First time splitting, would love advice
Tennessee climate (mild) and one of my hives I went with two deep and really think I only need one deep per hive since our winters don't get too bad.
SO.... both deeps are full (second deep has lots of honey and 4-5 frames of brood). Plan would be to swap a couple of honey frames from top to bottom, to even out the distribution a bit, then remove a deep to start new hive with new queen.
I've read that it's best to separate the hives for a while (long distance) and that after a week or so you can put them back closer to each other. I can do this easily (25 miles away from my hives), if that's the best thing to do.
Which brings me to a couple of questions:
1) Is the separation the best way to ensure no drift (I'm not close enough to my hives to have frequent checking)
2) If I separate (basically bring to my house for a week or so), do I need to 'trap' the bees inside the hive while they acclimate to the new queen?
3) Is early spring a good time to split?
Thank you very much for any insight.
Since '14, working on Bee.S. degree.... :) Lots to learn!