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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    606

    Default surprised in the apiary today :)

    when i got home i took a walk out to the apiary because this is the first warmish day in a couple weeks. the weather has not been cooperating for us here as far.
    i saw 5 hives i was sure had died this winter...had bees coming and going. AND bringing in pollen. i thought maybe some robbing mellow robbing was going on by the colonies i knew had made it. i popped the lids quick and nope....clusters of bees in each one....feeding on some leftover dry sugar. im a pretty happy beek right now

    tomorrow will be the first day of full inspections this season.

    im thinking of making some 2-3 frame splits in a week or soo depending on how they build up by then.

    im just happy to have more hives to deal with than i was figuring on.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,261

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    good deal on your bees surviving this tough winter. seems way too early for splits?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    606

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    Quote Originally Posted by beeware10 View Post
    good deal on your bees surviving this tough winter. seems way too early for splits?
    thank you Beeware10.
    yeah i was thinking that myself. when do most people do their splits ? id like to do a few this year but i dont want to jeopardize a crop this year. i would like to sell a few nucs as well but like i said i dont want to jeopardize a honey crop. i have experience in doing splits and having them raise their own queens but like i said in another post,i split my nucs wayyy too late last year and by the time the queens were laying their wasnt time to build up for winter. they all crashed.
    i think this is probably too much to ask hahahah.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,633

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    I would wait until middle end of april, if not may. They need time to build up.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,261

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    when they start hatching drones gives a basic timeline for splits. more than 2 splits per hive will start to reduce your honey crop. as a side benefit it reduces chances of swarming. It is just by experence and not the calendar. this year is late because of our winter. good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Bellflower, Montgomery,Mo,USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    Tommysnare, I'm wondering about when to split myself. It's hard to get a handle about when on this site. That being said I just saw someone on the Tenn/Al line say that they used daffodil as their marker. Using different tree blooms as a guide I've settled on April 15th as good for the St Louis area. This will be the first year for me to split, so I'm a little unsure.
    When did you split last year? Was it after the 15th?

    By the way great to get free equipment isn't it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    The rule of thumb is to make a split when you see the purple eye drones in your current hives.
    But I have drones that overwinter from last year that are still flying. So I figured now that the
    weather is in the 70s and the hive is growing while on a flow, it is time to make a split. This is very
    early split too. Whatever you do make sure there is enough bees to cover the new broods for you splits.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    606

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    Quote Originally Posted by jbraun View Post
    Tommysnare, I'm wondering about when to split myself. It's hard to get a handle about when on this site. That being said I just saw someone on the Tenn/Al line say that they used daffodil as their marker. Using different tree blooms as a guide I've settled on April 15th as good for the St Louis area. This will be the first year for me to split, so I'm a little unsure.
    When did you split last year? Was it after the 15th?

    By the way great to get free equipment isn't it.

    ohhh yeahhhh i split them in mid summer. i know...i was an idiot.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    606

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    The rule of thumb is to make a split when you see the purple eye drones in your current hives.
    But I have drones that overwinter from last year that are still flying. So I figured now that the
    weather is in the 70s and the hive is growing while on a flow, it is time to make a split. This is very
    early split too. Whatever you do make sure there is enough bees to cover the new broods for you splits.

    gotcha. no drones....no lovin'. ill definitely wait for drones. ill probably do some cell punching rearing soo i have mated queens ready for the nucs when i split. i have some people in the area that would like to buy some local queens as well.

    Thanks guys....beesource is our best resource for sure.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    Jbraun, I live in Saint Louis and last year I hived a package on drawn comb on the 6th of April. I took resources out for a split to prevent swarming in mid-May. They then split themselves (swarmed) and I did another split the 4th of June.

