Made my first OTS split tonight.
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  1. #1
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    Jul 2014
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    Hopkins, MI USA
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    Default Made my first OTS split tonight.

    I will post pics soon.....I pulled the queen and two frames then notched a couple of frames in the full strength hive. Should have capped queen cells in one week, I'll post updates.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    Please.

    I am going to do one Saturday. Truthfully, I'm a little nervous. I'm transitioning between studying all the written words and actually doing it.

    I'm going for honey and the idea of pinching queens is quite foreign to me.

    I'll share my photos and information, too. Good luck!
    Basic, elemental / instinct to survive
    Stirs the higher passions / Thrill to be alive

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Springfield, Ohio, USA
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    641

    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    I followed this method last year. It worked well, but resulted in some pretty thick burr comb since I spaced the frames with cells farther apart than normal, to avoid any possible damage to the cells.

    I hope this works well for you. I'm going with standard splits this year, using mated queens. Nothing against OTS, it's just that my timing is off this year.
    Pete. New 2013, 12 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

  5. #4
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    San Marcos, TX USA
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    Can someone direct me to something about this? What is an OTS split?

  6. #5
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    Jul 2014
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    Quote Originally Posted by TurnTex View Post
    Can someone direct me to something about this? What is an OTS split?
    OTS = On The Spot queen rearing as described by Mel Disselkoen ( http://www.mdasplitter.com/ ).

    Basically, you take your current queen with two frames of capped brood and do a split. Then in the full strength (queenless) colony you "notch" some larva cells that are younger than 36 hrs old and allow them to raise the new queen. Similar to a walk away split but some emergency queens can be smaller and *possibly* inferior to a properly raised queen. By notching the cells, you are allowing the bees to build a nice, full-size queen cell and feed the larva properly. At least that is the idea. I'm trying it because I like the idea and I really like this queen I have so I'm trying to split her off and hopefully get a good producing daughter.

    mxr618, I'm not going to pinch my queen.....I like her to much But I also split her off at a different time. As described in Mel's literature, by splitting on May 1 (43 parallel) you will have a laying queen by June 1, then pinch her on July 1 and notch cells and make splits after that. I don't see any reason that you couldn't still split the queen off and make just one fewer split if you like the queen.

    As a side note, I'm not trying to get the max number of splits. I'm just trying to double my hive count for winter so I can cover my losses. According to the book, you could get something crazy like 13 splits from a strong colony over one season........I would just end up killing everything doing that because I don't know what the hell I'm doing

    Here are some pics of my notches:

    notch frame 1.jpgnotch frame 2.jpg

    I'll post some pics of developing queen cells, or lack there-of, as they progress.
    zone 5b
    Back in 2019!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
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    1,401

    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    Quote Originally Posted by mxr618 View Post
    Please.

    I am going to do one Saturday. Truthfully, I'm a little nervous. I'm transitioning between studying all the written words and actually doing it.

    I'm going for honey and the idea of pinching queens is quite foreign to me.

    I'll share my photos and information, too. Good luck!
    You don't have to dispatch the queen until after the summer solstice for the brood break.
    I always count the breeder queen as a split. You also have that hive for brood source if any of the splits has a mismating.
    Hackle guy, looking good!
    With that fresh comb they'll have no problem drawing Q cells

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Knox, Pa. USA
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    OTS = The new watch word, simply a walk away split that one alters the comb containing eggs to encourage the bees to use those eggs to build queens in the parent hive.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    7,776

    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    It is an important little more than that. A valuable tool for small timers like me.

  10. #9
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    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    I wonder if notching the heck out of several frames, like twenty notches per frame. Will they make a whole mess of q cells?

    What's the most cells do you think they would make?

    I could harvest all the cells then return the two frames and the queen back to the same hive, and not set that hive back too much.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    It is an important little more than that. A valuable tool for small timers like me.
    Yes, Vance it is! However, what many are deeming as OTS is in reality nothing more than I have described above. Taking away the true values of OTS

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    international falls, Mn
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    Great Pics Thehackleguy....
    I bought his book a couple of months ago and will try it soon..Thanks..

