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  1. #1
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    I almost chickened out, but I did see many queen cups - empty tho - at the bottom of frames in one super, so figured it was now or never. (These are Russians, supposedly prone to swarming.)

    It was a 6 medium super hive, overwintered, there were 2 brood boxes with all kinds of larvae in them. I can never see eggs, but I figured where there's larvae, there's eggs, so I put one brood box with one hive and the other brood box with the other. I made sure both had honey/pollen stores. Tried to find the queen, but never saw her - one box has her, one doesn't.

    So tell me again. LEAVE THEM ALONE FOR 3 WEEKS. Right? Don't even peek? Should I leave them longer than that?

    I have a new Russian queen coming in 2-3 weeks, so I guess if all else fails, I can salvage one hive with her. If both halves of the split survive, I can start a new hive with her.

    The only thing that might be a complete negative is I never moved the original hive - I just left it where it was, and set up the new hive about 6 feet away. But, they have enough nurse bees and enough stores so that even if all the foragers drift back to the original hive, they should be okay.

    If this works, I will be the best beekeeper in the world. If it doesn't work, I'll be the worst.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,788

    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    Check in a week to make sure the one without the queen has queencells, careful when pulling frames, they typically stick out a bit and you might damage some good ones, cull out cells you don't like until you have 2-3 nice ones left or make more splits if you have multiple frames with cells. Once you confirm cells, virgin will be out within a week, and hopefully mated and laying within two weeks after that, then check on them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,610

    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    If this works, I will be the best beekeeper in the world. If it doesn't work, I'll be the worst.
    You're going to be the best!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    1,263

    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    A good way to become a proficient beekeeper is to study to learn the manipulations, and then wade in and do! If mistakes are made, no big deal. If you kill them all, you have only killed a bunch of bugs! An expensive bunch to be sure but it is not the end of the world, and you will be able to try again and do better the next time.

    The first time I tried to re-queen a colony I killed the prettiest Italian queen I have ever seen. She was very large and a lemon yellow color, I have never seen another that color. I put her into the colony, and they had a little, black, runt of a virgin. I knew nothing of looking for aggression, so I just removed the cork in the candy end of the cage. Naturally the bees killed the new queen as soon as they could reach her. After that I made it a point to read Gleanings and American Bee Culture, and to study the articles on queen introduction. I lost a few more before I got the hang of it, but I eventually learned the techniques.

    Good beekeepers are usually stubborn enough that they become determined not to let a few failures make them into quitters.
    37 years - 25 colonies - IPM disciple - naturally skeptic

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Ash Grove MO. USA.
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    I think it would be pretty rare to have eggs in three weeks from when you split but I nearly always have eggs in four weeks.

    Google ( the bee yard ) they have a queen calendar generator that works great. The day you split is grafting day.

    This will give you a day by day schedule of what's happening.
    Most important it tells you what days it's best to not go in.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Strafford County, NH
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    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    According to the queen calendar, if they have an egg to use now, which hopefully they do, they should have all ages in there, mating flights would be on 6/24 & 6/25. Crossing fingers for good weather around then, and I'll look for brood the week after that. If not, I may have to recombine the queenless hive with another, I guess.

    Lots of bees are buzzing around the old hive, not many around the new, but that's probably okay since they have stores anyway, and brood, so it's just waiting till this brood hatches and orients to the new location.

    Wow is this fun. One could get carried away with this.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Strafford County, NH
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    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    By the way, what's the best way to tell which of the 2 hives has the queen and which doesn't? I don't want to poke around in there and stress them too much. Or maybe I should just forget about it for now.

    Also, since a lot of the bees have drifted back to the original hive (which I suspect has the queen), at some point should I put a few more frames of brood with nurse bees in the new hive?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    9,306

    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    I will be the best beekeeper in the world. If it doesn't work, I'll be the worst.
    Total nonsense... regardless of what happens it doesn't make you anything but some like to label.

