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.
I know you are right but I'm just starting and want the practice and experience. If they build other QC's I'll have enough to split the original hive also. Keeping my fingers crossed!
Results: Well, so far so good on the split. The hive is booming and working well and they have a queen cell (just one). Brad, you were right, but in a different way I not only didn't need to notch the new wax, the bees decided that they didn't like those spots and repaired them and built their own cells. They built three but only capped and are caring for one.
Did my first notch job today,,,I had a hive that was making swarm preps and I pulled a frame of eggs yesterday and they were hatching today....They were on black foundation and when I took the veil off they were as plain as day ... I pulled some frames with swarm cells also , but knew this newly drawn frame was the one to try if I wanted to notch....Will let you know how it's going...
I put the notched frame above a queen excluder above a 5 over 5 nuc with a frame of honey and I checked tonight and , yes the nurse bees had moved up to care for the larve...
Last edited by McBee7; 07-11-2015 at 10:11 PM.
Reason: puncuation/last para
forgive me if you guys updated somewheres else, but how did you make out over winter?
No sir I didn't for sure. I started last spring with one over-wintered hive and 5 nucs. OTS split up to 11 hives, one queen never made it back from mating flight and I combined them, another one superseded their queen in late fall so I shook them out. Leaving me with 9 hives going into fall. Mid-February all 9 were active on warm days, sometime between then and now I did loose one hive....they had lots of food so I don't know why. But all in all not bad, so far I have 8 strong hives going into April.
That is respectable. I guess you are doing this more for increase and overwinter percentage rather than "outbreeding mites". Did you take any honey? Did you feed much in the fall? Do you have a summer dearth there? Looking at the dates mel lists doing splits, i cant imagine he sees much lack of forage. Sorry for all the questions. I am just exploring if i can incorporate such aggressive splitting where i am at.
Last spring I started with 12 overwintered nucs and 2 over wintered 10 over tens, and went into fall of 2015/16 with 12---10 over 10 hives and 13 nucs (wintered inside in controled inviro) total of 25 hives...
This spring I have 7--- 10over10 hives and 7 nucs----total of 14 hives.....
I also made about 50gallons honey (500-600 lbs) last year..
I had a knee replacement last fall and didn't get all my winter preps completed...ie- treat all hives with OAV 3 times and feed them enough to not have to feed block sugar to make it till spring...
Any way I'll try to double my hive count this year again and increase my hive populations to generate more honey And I'll try more notching this year.
I am doing it for increases and to produce nucs with locally bred queens. I took about 5 gallons of honey (left a lot for the bees) and fed about 30 gallons of 1:1 in the fall (open feeding) I live about 15 miles from Mel so I can use is schedule exactly (lucky) and yes we have almost no derth most years. I will say that I don't think I can make 1:8 increases like Mel does but I'm really just getting started. I figure I can turn one hive into three pretty easy with his system and of course plan to loose some to queens not returning from mating. But then you can use the queenless hive to boost the population of other hives. Really a win-win style of beekeeping.
thanks guys, good to know.
where i am at typically by the time bees can forage we start off with 6 weeks of pollen for buildup, 6 weeks mostly nectar, then 6+ weeks dearth waiting to see if/when goldenrod comes. this year is different. bees have been flying 4 weeks early and are really able to take advantage of the maples. even so, i still dont see being able to split much and still make a honey crop like mel sings about. i need to have those new queens laying early in order to take advantage of our flow. this year might be warm enough to make starts early, but there isnt much drones to speak of yet to get them mated. if we had flow in july i could totally see his methods for increase AND honey production working quite well. i am thinking i would need to get lots of protein into the hives in addition to syrup. then i have to deal with mad robbing. theres always the effort of storing pollen frames from the spring i suppose. FWIW, i have not been impressed with my hives ability to make surplus while experiencing a brood break.
just thinking out loud here, dont hesitate to comment!