splitting hive - how far apart should hives be?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Hayfork, ca USA

    Default splitting hive - how far apart should hives be?

    I've heard 2 miles but I don't have that kind of range.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Default Re: splitting hive - how far apart should hives be?

    Depends on the split. You can do a box split if it is a double, and leave them side by side. Each new hive assuming half the position of the parent colony. You are trying to minimize the drifting. Works ok, more bees will return to the queenright hive. This works well if the parent colony is very strong and there is a pollen and nectar flow on.


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Santa barbara, CA

    Default Re: splitting hive - how far apart should hives be?

    Per Mr. Bush' website
    "The question often seems to come up, how far away to put the split. You need to account for drift if it is less than 2 miles. In 36 years of beekeeping Iíve never taken a split 2 miles away unless thatís where I wanted to take them anyway. I just do the split and shake in some extra bees or do the split and face both hives to the old location. In other words where the old hive was is where both of the new hives face. Returning bees have to choose. Sometimes I swap those after a few days if one is a lot stronger Usually the one with the queen is stronger.
    Sometimes itís worded like this: "how close can I put them?". To which I say "one inch will do". There is no difference between one inch and one and a half miles. At two miles you have no drifting to speak of."
    If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    Abraham Maslow

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA

    Default Re: splitting hive - how far apart should hives be?

    It is handy to have hive placed in pairs for ease in working them. If you want to build a stand, a 2x4x8' and 2 1x4s 8 feet long will construct a double stand 4 feet long. The hives will have about 4 inches free space between them when they are on the stand. Just remember to give yourself room to mow the grass and room to easily work the colonies. You can make stands for individual colonies, that way you can place them wherever you wish, singularly or in pairs.

    If you keep the split and the parent hive in the home yard, shake more bees in the split than you think you will need because the adults that have flown before will always return to the original home location when they fly. This is why the recommendation to move the split 2 miles away, they will always return to the split if you do this.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

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