Split Question
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Split Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Millbrook, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Split Question

    My objective this year is to raise as many new hives as possible as I was left with one live hive coming out of winter. On the 17th of this month, I split out three frames one each of honey and brood and one with a mix plus the queen from the donor hive into a five frame nuc.

    Today, I checked both the nuc and the hive today, and the nuc is growing (saw orientation flights today) and I found five frames with capped queen cells in the hive. Not a lot of honey though the flow is on here.

    My question is this, can i split out all of these frames into their own nucs and expect them to survive even though I can't move honey to all the splits, or is the whole idea a little off?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lebanon Pa
    Posts
    765

    Default Re: Split Question

    better to give them more than less resources are u thinking of making 1 frame splits?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Millbrook, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Split Question

    2 frame where I'm able and feed if necessary though I'm hoping it won't be. I guess I should mention this is an 18 frame hive at the moment.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Cullman, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,240

    Default Re: Split Question

    keep in mind, I am still a new guy ....
    I think the concerns would be if there were enough bees to keep the queen cells & brood warm. we still have some cool nights coming.
    are these deep frames or mediums?
    If mediums, a single frame is a pretty skimpy mating nuke, & it is a pretty long hike from mating nuke to viable hive to overwinter.
    How many frames can be robbed from the queens nuc?
    can you stack the mating nucs over boards with a screened holes in them?
    I have tried mating nucs stacked crisscrossed ( but solid bottom boxes) so every nuc faced a different direction, but it was an out yard & I lost them all.
    remember you will have to feed them too, nectar ( syrup) & pollen(sub/patty?)
    In other words, I would probably try it, knowing the deck was stacked against.
    use follower boards to reduce the size of the hive cavities, maybe even use bubble wrap to help with heat ....
    or you might settle for one 2-frame split & one - frame split.
    Good Luck ... CE
    Started summer of 2013, just another new guy, tinkering with bees.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    5,400

    Default Re: Split Question

    Splitting hives to much results in hives that take forever to grow into strong healthy hives. Bee hives grow in a logistic curve -- they need a critical mass before they begin to expand quickly. I believe the critical mass is somewhere around 7,500 bees or about 2++ lbs. This is sufficient to cover 3 frames completely. A smaller hive will survive but grow so slowly you waste half the season getting them to the critical "jumping off" stage.

    Better to add the queen and supplement the hive by adding capped brood and some nurse bees.

    Dink hives remain dinks for a long time. The dinks are suseptible to all sorts of disease syndromes. They are sitting ducks for the next problem -- robbers, chalkbrood, chilled brood, you name it.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    lawrence county alabama usa
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Split Question

    just FYI there is a lot of pollen coming in right now but there is NO flow going on! very little nectar coming in. if you are further south maybe a little nectar but i think its pretty early to be splitting that much. I would settle for two hives for now (one split) and try to split further later in the season. we should have a lot of swarms this year due to light swarm season last year from cold rainy spring. so i would also put out a lot of swarm traps in areas where there are feral hives and try to catch swarms.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Millbrook, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Split Question

    Quote Originally Posted by bigAlittlearon View Post
    just FYI there is a lot of pollen coming in right now but there is NO flow going on! very little nectar coming in. if you are further south maybe a little nectar but i think its pretty early to be splitting that much. I would settle for two hives for now (one split) and try to split further later in the season. we should have a lot of swarms this year due to light swarm season last year from cold rainy spring. so i would also put out a lot of swarm traps in areas where there are feral hives and try to catch swarms.
    I'm in close to Montgomery county. We've had nectar coming in for at least the last two weeks. Nothing like it will be, but it's there. I was figuring on just splitting the hive evenly. They have enough resources for that.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Millbrook, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Split Question

    UPDATE (3/31/16):

    I went in yesterday afternoon to do an even split for the hive. Figured it would be a 15 minute process. Boy, was I wrong. I popped the box just to check on numbers and they were busting at the seams. And I get mobbed by bees. This is not totally unexpected for a queenless hive. I put the cover back on and fire up the smoker.

    Getting ready to go back in, I flub popping open the inner cover. This is important, because as I set it back on to let them calm down I happen to glance down in to the solid bottom box I use to hold frames when I am inspecting and what do I see but a brand-newly-hatched queen. Now, I'm not the best at finding virgin queens, but it's obvious she can't be anything else. She's too long to be a worker and obviously newly hatched. What she was doing on the inner cover I'll never know. So I frantically pull a frame I know is just drawn comb, let her climb back on, and set her in the box for the split. Great. One split definitely has a queen.

    8 more frames in I find two unopened queen cells. Great, I'll leave these in the second split and let them hatch and I'll be fairly certain the second split will have a queen. So I continue shuffling frames between the two. Not 20 minutes in to a fifteen minute job. Throughout the shuffling, I'm checking and see a good handful of torn out queen cells.

    I'm now on the last three frames, almost done. Wait... that doesn't look like a drone or a worker... too narrow and long. Yep, a second recently hatched queen. Again, it can't be anything else (at least to my eyes). So I grab another SBB and empty box and begin to reshuffle for a three-way split, it'd be a shame to waste a new queen, and there are plenty of bees, nectar, and pollen.

    At the end of the day, I have 1 nuc with a mated, laying queen (from when I removed the old queen to start this process), 2 five frame splits with what I assume are virgin queens, and 1 4 frame split with two ready to hatch queen cells. This went from a 15 minute project to a 2ish hour afternoon and I loved every minute of it. It was full of surprises. My only regret is not having the ability to take photos. These bees were on the ball, according to my records they went from queenless to hatched queens in just 13 days. I knew I was cutting it close (I thought I had 14 days at least) but at least I had good timing.

    I do have one question. By the time I was buttoning up the splits, I checked on the new queens and they were both head first into a cell on a frame of nectar. They were not being attacked by the workers, so I can only assume they were either feeding or resting, but I though nurse bees (attendant bees) feed queens. Maybe they were just too new. Thoughts?

Tags for this Thread

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
  •