    This year with them overwintered I am thinking mid to late April if it warms up soon.
    3rd yr - 1 KTBH & 4 KTBH nucs - TF - USDA Zn 6b

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    Colleen, were those the MNH? Their population really explodes. I should have split. Lost a big swarm about July. I just got them in April. They are doing fine though.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenww View Post
    Colleen, were those the MNH? Their population really explodes. I should have split. Lost a big swarm about July. I just got them in April. They are doing fine though.
    Yes they were. The drawn comb really gave them an advantage but versus the Italian package I got my first year the MNH did explode. The daughter queen I kept, her colony had a very low mite count when I tested last fall (<1%). Did you do mite testing?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Loup City, NE
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    Tommysnare, Do your splits one week before your swarm season starts, I'm guessing that would be end of April, you
    are quite a bit south of me.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    I haven't tested. I'm gambling. Treatment free except for feeding. I plan to test this year. My other hive is a swarm from hives that haven't been treated for years, possibly decades. I don't rule out treating but trying not too. Garden the same way. Mostly years no pesticides on anything. If I can save something with one spraying, I will. I'd rather have apples sprayed once right after blooming than have to buy apples that were sprayed 12 time right up until harvest.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    etowah,Alabama
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    Wait on the boys of summer. "Drones" Before splitting. There are some capped drone cells here in Alabama.

    Congratulations on the not so dead outs
    Guy
    BB's Honey
    www.bbshoney.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    >when they start hatching drones gives a basic timeline for splits.
    >Wait on the boys of summer. "Drones" Before splitting.

    I think that's best. When you see drones flying, the queens can get mated well and the bees are in full swing so it's a good time to split.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    909

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >when they start hatching drones gives a basic timeline for splits.
    >Wait on the boys of summer. "Drones" Before splitting.

    I think that's best. When you see drones flying, the queens can get mated well and the bees are in full swing so it's a good time to split.
    Here I have to be quick or they will start to swarm.
    from the Bee House -http://ecologicalsolutions.com.au/bees/?page_id=8
    40 years - +/- 20 H - TF - Subtropical

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    international falls, Mn
    Posts
    277

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    I think you are right tommy to worry about swarming as you are south of most of the posters
    here---you are on the 38 parallel in Longton,ks--and Louisville,Ky is on the 37th....Those over
    wintered hives will be strong quickly, keep an eye on the brood and if they are really comming
    on strong in a few weeks --time to split--I'd keep an eye on collen O in St. Louis, your swarms
    timing will be very similar...Good luck..

    ==McBee7==

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Ash Grove MO. USA.
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    Walter Kelly said the earliest you could be sure of getting a queen mated was when the blackberries bloom in your area. I've found this to be absolutely true.

    I've raised several queens earlier that got mated and started laying. All of them failed before fall.

    I'm near Springfield MO. Year before last blackberries bloomed the first week of may. I started two nucs and both did / are doing well.
    Last year I started two nucs the first week of may. Blackberries didn't bloom until the third week of may. Both queens made it back and all was well. A month later one is laying drones and ones barely laying. Took me to fall to get both hives back up to speed.

    I don't try to raise a queen until blackberries bloom no matter what the calendar or the thermometer says.

    I raise most of my queens after the summer solstice. My usual cut off is aug 1. I have no trouble getting these to a single 10 frame deep by feeding 1/1 and they winter here just fine.

    Last year I sorta accidently raised a queen the first week of sept. she of course didn't have time to build up but I had a lot of resources and I gave her some capped brood and honey to fill her deep. I wasn't sure they'd make it but they looked good yesterday.

    I've had really good luck with fall raised queens.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    LaGrange; Oldham County; Kentucky
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: surprised in the apiary today :)

    Quote Originally Posted by burns375 View Post
    I would wait until middle end of april, if not may. They need time to build up.
    Hi Burns, I'm just north of you in LaGrange. I think splitting time has to do with a few things, drone availability, nighttime low temps... I by no means am an expert, this is my third year. Last year (I know our weather was good) we split hives on April 6th. This year I would be surprised if we could, if the weather continues on like it is. Our forecast says that the next two weeks will continue to be below normal for temps.

    As for the original post, I love hearing this because I have a similar situation. I have a hive that had no activity when others did, and what made me think they were dead is that there were no dead bees out front, either. The others had been carrying out their dead but this one, nothing. Which led me to believe that there was nobody alive to be carrying anything out. However, last week when we had some high temps in the 60s, that "dead" hive had bees coming and going. Not near as many as the other three, but, there were bees coming in and out. Made me think that one of a few things could be happening, either the hive wasn't dead, or they were dead and now the other hives are scouting it out. I would think it would be a tad premature for scouting, but what do I know.

    Hope you all have a successful spring!

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