Splitting a first year hive
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Hawthorne, FL
    Posts
    6

    Default Splitting a first year hive

    I started my first hive this year with a purchased nuc in April. Since then the hive has really taken off and now fills two deep boxes with a fair amount of bearding. I have read that it is often not recommended to split a first year hive, but considering how well the hive is doing I am considering a split.

    My main question is should I pull five frames and make a nuc to overwinter or take one of the deeps and put it on a new bottom board?

    I'm located in north central Florida

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: Splitting a first year hive

    They may already be about to swarm. I'd check for queen cells first thing. If you have swarm cells, you might make three or four nucs, unless you don't want to expand.

    Are Africanized bees in your area?

    At least add another box and move some frames up.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Hawthorne, FL
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Splitting a first year hive

    On last inspection, two days ago, no queen cells to be found. I will check again today as I was already planning to add a medium box above them. I would love to expand, just do not want to split to much and end up with no hives left since this is my only one so far.

    I haven't heard any word on the Africanized bees in the area.

    Thanks for the reply!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: Splitting a first year hive

    If you want to expand, I'd split. I would think you have nectar pretty late into the fall there? Are you in a summer dearth now?

    Someone in your area could give you better local advice. I just chimed in to make sure you checked for swarm cells. Some people don't think a first year hive will swarm. My first hive did.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: Splitting a first year hive

    If you don't split, you might add a deep instead of a medium so you can move a few frames into the new box and open up the brood area.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Hawthorne, FL
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Splitting a first year hive

    I really appreciate the advice. I was under the impression as well that a first year hive would not swarm. I attribute a lot of the bearding to the heat right now (mid 90's during the day). I'm assuming I should still have a late nectar flow, but you know what they say about assuming...

    The bees are still coming in with loads of pollen daily now.

    If it were you, would you just make one split or more?
    I'm going to call today to verify, but it looks like I could pick up a few mated queens to place into the splits. Would that be the best route to take?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    2,461

    Default Re: Splitting a first year hive

    Couple years ago I helped a woman hive her two packages that had Florida queens with Illinois bees. I ended up being the caretaker for them bees. Had not intended for that to happen but it did.
    Little did I know that constant rain was going to flood her 15-acre alfalfa field. It went to full bloom and did not get cut until it was 6 feet tall. The two colonies quickly went to "split us now" mode so I split them both. Then it got even crazier. All four hives swarmed a month and a couple weeks later. I ended up toting off 4 swarms and two hives because she had no equipment to hive swarms or splits. The splits were in my equipment therefore became mine.

    Point is that anything is possible when you have lots of nectar available.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Hawthorne, FL
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Splitting a first year hive

    Wow that is impressive! Thank you for the information. I did an inspection today when I put the medium super on and didn't find any queen cells. I am unable to split for a few days so I added the medium to give them some extra room until I can make the splits.

    Any advice on how many splits to make and if I should try to get my hands on mated queens or let them raise their own?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Jospehine County, Oregon
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Splitting a first year hive

    I split and requeen the same day I pick up my queens, I never remove the cork for the first week, and on day 8 remove the cork release the queen for a 100% acceptance every time. no I do not let them chew the sugar and release, I've had a dozen losses in the past. Since I went with the 8 day release no problems ever, and she's laying within 24hrs after release. so simple even Harvey Vanderpool has a longer release method tacked on the forums.

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