    If you are reading all the posts you already know that I lost one split. It happens. There have been other resent posts that discuss putting a caged queen on the top of the frames and observing aggressive behavior in the queen right hive. You say you have one coming so you could try that.

    As far as splits go I have done both, left the hive in the original position and move both halves to a new position. It has been my limited experience that the one with the queen will get most of the flying bees no matter what you do. The nurse bees and young bees will stay with the brood and hive they are put in. The brood will hatch and stay with that hive. For this reason if I could actually find the queen I would take all the brood and put it in with the queenless half. If you are trying to expand hives and don't care about honey you can wait a week or two and do the same thing again.

    Good luck on your split. Worrying is something best left for those that like gray hair. It accomplishes nothing.
    That is what I try to tell myself.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    Thank you Acebird, and sorry about your split. They say they're not a certainty, no matter what. You can't always win makes you can't always lose true, too.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Ash Grove MO. USA.
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    Yes you win some and you lose some. But I generally win with splits about 80% of the time.
    Making new hives is the funnest part of beekeeping for me. I'll try anything to see what works for me. I expect some failures so yesterday when I checked my four mating nucs I was pleasantly surprised when 3 of them had a laying queen.

    Checked 4 hives that superseded and 3 had a solid queen. One had a pretty tiger striped queen but her laying pattern didn't impress me. I'll give her another week since she had no capped brood. Therefore I know she just started laying, maybe she'll get the hang of it.

    I like to experiment after the honey flow, I have lots of bees without a job to do. They might as well be making new hives.

    I've learned far more from hives I've lost than from hives that lived.
    Woody Roberts

  11. #11
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfer View Post
    I've learned far more from hives I've lost than from hives that lived.
    Woody Roberts
    This is the kind of thinking that newbies have to grab hold of.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
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    2,536

    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    Believe me... the bees know better on what to do than us. Sit back and relax.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    Relax? What's that?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.


  15. #15
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post

    So tell me again. LEAVE THEM ALONE FOR 3 WEEKS. Right? Don't even peek? Should I leave them longer than that?

    If this works, I will be the best beekeeper in the world. If it doesn't work, I'll be the worst.
    Well, I wouldn't go that far. There are very few beekeepers that I would call "the best" and even fewer that I would call "the worst" and none to their faces, except maybe the best.

    After 5 days or a week maybe you should go into the two hives and see if you find one drawing emergency queen cells on the face of the comb. That's the one w/out the queen. The other one, the one w/ the queen, you should super. If the one w/out the queen is low in population and the queenright one has lots of bees rob a frame of brood and bees from the queenright one and give it to the one raising queen cells. It'll help to keep them going.

    Best wishes "best beekeeper".
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  16. #16
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    By the way, what's the best way to tell which of the 2 hives has the queen and which doesn't
    The part w/ the queen cells doesn't have a queen.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    Mr.Beeman - LOL!! I want that wallpaper muraled over every wall in my house.

    sqkcrk - Thank you! That was great advice. I'll do that, it makes sense. I may just put an empty super on the original hive today, because I may have moved half the hive off, but definitely not half the bees, I can tell by the activity levels.

    The original hive is also buzzing loudly, but it may just be because there are a lot of bees in a smaller area now.

  18. #18
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    This is the kind of thinking that newbies have to grab hold of.
    Of course, Brian. Everywhere in life there is more to learn from one's mistakes than from one's successes. The trick is to learn.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    The original hive is also buzzing loudly, but it may just be because there are a lot of bees in a smaller area now.
    Or because there is no queen there.

    I'm confused. You moved the whole hive or you didn't? Only parts.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Just did 1st split ever! 50/50. Nervous.

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    It was a 6 medium super hive, overwintered, there were 2 brood boxes with all kinds of larvae in them.
    I use smoke when pealing off boxes so I assume that the queen goes down to lower boxes. This could be totally wrong because it is an assumption. Right or wrong if I can determine where the brood boxes are I place the lower one away from the original hive position. My intent is to make the queenless side as strong as I can.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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