Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs
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  1. #1
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    Feb 2016
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    Hot Springs, AR
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    Big Grin Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    Hi, I've been keeping or killing bee for 4yrs now I can't seem to get pass 20 hives. I had a bright idea of splitting 5 hive with 2 frame nucs and queen cells to make 100 hives. Starting March 20th to May 31st. I was wanting some input on this. Thanks

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Lexington, VA, USA
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    I am not following you-splitting 5 hives to make up 2 frame nucs. How many frames are in each of the five hives and what is their composition? What is the composition of the 2 frames you are proposing to use to start the nucs ?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Miami, Manitoba, Canada
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    Maintain your hive fundamental needs and you should be fine. I make up 2 frame nucs and it works great. Your math might be off though

  5. #4
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    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    If you have 5 double deep hives to make splits, that will give you 100 frames total. With a very robust population of bees in each hive, 2 frames per nuc, and purchasing "laying queens" for each nuc, you might be able to pull it off. But that is only 50 nucs. And I think that might be a stretch too.
    To everything there is a season....

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Benton, KY
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    310

    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    If each frame had everything you need. But even in my best hives there are comb underwent, empty com. Out of 20 frames likely 4 hits that. The other issue, is bees will leave to return home. Only nurse bees will stay, unless you move them. I did a couple of 2 frame splits, wound up with chilled brood and robbing. Have to really reduce the entrances, and have enough resources to survive as these won't have a field force. You will have to feed heavily and check daily. Will it work, yes but you have to be prepared

  7. #6
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    Jun 2013
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    Lebanon Pa
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    i think you should research brood factories
    i would try to build them stronger you can always split them at a later point again to over winter
    weak splits can be overcome by pests and robbing quicker

  8. #7
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    Jul 2013
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    Driggs, Idaho, USA
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    I think Palmer states he can take a 4x4x4 nuc and split it ten fold. I don't think he does it all at once though. Maybe he will chime in and explain a little better.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ballard County, KY
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    I have tried 2 frames splits several times and yes it will work. The best time is after temperatures are very warm and chilled brood is not a big issue (I don't even attempt this until late spring/early summer when it is HOT outside). Expect to feed syrup into late fall and provide sugar blocks all winter. I pull a frame with swarm cells out of a regular hive. This will usually have capped brood and nurse bees. In addition choose a frame with honey and pollen and put in a nuc box (I use a 5 frame box) along with another shake of nurse bees from a frame of open brood.

    Provide this nuc syrup feed and close the entrance up to a tiny opening to help with robbing. I put these in the slight shade to keep them from over heating in the extreme heat of late afternoon but be careful since small hive beetles can over run these tiny nucs almost overnight. After several days check to see that the queen has hatched, mated and started laying then add one or two frames of drawn empty comb. At this point population gets pretty low and I either combine them with a hive I want to requeen or I give them a frame of capped brood to boost the nuc. They usually reach critical mass after the extra brood is given to them. I have tried to get them to expand with the original two frames without adding the additional boost of capped brood and they just sort of stay alive but don't expand and build up as well although there is a slow growth as long as syrup is fed. This method requires a lot of intervention and feeding by the beekeeper and if there is a dearth they are very difficult to maintain due to robbing even with entrance reduction because of the small population. Very intensive management is needed to baby them along. I've had much better success with a three to five frame splits and a lot less work.

    Bought queens will save you several weeks assuming they are accepted but costs more initially.

    Tim
    Last edited by timgoodin; 02-05-2016 at 06:02 AM. Reason: grammar

  10. #9
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by Arkansawbeeman View Post
    I can't seem to get pass 20 hives.
    And your goal is to make 100 new hives with the least amount of resources? If you had a goal of 25% increase you would end up with 25 hives and solve your first problem. Once you solve your first problem then you can increase your percentage increase every year. Sometimes going slower is faster.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    Southern Virginia
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    And your goal is to make 100 new hives with the least amount of resources? If you had a goal of 25% increase you would end up with 25 hives and solve your first problem. Once you solve your first problem then you can increase your percentage increase every year. Sometimes going slower is faster.
    a good quote I heard, "nothing good happens fast."
    Zone 7a

