How many first year splits on 1 package?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Marshall, TX USA
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    Cool How many first year splits on 1 package?

    Keep in mind I'm in the warm south.

    If I got a 3# package, how many splits are reasonable to obtain from it say before September of that first year?

    I was guessing just 2 nucs, but I'm as green a newbie as anyone here. I've seen people post 6 splits out of 1 nuc, but that's different.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Austin, Texas
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    523

    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    Quote Originally Posted by skyscraper View Post
    Keep in mind I'm in the warm south.

    If I got a 3# package, how many splits are reasonable to obtain from it say before September of that first year?

    I was guessing just 2 nucs, but I'm as green a newbie as anyone here. I've seen people post 6 splits out of 1 nuc, but that's different.
    Lots of variables but the most reasonable answer is: None. Grow it up into a big strong hive, over winter it successfully and split in the spring.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Marshall, TX USA
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    43

    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckReburn View Post
    Lots of variables but the most reasonable answer is: None. Grow it up into a big strong hive, over winter it successfully and split in the spring.
    Thanks for your answer, but I'm not planning on overwintering at all. I want all the honey, sell at least 2 nucs, and start with packages all over in the next spring and do it all over again.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
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    6,034

    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    Quote Originally Posted by skyscraper View Post
    Thanks for your answer, but I'm not planning on overwintering at all. I want all the honey, sell at least 2 nucs, and start with packages all over in the next spring and do it all over again.
    In that case 50.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Marshall, TX USA
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    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    Wow. 50?

    I wouldn't even have the capital to buy nucs and frames for that many...so does that mean 10 by Sept. would be reasonable?

    How does that work in a breakdown with a timeline? Let's say I get a package in mid March, the earliest that I know of is available.

    BTW, empty foundation, not empty comb.
    Last edited by skyscraper; 09-15-2016 at 03:21 PM.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Titus County, Texas, USA
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    230

    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    The answer is none. You can either grow bees or make honey. Very rarely can you do both off of a nuc with 5 drawn frames in the same year. A package with no drawn comb, a small window to use the flow to build comb, lay eggs, hatch brood, split to force them to make more queens, with less workers, to make less honey to use said resources to build more comb, to lay more eggs, to hatch more brood.

    Marshall has a great bee club, are you a memeber?
    Bee management is like a flowing river, persistent and ever changing.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Austin, Texas
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    523

    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    Quote Originally Posted by skyscraper View Post
    Thanks for your answer, but I'm not planning on overwintering at all. I want all the honey, sell at least 2 nucs, and start with packages all over in the next spring and do it all over again.
    Good luck with that.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    I installed 3 packages on April 1, 2016. I now have 4. I was only able to split one of my new packages this year. I was hoping for one split on all 3 of them. Did not happen. Additionally, it was a very strong flow this year. Also, Hive #4 that resulted from the split is still kicking fine, but somewhat puny. I would say it is 50/50 as to whether it makes it through the winter. I am also in the oppressively hot South.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
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    43

    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    Does everyone think that there is money to be made in beekeeping. if you do it right the first year you will lose money and probably the second. its all in know how and being lucky and of course learning how to care for those little girls. good luck on your venture.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Titus County, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    I installed 3 packages on April 1, 2016. I now have 4. I was only able to split one of my new packages this year. I was hoping for one split on all 3 of them. Did not happen. Additionally, it was a very strong flow this year. Also, Hive #4 that resulted from the split is still kicking fine, but somewhat puny. I would say it is 50/50 as to whether it makes it through the winter. I am also in the oppressively hot South.
    If you dont mind me asking, what is your hive setup, mediums or deeps; 8 or 10 frame; how tall is the stack; about how many bees cover the frames of each hive; solid bottom board or screened bottom board; telescoponing cover or mirgatory cover; mite treatment plans; shb treatment plan???
    Bee management is like a flowing river, persistent and ever changing.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Hixson, TN
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    16

    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    Quote Originally Posted by jwcarlson View Post
    In that case 50.
    JWC, I fell on the floor laughing!!! I got the humor but by his response, I do not think skyscraper did :-)

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
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    2,095

    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    Life is full of surprises. Beekeeping proves that even more true. If you get more greedy than your learning curve can wrap its mind around u r doomed to have more than you will appreciate.

    Why not just purchase a package for every hive you intend to have for the year and call it good if you show up with 50% of them categorized as "a going comcern" the following spring.

    If any bees make it through you will have an opportunity to implement that little conquer and divide trick on the remainder as you take the next step....

