I hope the bees can fix my mistakes, I did my first split.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    caddo parsh, louisiana (aka east texas)
    Posts
    133

    Default I hope the bees can fix my mistakes, I did my first split.

    I used my mean hive for the split incase I screwup. I took 4 frames of brood and added a 10 frame super box of capped honey on top then I called it a split. I didnt find the queen so I guess she is in the original hive. I came back today to look for emergency queen cells, but I didnt find any. I found no activity in front of the so I opened it up and found bees.

    So I opened up the original hive and started shacking bees off into the split. I shook around 5 frames of bees into the box to help get the bee count up. Did I make a poor choice? What should I have done? I think the brood I added might be too old for an emergency queen. If I dont find a queen in 2 days then Ill add another frame of brood.

    I really expected to find a queen cell today after the split. Does my plan sound good? Any feedback is great.

    Thanks
    Nick
    I have a trailer park for bees. I think some fancy people call it an apiary.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    743

    Default Re: I hope the bees can fix my mistakes, I did my first split.

    You didn't say how long you waited between splitting and looking for queen cells. If it was more than a few days you'd have noticed them if they were there. I wait at least three days before checking. You may not notice any if it was less than that.

    I'd guess your problem is as you think - the frames you moved had older brood. You really need to make sure that at least one frame has eggs or very young brood. An entire super of honey is way more than a split should need, but it won't hurt. They need pollen as well, if they're bringing it in then fine, otherwise you can feed them some pollen patty or make sure to transfer a frame with a bunch of pollen on it.

    Shaking five extra frames of bees is likely overkill, particularly if their problem isn't related to the number of bees but rather the lack of eggs/young brood. Remember, they won't be tending to brood for another month so they really don't need a ton of bees. As a general guideline, I'll make a 5 frame split that consists of a frame with a bunch of capped brood, a frame that has eggs/very young brood, a frame of honey and pollen, and a couple empty drawn frames. Then I'll shake in a couple more frames worth of bees. That's all they need.

    So add another frame but make sure it has eggs. Check in 3-4 days for cells, if you see some leave it alone for another 4 weeks. At that time you should see a new queen and uncapped brood.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    caddo parsh, louisiana (aka east texas)
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: I hope the bees can fix my mistakes, I did my first split.

    Quote Originally Posted by bison View Post
    You didn't say how long you waited between splitting and looking for queen cells. If it was more than a few days you'd have noticed them if they were there. I wait at least three days before checking. You may not notice any if it was less than that.

    I'd guess your problem is as you think - the frames you moved had older brood. You really need to make sure that at least one frame has eggs or very young brood. An entire super of honey is way more than a split should need, but it won't hurt. They need pollen as well, if they're bringing it in then fine, otherwise you can feed them some pollen patty or make sure to transfer a frame with a bunch of pollen on it.

    Shaking five extra frames of bees is likely overkill, particularly if their problem isn't related to the number of bees but rather the lack of eggs/young brood. Remember, they won't be tending to brood for another month so they really don't need a ton of bees. As a general guideline, I'll make a 5 frame split that consists of a frame with a bunch of capped brood, a frame that has eggs/very young brood, a frame of honey and pollen, and a couple empty drawn frames. Then I'll shake in a couple more frames worth of bees. That's all they need.

    So add another frame but make sure it has eggs. Check in 3-4 days for cells, if you see some leave it alone for another 4 weeks. At that time you should see a new queen and uncapped brood.

    I waited about 24ish hours after the split until I looked for queen cell and it sounds like I didnt wait long enough. I will wait another 3 days then add another frame of brood or two. I currently only have full size boxes so I guess I should try and make some nuke box before I continue with the other splits. Or maybe make a divider box to slit a 10 frame into 2 5 frames nukes.

    Lesson learn. Thanks for the info.
    I have a trailer park for bees. I think some fancy people call it an apiary.

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