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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Sumner Co., TN, USA
    Posts
    36

    Default 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!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    1,704

    Default Re: First time splitting, would love advice

    1. ? When I do splits generally I just place a second hive base and bottom board next to the mother hive pointing the opposite direction. Have had very good results doing it that way.
    2. no
    3. Maybe but you would want pollen coming in and some sort of nectar flow.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Baker, FL
    Posts
    354

    Default Re: First time splitting, would love advice

    Michael Bush, google "Bush Bees", has excellent primer on splits, great place to start.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    4,593

    Default Re: First time splitting, would love advice

    When doing a split You need not move one to a remote location. However You must be sure that the hive in the new (Different) location has plenty of aged nurse bees and emerging brood. Because all the foragers will return to the parent hive. This can result in a split that lags behind for a while. By moving the split to a new location more than two miles away the foragers placed in that hive remain with the split allowing less disruption in the status quo.

    There is no need to close the bees up beyond transportation when moved.

    Like Aunt Betty although your maple is probably blooming now I would wait until there is a flow going the bees develop so much better.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    2,040

    Default Re: First time splitting, would love advice

    you will need a lot of drones in the area to mate with the virgin queen in a couple of weeks, so it may be a touch early right now. you will also need good weather for mateing flights.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: First time splitting, would love advice


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    7,118

    Default Re: First time splitting, would love advice

    What I would do...

    First, the colony has to be strong enough to give up a split. I'd like to see 8 combs of brood...minimum.

    You can remove a split from the top box, if it's as strong as you say. Take 5 combs...1 honey, two sealed brood, one open brood, one pollen honey. Shake bees back into parent colony, move remaining brood to center and fill empty spaces with comb. Place excluder on parent hive, and empty body, and the 5 comb split in center...arranges as above. Fill with combs or foundation. Cover. Leave over night. Next day remove box from excluder, place on new bottom, and give a laying queen.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: First time splitting, would love advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    What I would do...

    give a laying queen.
    What would you change in your process if you could not supply the split a laying queen?
    Zone 7a - 1650ft

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    7,118

    Default Re: First time splitting, would love advice

    Walk away split...but not my favorite method.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: First time splitting, would love advice

    Do you perform a direct or indirect laying queen release?
    Zone 7a - 1650ft

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    7,118

    Default Re: First time splitting, would love advice

    What's the difference?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: First time splitting, would love advice

    Direct - the queen is placed into the hive without a cage
    Indirect - queen placed into the hive via a cage
    Zone 7a - 1650ft

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    7,118

    Default Re: First time splitting, would love advice

    Indirect

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: First time splitting, would love advice

    Been 3-4 years since I did a split swarm catching is way less stressful for me. But my method was a walkaway split. Depending on overall hive strength and most of the time a double deep I would take the old queen and some brood with plenty of room for expansion and leave the old hive have all or most of the field bees and let them make queen cells then when capped bust it up into 2-3 nucs with 2-3 cells per nuc. this way I am raising my own queens from a proven hive for my area.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    clifton hill mo usa
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: First time splitting, would love advice

    If you are splitting equally. you could move it or not but the field bees will go back to original location. or you can take all the sealed brood watching to see if the queen is on the frame and leave the open brood frames in the original site. the nurse bees will stay in your split with the new queen in the cage for a few days. or another approach would be take the queen with the sealed brood and leave eggs and open brood where the hive is now and requeen or let them requeen themselves .

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