    Anyone who tries to milk both the numbers and honey racket on the same year baring the rare exceptions is going to end up with a lot of nothing.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    26

    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    I've never bought a package so not much help there. I started off this season with two 5 frame nucs and had two deeps and two medium boxes worth of drawn frames with about 50lbs of honey/little pollen in them. With these resources I managed 15 splits and two honey harvests for a total of 9-10 gallons. I currently have 9 health colonies packed with early fall/golden rod honey that I hope to go into winter with; the other splits failed. If I hadn't been held back by building all my own equipment I would have likely been a lot better at raising queens and done a greater number of splits. I think that if i were to have done more splits this year i would have had to supplement feed sugar syrup to get them to quickly draw my foundation-less frames. I've made money in terms of getting back what I've put in monetarily but not what Ive invested in hours spent.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    Sonoma County, Ca
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    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    Going to be tough to split agressively and get honey.... especially if you dont have drawn foundation. I would dexide what is more important, sellling bees or getting honey. Concentrate on 1 only for a while.

    If you can get hives through the winter you can start with early splits and get lots of nucs off of 1 overwintered hive.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
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    4,130

    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    If you want to try to hit the ground running like that, purchase some clean drawn comb to put your package on, give them 4 comb to start and the rest foundation because they will drawcomb quickly at first, once initial rush comb building slows , and after your first couple rounds of brood has hatched pile on boxes of drawn comb as quickly as you can without overwhelming them with too much room. Once you harvest honey, but it up into nucs and feed the crap out of them....... with all that said that is a stretch to pull off if you knew exactly what you were doing, probably dang near impossible right out of the gate with no experience

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
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    1,148

    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    Assuming everything goes well and you have a package with young bees, a good queen, good weather, and good luck, you might get 4 nucs out of the deal but there is no way you are going to get a honey to harvest too. Getting supers filled requires a sizable foraging population and if you keep splitting, you will never get there. When you install a package it takes about 35 days before the population gets back to where it was on the install date. See this website for a pretty good timeline: http://cookevillebeekeepers.com/02/p...e-demographics. Then you will start to see some population growth. Thus, The soonest you would want to do the first split would be at 60 days from install, if everything goes well and luck is on your side. For a nubee, the chances of everything going well are not as good as someone with lots of experience. Some years you will get to do no splits at all. The best advice I can give you is the same as ChuckReburn said "Grow it up into a big strong hive, over winter it successfully and split in the spring."

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksbees View Post
    If you dont mind me asking, what is your hive setup, mediums or deeps; 8 or 10 frame; how tall is the stack; about how many bees cover the frames of each hive; solid bottom board or screened bottom board; telescoponing cover or mirgatory cover; mite treatment plans; shb treatment plan???
    I set up my three packages in three different configurations (I wanted to experiment).

    Hive 1. A single deep with Queen Excluder. 1 Medium super that grew to 3 medium supers (now backed off to 2 medium supers)
    Hive 2. A single deep with Queen Excluder. 1 Deep Super which grew to 2 Deep Supers (now backed off to 1 Deep Super)
    Hive 3. A single medium, no excluder. This hive grew to 3 medium boxes (no excluder, but they never brood in top box)

    My best hive was hive 1. It is the one I got a split out of. Did split when I found a queen cell in May.

    I did screened bottom boards on all hives. Changed Hives 1 and 2 to Freeman SHB traps because of SHB infestations. Worked great. Really helped control SHB. Hive 3 still on screened bottom board and split hive 4 (which I am doing as all mediums, no QE) is on a screened bottom board.

    I have migratory covers with feeding holes for inverted Mason jars on all hives.

    I pulled 11 gallons of honey this year. 7 gallons from Hive 1.

    Even after the split, Hive 1 has my most dense population. That queen is simply a workhorse. I am hoping her daughter in Hive 4 will be as good, but so far, she is off to a slow start.

    I did an alcohol wash with 300 bees out of hives 1, 2 and 3. I found exactly one mite in each wash.

    I will likely do OAV this Fall. I am reading up on the subject and buying the equipment.
    Last edited by psm1212; 09-16-2016 at 02:58 PM.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Titus County, Texas, USA
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    230

    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    wow, thank you, I am impressed, who did you get your packages from?
    Bee management is like a flowing river, persistent and ever changing.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Boerne TX
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    Splits the first year? I'm in S TX and say your reaching pretty far. Do your bees a favor and let them grow the first year. Take one split if the hive is doing well the second year. Splitting a new hive weakens it and you could loose it for multiple reasons. If you need more than one hive the first year buy several packages.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    2,241

    Default Re: How many first year splits on 1 package?

    I often split April nucs in June. The nucs are rapidly expanding and make splits easily in terms of time spent in the hive. Production hives are more awkward to split, so the compactness (and lack of honey supers) of the nucs are really apparent. I resplit some of the spring divisions in August. My nuc production pulls 10 frames above a QE and splits the 10 frames into 2 nucs. The pattern is April Nuc builds to 10 frames by early May, to 20+ frames by June. The strongest June colonies yield 2 Nucs in August (sometimes with substantial off-colony additions). So we have gone from 1 to 1 + 2. Some portion (50-60%) of the June colonies yield August nucs, so 1+2 to 1+2+2. This is 5 fall colonies from one spring division.

    The April splits are usually 2 from a single thrifty production colony. Swarm control makes the April splits much more ad hoc than the later pattern. I will break down colonies 1 to 4 to weaken if necessary.

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