  12. #11
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    Jan 2003
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    Miami, Manitoba, Canada
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    And your goal is to make 100 new hives with the least amount of resources? If you had a goal of 25% increase you would end up with 25 hives and solve your first problem. Once you solve your first problem then you can increase your percentage increase every year. Sometimes going slower is faster.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Derry, New Hampshire
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    I think OP listing the range of months is the key. As pointed out not going to hit that number from 20 in one split but waiting another 2 weeks and repeating might. that's a lot of queens to buy.
    Last edited by kaizen; 02-05-2016 at 08:47 AM.

  14. #13
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    May 2013
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    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by timgoodin View Post
    Provide this nuc syrup feed and close the entrance up to a tiny opening to help with robbing. I put these in the slight shade to keep them from over heating in the extreme heat of late afternoon but be careful since small hive beetles can over run these tiny nucs almost overnight. After several days check to see that the queen has hatched, mated and started laying then add one or two frames of drawn empty comb. At this point population gets pretty low and I either combine them with a hive I want to requeen or I give them a frame of capped brood to boost the nuc. They usually reach critical mass after the extra brood is given to them. I have tried to get them to expand with the original two frames without adding the additional boost of capped brood and they just sort of stay alive but don't expand and build up as well although there is a slow growth as long as syrup is fed. This method requires a lot of intervention and feeding by the beekeeper and if there is a dearth they are very difficult to maintain due to robbing even with entrance reduction because of the small population. Very intensive management is needed to baby them along. I've had much better success with a three to five frame splits and a lot less work.

    Bought queens will save you several weeks assuming they are accepted but costs more initially.

    Tim
    Tim has nailed it concerning many things, including small hive beetles, sun, and feeding. In your location, particularly with small nucs, sunshine is needed to prevent SHB, but that causes heat problems. I would reread that post about three times. Cheers,
    David Matlock

  15. #14
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    Apr 2013
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    Madisonville,TN
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    Tim really did nail it there. I did turn 19 hives into 80 one season, using queen cells. It was alot of work, ALOT of feeding, and tons of TLC. I don't think I want to try it again. My losses of the 80 hives was 15% over the winter. I did not even attempt to get honey. I made the nucs three frames stong and added brood to some of them. The origianl 19 hives were strong double deeps. It can be done, but is alot of work.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt903 View Post
    I did turn 19 hives into 80 one season, using queen cells.
    You are comparing a ratio of 4.2 to 1 to a ratio of 20 to 1. Not the same in my book, not even close.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by Arkansawbeeman View Post
    .... I can't seem to get pass 20 hives.
    You've had a lot of great replies in this thread.

    I keep getting drawn back to your opening statement. It would be helpful to know "why" you are unable to get past 20 hives. If there is some fundamental issue preventing that from happening which has not been addressed, you may end up going through all the work and expense of splitting and still end up with only 20 hives .. or less. I'm not questioning your beekeeping skills, just curious why you are stuck on < 20 hives.
    To everything there is a season....

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Hot Springs, AR
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    4

    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    Thanks everyone for the input its my first time posting on here. I'll let y'all know step by step how it works out.

  19. #18
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    Jan 2017
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    Vernon, Louisiana, USA
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    So....how did it work out?

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Hot Springs, AR
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    Not good it seems like the splits I did make replaced my original hives by summer time. I only made about 18 splits and only half of the queens made it back from their mating flight I only end up with 6 hives by fall time now I'm down to just 3 hives. I'm not giving up. Spend some more money lol

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    west central Arkansas
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    Default Re: Making Extreme Spilts with 2 Frame Nucs

    Arkbeeman-Hot Springs and surrounding areas should be a bounty for bees I would think. Before you spend any more money, set out some swarm traps. You live surrounded by National Forest. There's bound to be some good bees to catch and propagate from. I definitely wouldn't throw good money after bad and I'd definitely not approach things the same way expecting different results.

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