Is summer dearth the time to make splits?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    182

    Default Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    I have been reading from several beeks that they are planning to use the summer dearths as time to make splits. I have four active hives plus four empty hives that i planned to use for splits...I've never done this before (I am fairly new at this). First question is why is the summer dearth the time for splits (I would think it very hard for a new colony to make their queen and draw comb and do all the things they need to survive the summer). Am I looking at this all wrong? Any explanations or help will be appreciated. Second, I assume I need to feed all the colonies 2:1 sugar syrup and pollen patty until the next flow...I am in North Florida...anyone know when that fall flow should start? Thanks for any insight.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    I would make side by side splits at the very beginning of the next strong flow (goldenrod in PA). To me, "side by side" means that one colony gets the original location and the original queen. Then colony next door gets all of the comb, brood and honey.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
    Posts
    2,532

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    Make your splits using mated queens. Feed the colonies that you split from and your splits. The idea behind summer dearth splits, depending on location and length of dearth, is because you don't need a large population in a hive eating all the honey they have. The splits and mother colonies are now put back into build up mode so when the next flow comes they don't swarm. Instead they will make you honey if they have ample time to build back up strength.
    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    658

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    We are in a dearth time in my area and I made a split or two. Immediately after the split, I fed both hives...as many have suggested in other posts, the original and the other split. Still, I have had problems with robbing. I think in the future, I will make my splits during the flow.
    “My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.” (Proverbs 24:13)

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    If I don't buy a mated queen, but would prefer the bees to make their own queen, is there enough time for that during the dearth if the fall flow starts in...say, September? And if I do that, about how many frames of brood and honey should go into the first split?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Covington, Ga, USA
    Posts
    1,548

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    Splitting depends on hive, hive strength and numbers. I have made 2 in the last 3 days and both are doing well. I still say we have stayed on a small flow due to the dandelions and where you are in Fla, I'd say you are ok as well. Mine are still bringing in plenty of Nectar and pollen. If you are going to have to feed, feed inside the hive using a baggie feeder or out open feeding. Open feeding causes a frenzy in my yard, BUT, there is no robbing for sure. They have not taken feed this year at all even though i tried....so all seems to be doing good.
    "You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same."

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Carrboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    Quote Originally Posted by beecuz View Post
    If I don't buy a mated queen, but would prefer the bees to make their own queen, is there enough time for that during the dearth if the fall flow starts in...say, September? And if I do that, about how many frames of brood and honey should go into the first split?
    It depends on how strong your Fall flow is. I don't know anything about overwintering in north Florida. In general, the advantage of doing a split is that you can decrease the number of bees eating stores during the dearth and you can break the brood cycle to knock back mites. But the idea is to get the minimum number of bees in the middle of the dearth. So you need to do the split about 2 months before the worst part of the dearth (assuming they are making a new queen themselves.)

    I like to move the old queen, 3 frames of brood and two frames of honey to a new hive. Leave most of the resources in the old hive so they can make a strong queen and the mites will get whacked.
    If a colony splits in the wild, who is there to walk away?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Augusta County, Virginia USA
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    The Virginia State Apiarist spoke at my bee association meeting this week. He stated that he does not recommend that any new beekeeper do splits after May 1. From the posts so far on this thread, it does sound like you need to have gone through at least year of beekeeping in order to pick up on all the little details of doing this successfully -- like mated queens rather than queen cells and so forth.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Covington, Ga, USA
    Posts
    1,548

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    May I ask why he said this? Mated Queens vs queen cells.....other than the factor of time? There is benefit in both IMHO.
    "You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same."

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Carrboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    Quote Originally Posted by clarkfarm View Post
    The Virginia State Apiarist spoke at my bee association meeting this week. He stated that he does not recommend that any new beekeeper do splits after May 1. From the posts so far on this thread, it does sound like you need to have gone through at least year of beekeeping in order to pick up on all the little details of doing this successfully -- like mated queens rather than queen cells and so forth.
    I think that rather than make a blanket recommendation based on how long a beekeeper has been in the game, it would be better to just specify what pitfalls are likely to be encountered. Some people learn faster than others, so years of experience is a weak indicator.

    If you add a mated queen at the time of the split, you don't get any break in the brood cycle. So what was the point of the regime change?

    Does the Virginia Apiarist's May 1 date apply in Florida as well?
    Last edited by FRAMEshift; 07-18-2010 at 11:47 AM.
    If a colony splits in the wild, who is there to walk away?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    5,183

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    If you split out the queen and a minimal amt of resources for her to get by and leave a strong queenless hive in the old location you will get several results that are good during a dearth:

    The strong queenless hive will have a better chance of making a good queen than if you did an equal split.

    The strong hive will have almost all of the foragers and will be broodless for a few weeks so it will be more able to feed itself during the dearth.

    During the broodless period is a good time to do something about varroa - before the big fall build up. Even if you don't do any treatments you might see a positive effect on the mite population because when the new queen first starts producing, a lot of the existing mites will parasitize the first little batch of brood - killing it along with the mites.