    ==McBee7==

  13. #12
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    Grand Rapids MI USA
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    In my opinion, the OTS method is founded on Mel's research of how to get the maximum yield of Q cells of of a hive without having to do all the work of the other methods. When the notching is done, the bees have the choice of larvae that they would normally make workers.
    He told me that one day he was working a hive and just out of curiosity he notched a cell with a stick and they made a queen cell out of it.
    It's not a perfect method (the bees don't read) and I'm still learning, but hey, when I can notch a hive and on average I get 3 nucs plus the breeder queen out of a double deep hive, put me down as a MDA disciple.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    Quote Originally Posted by rwlaw View Post
    In my opinion, the OTS method is founded on Mel's research of how to get the maximum yield of Q cells of of a hive without having to do all the work of the other methods. When the notching is done, the bees have the choice of larvae that they would normally make workers.
    He told me that one day he was working a hive and just out of curiosity he notched a cell with a stick and they made a queen cell out of it.
    It's not a perfect method (the bees don't read) and I'm still learning, but hey, when I can notch a hive and on average I get 3 nucs plus the breeder queen out of a double deep hive, put me down as a MDA disciple.
    I totally agree Plus Mel is awesome to talk to, I stopped by one day and told him I was a new beek and he helped me with a lot of questions and pointers.

    As far as the whole system goes, I"m basically using it. My timing is a little off this year because I transfered my foundationless Warre' hive over to a foundation Langstroth (took about three weeks total). But next season I will be using Mel's timing because I live so close it should work out the same.
    zone 5b
    Back in 2019!

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    Good thread and I've used the method in the past to raise some really nice queens, but to the OP, there was no need to notch that new comb. The bees could easily manipulate that fresh comb and build queen cells where they wanted them. In fact, I bet they do just that and there will be no difference in them and the queens where you "notched" the comb. OTS is essential IMO for raising good queens on old, hard, brood comb.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    Quote Originally Posted by thehackleguy View Post
    OTS = On The Spot queen rearing as described by Mel Disselkoen ( http://www.mdasplitter.com/ ).

    Basically, you take your current queen with two frames of capped brood and do a split. Then in the full strength (queenless) colony you "notch" some larva cells that are younger than 36 hrs old and allow them to raise the new queen. Similar to a walk away split ......
    Yes, similar but what is described here is an over-simplification. Mel's idea deserve a closer read. I see it as a system to maximize resources of an apiary for honey and nuc production while providing brood breaks to assist with Varroa control.

    See: http://www.mdasplitter.com
    and http://www.mdasplitter.com/docs/OTS.pdf for a broader overview.

    Wayne

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    Let us know how it turns out.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    Quote Originally Posted by waynesgarden View Post
    Yes, similar but what is described here is an over-simplification. Mel's idea deserve a closer read. I see it as a system to maximize resources of an apiary for honey and nuc production while providing brood breaks to assist with Varroa control.

    See: http://www.mdasplitter.com
    and http://www.mdasplitter.com/docs/OTS.pdf for a broader overview.

    Wayne
    Yes, over simplification......but I don't want to re-print Mel's material...I only think it is right to give him a chance to profit from his years of work,

    I will post updates....but to be clear, I do treat with OAV.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post
    Let us know how it turns out.

    Will do!

  20. #19
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    Sep 2007
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    OTS splitting work consistently. I make splits using Mel's principles, and then put them into 5 frame nuc boxes and then add a second level when there is some capped brood, grow them and overwinter them using a variant of Mike Palmer's methods.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Duval County, FL USA
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    Default Re: Made my first OTS split tonight.

    What Bradbee said. Its got to do with q-cell formation, so that you don't get the usual inferior emergency queens from them having to "float" the larvae out and build small cells. Then there is the brood break and post solstice egg laying rate.

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