one of your neighbors.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    Shake them on the ground and dance... after they crawl up your pantleg you will dance harder...

    Seriously. That's like trying to make a puppy not grow up. You can only do it with a beehive by either splitting it (in which case you get more hives) or by injuring the bees. You can always recombine in the fall or, better yet, after you take your winter losses and recombine a week before the main flow for a bumper crop.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Shake them on the ground and dance... after they crawl up your pantleg you will dance harder...
    Words to live by...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,196

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    I like to start nucs with them, they are easy to sell in the spring.
    We also have too many right now, & will be breaking some of them down for nucs.
    Dan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    As already stated, make up some nucs and sell them. There are plenty of people begging for bees.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    Yeah, seriously, make and sell nucs.
    Its 5 minutes of work to make a nuc split, and its easily $125 or more you can get for each one.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mystic, IA, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    Thank you, all! I got ahold of the state apiarist and he told me the same thing-make nucs and sell them. He was a little more descriptive of WHAT a nuc consists of and for that I'm thankful. So now I'm off to make some nuc boxes so they'll be ready come spring!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Plymouth, WI, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    How does one know that they need to be split by looking at them ?

    I'm lost ?

    I would love to split my one strong hive this year yet, but am thinking it would be too late in WI. I would love the prob of too many hives......

    I keep loosing hives and buying packs every spring is getting quite pricy.....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    >How does one know that they need to be split by looking at them ?

    If you are doing any kind of swarm control, I would split them if you see queen cells. If you don't, I'd try to keep the brood nest open to keep them from swarming so I get a honey crop.

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

    But anytime you have a strong hive building rapidly a few weeks before the main flow you could split them. I would want the equivalent of two ten frame deeps (in my case four, eight frame mediums) before splitting.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Plymouth, WI, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    Thanks for the links and info Michael.
    I don't know what is left for nector flow here in Wisconsin. The hive that is doing well has both 10" brood boxes going well. They have one honey super filled with honey now.

    If they are really doing well, I would like to split them. The queen must be a good queen cause she's done better than any others I've had so might be a good blood line to work with. I was thinking that maybe I could take 4 or 5 frames of capped brood and eggs out and put them in a nuk box and get another hive going.

    Thoughts anyone ?

    ps. This hive is on a buddy's property 5 miles from my house and the hive sits on the edge of a 10 acre wild flower prarie. there are a bunch of flowers that are done flowering but it looks like some other flower is ready to bloom.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    The main flow is likely over. Experimenting with starting nucs at various times of the year is educational. Some years, they can build up enough this time of year. If they don't you can combine them back.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Plymouth, WI, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    that is a great thought Michael. I may just try it to see how things go. I'm thinking I will probably just let them make their own new queen which will put me a few weeks back, but I really don't want to have to buy another one. I was thinking I'd bring the nuk back to my house ( 5 miles away ) to keep them from drifting back to the host hive, but then thought with the wild flowers at the host hive location, maybe I'd leave them there.

    I read the links you sent about splitting, with doing a Nuk and leaving by the host hive, will the bees stay in their nuk ? Should I screen off the openings for a few days to make them stay in the Nuk ?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    I never (well hardly ever) confine a colony. I would shake in some extra bees to make up for the drift.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Plymouth, WI, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I never (well hardly ever) confine a colony. I would shake in some extra bees to make up for the drift.
    Thank you so much for your help and advice !

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,427

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    They are like gremlins dont feed them and they wont grow. Find a friend and give them some bee's.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,349

    Default Re: How do i stop or at least slow my hives from needing to be split?

    Kill the queens every 6 weeks.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



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