    Assuming that the queen making is successful you will have a brand new queen laying at her peak right when you need her.

    If the queen making is not successful you can recombine them in a few weeks -or order a queen - and still get most of the positive results. Just give a frame of open brood every week or so until you take care of it.

    The queen in the small hive will continue to produce but at a lower rate - just like you need her to do this time of year.

    You might need to do some equalizing later, but if you have drawn comb to give the smaller hive as it needs it you might not need to do anything but feed them up in the fall.

    If you had split earlier you would have sacrificed honey production - whether you harvest or let the bees have it - so splitting during summer dearth instead of during the flow prevents that.

    If you have a hive strong enough to split, and the equipment to make the split and you want to do it then I don't see why this isn't as good time as any. Just be prepared to feed, equalize, or combine if you need to - before it is too late.

    Just my opinion - take it with a grain of salt if you take it at all.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Pell City,Alabama,USA
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    Looks like I'm in the minority but in my opinion the answer is no, and for all of the reasons that have you concerned. I will say that if I find a hive that has become queenless I am still giving them brood to try to raise their own queen, but It will come to a point that I'll just unite them with another colony.
    Think about how and when nature makes increase. In the spring during the build-up on into the main flow. Why? Because it is at this time of the year that they have the best opportunity to establish themselves to survive the coming winter.
    In my area splits now mean vicious robbing, ill bees and intensive care nursing the splits until next spring so that they don't starve.
    I realize Fla. is a different animal, I only wish I had the floral sources you may have.
    So if you try it, Good Luck. I did a time or two, and you probably will also, hey, It'll be a learning experience.....

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    3,796

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    Excuse me for saying it, but isn't all of FL considered africanized? If so, I would certainly NOT be having the bees make their own queen because of the high chance of the virgin queen hooking up with some africanized drones on her mating flight. Much safer to order a mated queen.

    I realize that from up here in Maine I know very little about local FL conditions - so I'm having to rely on what news reports have reached me over the years. Things could be very different...

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Covington, Ga, USA
    Posts
    1,548

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    Not all of Florida is, maily southern...here is a link to the map

    http://www.cccarto.com/killerbees/index.html
    "You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same."

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Augusta County, Virginia USA
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    devdog - The apiarist did not make the comment about queens -- someone on this thread did. The talk at the meeting was on making splits. I do not know why the May 1 date was given for new beekeepers. He was speaking to Virginia beekeepers both new ones and experienced and he did not talk about any other state.

    In my own humble opinion a new beekeeper should concentrate on getting hives through the winter and if the goal is to interrupt the brood cycle, that can be done without dividing the hive numbers. I do not have the experience of some on the board because this is my third year. But I do think as I have posted on other threads that sometimes new beekeepers lose hives because they try to do too many things with the bees before they have the right knowledge to be successful.( As they say, ask three beekeepers the same question and you will get four answers.) I am speaking for myself here and not the apiarist.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Covington, Ga, USA
    Posts
    1,548

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    hey Clark, no offense meant, it just didnt make sense to me why he would discourage splits. NOW, that being said, i am a different climate than you it may seem...warmer most of the time i would think....however....the splits have taught me more than anything only because you really have to pay special attention to the needs of each split and the origional hive. Having to deal with each one indivually has taught me to read each hive as it's own entity and being a 2nd yr beek, i have already learned so much, i cannot imagine what i will learn next. I could go on forever about what each hive has started and represented, my mistakes(not to the detriment of the bees) but things I would not do. Ask a beek, get a beek...LOL. It's all good no matter how you play it, you just have to make sure you have a poker hand in poker, not in 21...LOL
    "You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same."

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Pell City,Alabama,USA
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    Digging around in a strong hive in 95-100 degree temps. during a dearth is no fun at all. I dismantled 2 of my strongest hives in the last two weeks because I needed some brood for 2 hives that had been unsuccessful at supersedure. The queens had all but stopped laying because of the dearth, high temps. and a massive bee population, and I had to go thru every frame to get enough brood to give these 2 queenless colonies. It would have been much easier to get what I needed from a couple of colonies that had fresh supersedure queens, but I wanted brood from the best I had. (I have yet to take the advice that they need to be in full sun all day especially here in the south, they roast.)

  19. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Covington, Ga, USA
    Posts
    1,548

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    Mine are in the full Sun and I am DUE east of you, barely if any temp difference and they do great!
    "You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same."

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Pell City,Alabama,USA
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    Quote Originally Posted by devdog108 View Post
    Mine are in the full Sun and I am DUE east of you, barely if any temp difference and they do great!
    I'm hard headed....

  21. #20
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Covington, Ga, USA
    Posts
    1,548

    Default Re: Is summer dearth the time to make splits?

    LOL....they stay in the sun, brood is doing great, and one fo them was raising queens...AGAIN....
    "You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same."

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •