Splits failing plz help - Page 4
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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Splits failing plz help

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidZ View Post
    honestly like stated before by someone you should have waited till spring.
    Bees are driven by the daylength hours, just because you have it warm in FL
    bees react to the length of the daysnot the temps, temps do help drive them.
    But once winter hours are less than 15hrs oer day bees shut down.
    it's way to late in the year to make nucs and splits.
    you may have just wasted your efforts big tim, and learned a hard lesson.
    good luck, follow the bees.
    jadeguppy is likely in the middle of a big Brazilian pepper bloom now, a typical October flow there

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  3. #62
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    My mature hive is very busy foraging. Goldenrod recently started blooming along with other fall plants. Lots of whitish pollen this week. We are in full flow.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  4. #63
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    Can I wash, sun bake and give the bees the now icky black comb or does it need to be scraped off?
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  5. #64
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    Sad Re: Splits failing plz help

    JG, I'm sorry things didn't work out. Without knowing for sure, my first guess would be that there simply weren't enough bees in the splits to begin with and they got over run by the SHBs.

    The daylight hours claim intrigues me. Let's see, it is 72 days until winter solstice, the shortest amount of daylight. If you add back 72 days to that you get a date of March 2. Therefore, we have about the same amount of daylight vs dark now as we will at the begining of March. No one is going to suggest the bees aren't in full swing at that time so there is more to it than just daylight hours. Maybe the bees recognize the shortening days, I don't know. But I can tell you that the splits I made around Sept 9 are doing very well as of last week. And I am about 500 miles north of you. I do belive it is now too late to try anything to save the home nuc but you really need to work on getting your shb situation under control or you might lose the hive as well.

    Take some time this winter to build some swarm traps. You might get lucky and replinish your loses with local feral bees.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #65
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    That would be very fortunate
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  7. #66
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    Default Re: Splits failing plz help

    Just read the rest of the posts. Do not scrape the comb! Dunk it in a bleach and water solution, rinse well, then let the bees fix it. Never scrape drawn comb unless you have to. I had a frame in a failed nuc get whacked by wax moths. Cleaned it and gave it back to the bees. They moved most of the wax to other frames, but fixed the part that was still sound. Next year I'm sure they will draw the rest back out.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #67
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    Jwp, that is good news. There is a lot of comb involved. What bleachater ratio?
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  9. #68
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    Default Re: Splits failing plz help

    It is not a precise thing. I would use 1/2 cup household bleach in a five gallon bucket filled with water and a little dish soap. Soak for a few minutes, flip and soak some more, then rinse wih a gentle sprayer nozzle to get inside the cells and air dry. Don't leave out too long or the wax moths will find them.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  10. #69
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    Is there a safe way to store the comb frames without freezing them?
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  11. #70
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    Default Re: Splits failing plz help

    First of all this has nothing to do with the weather or the change in the
    daylight hours at this time. It is having more to do with your experience and strategy used to
    make a successful nuc split. You have to steer the situation a bit in your favor next time by
    ensuring that the robber screen is installed at the right time and without feeding the
    syrup to invite any robbing to start. Then you have to make a stronger split so that the SHBs don't have
    a chance to take a foot hold. The mite is the next issue you have to deal with in order for the nuc
    to build up the big fat winter bees over this winter. These 3 external factors, once they are under your control will help
    to increase the chance of a successful split.

    Here is my example, I don't have the SHB here to worry about, so the mites and feeding are my main focus on a split. Had I
    have the SHBs here I would install a beetle trap inside my nuc hives after the split. For feeding on a new split nuc, I don't give them any syrup initially.
    They have to feed on the sugar bricks and patty subs along with 4 frames of open nectar/pollen. In your case a little bit of the subs added will help too. For the mites issue, I already moved majority of them into another nuc hive back in late June. There will be no mites to infect my new nucs for a while after the new installed queen is laying. When the nucs are stable enough after a few weeks, I will give them each a pint jar of honey water. Since all the production hives got broken down into nucs now, there won't be any big colony to rob the small nuc hives out. When the 3 deep hive got broken down into smaller nucs this late summer, I make sure to make a strong split and even out the nuc hive population somewhat. So the issue of robbing, feeding and mites are all under my control! Next is to deal with the newly installed queen.

    At build up time, going on now, they will be too busy minding their own business to care about what the other nucs are doing. There won't be any big hive haunting the smaller nuc hives out. To increase the chance of a successful split, keeping the new queen alive is very important. In this case, using the 2 frames laying cage to hold the queen in with the young nurse bees will be very helpful. I've since made an improvement to use a single drawn comb frame queen laying queen cage to same space. It just so happens that yesterday I released the queen by taking out the other empty half of the frame. Then the entire drawn comb frame along with the 80 young nurse bees got moved to the next frame of bees over. Today, on a hive check I saw half of the drawn comb got new eggs in the cells. A very good sign that she's laying well in solid pattern too. Because she already know her hive environment she will not wait any longer trying to build up the winter hive population. With the daylight hours getting shorter by the days, she will not lose anymore precious time. By next week I should see all eggs filling up the cells in the 4 frames nuc hive. Then there will be a frame switch out.

    So actually, the shorter daylight hours along with the decrease in day and night temperature will help to signal the hive to hurry up and build up. Taking this opportunity to know more about the bees, I will do another one of my little bee experiment. I will removed the cap brood frames into my homemade mini fridge incubator. This will free up the nurse bees to stay longer inside to help take care of the open broods. If left alone with a decreasing hive population, only 2-3 frames of bees, once the broods are cap these young nurse bees will turn into foragers very fast as it is way past due for them. I will use drawn comb frames to help the new queens to lay more eggs to build up the hive population. As the hive population increased and broods too, so is the need for more feeding. I will make up more high protein 60g, homemade patty subs and honey water for them along with the sugar bricks. There will be a small 7 watt electric heat pad inside the empty frame hook up to the solar station to keep the broods warm all winter long too. Once all the bees emerged from the incubator they will be mite checked first one by one before releasing them back into these nuc hives. The population will be even out somewhat by that time.

    Ohh, David, there are lots of big fat winter bees in there right now. I didn't take a pic because I was too happy to finally see the new queen got accepted and laying away. Yep, feeding honey water at the right time really helps on occasion. You will never get the chance to see how an about to dwindle away late summer nuc hive turn around with a newly mated late summer queen on a shorten daylight hours and lower night time temperature. When others are focusing on making combines for a stronger hive going into winter, I focus on using Mel's method to give them a newly mated queen to build up. Time is still on my side, somewhat. But the bees know they don't have much since David said their daylight hours are getting shorter by the day now. Once you see how a nuc hive build up versus the big strong hives that you have, you will never think of what you're thinking right now. Remember, it is all about methods and strategy you use in your local bee environment. Do you still think that it is rather too late to make a few new nuc hives these days?

    Jadeguppy did not completely fail this time because what he learned will be use to improved on the next split along with some strategy to use. Once he has mastered the learning curve then the real successful splits can be made. It seems like eliminating the factors that have the potential to crashed his hive is the biggest issue. Because of the mini early Autumn flow, right now is the perfect time to make a split nuc hive. I would make more nuc splits too. But for the sake of learning and experimentation, I will only focus on a few nuc hives to illustrate here. With the 3 months young queens, these hives will take off like crazy come this early Spring time!

    Third years into making small nuc hives and so far without any failure yet. Mel's method can withstand the test of time in
    any different bee environment. JG, there will be no failure as long as you keep on learning and applying the improvement method.
    Once you've improved so are these successful nuc splits. Successful will be with you once you have mastered these little improvements!



    Newly accepted laying queen:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  12. #71
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    Do you think I should do two frame splits in the spring instead of five?
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  13. #72
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    Default Re: Splits failing plz help

    If you have not read up on Mel's summer nuc splits (on the web) method then read it for your future reference. In it he described why we
    should do a summer split instead of the Spring split. To me the difference is that a late split nuc hive will build up like
    it is early Spring time but the season is really in the early Autumn time. Once the queen had a chance to rest a bit then it is the official early Spring time already. For that she will start laying strong since she's only a few months old. The morale is high with so many big fat overwintered eager to work bees building up the hive population.

    The hive expansion to catch the early flow will be very significant because there is no need to wait for a newly mated Spring queen. It is nearly impossible to find a mated queen that early. All you have to do is to give them some sugar bricks or honey water and see this nuc hive take off. I will be using these nuc hives to draw more comb and make up the production colony all ready for the main flow here. Two growing high morale nuc hives combined into 1 will be very good at honey gathering. Now try 3 into 1 to see their potential! These already been tested on last year. The overwintered bees mixed with the new Spring bees will try their best building up the nuc hive. It is even better when it's raining outside because they can stay in more to raised more broods for the main flow expansion and honey collection.

    When you make up a new Spring nuc split already the main flow might be over. Then you have to feed them through out the summer dearth. This will be a waste of your hive resources. A late nuc split will conserved their hive resources over the winter knowing that they will have a long way to go before any new resource is coming in. My sugar bricks and patty subs will be available all winter long for them.

    To me whether or not to make up the 2, 3, or 5 frame splits does not matter. As long as the broods are covered so that they will not get the chilled broods. What is more important is the beekeeper's skills level at making up these splits. And knowing what to watch out for as well as what resources are needed to provide for these growing nuc hives. Different seasons have different requirement. Repeating the same situation and mistakes will not make a good split. Kind of seeing the little dog trying to bite its tail by going around in a circle.

    When the weather is in your favor it doesn't matter if you make up a strong or a weak nuc splits. For a strong nuc hive you can take some bees or cap broods into another weaker hive. The same with a very weak hive you can swap the nuc position with another strong nuc hive instantly absorbing all the foragers. I have to juggle a few nucs over time to make things near perfect for them now. This 2 strategy I've learned here will help with any split situation--strong or weak. So as a beekeeper we must know how to solve some of the hive issues when they come up. Over time you will gain these skills and know what to look for with more experiences added. Learning to problem solve thinking like a flow chart (what if) method will help you with a successful split. Knowing to use some of the tools and strategy mentioned here will also help you out tremendously. There is no other way around other than trying it out and learning from our mistakes. The initial set back will always be there but we will not let these get in our way.

    When the new queen is laying, I give them plenty of honey water. Big fat winter bees that don't want to go out foraging anymore. There is plenty for everyone inside. This will immediately eliminate the weather factor gearing them up for this cold rainy winter. The result is....the big fat winter bees!


    More broods for me now:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  14. #73
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    Thank you beepro. I just read your last posts and appreciate the info.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  15. #74
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    I've been thinking about the nuc at my house that was going, but then the fled. I think the hurricane caused water to flood into the hive. If this did happen, am I correct in thinking it caused them to swarm?
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  16. #75
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    Default Re: Splits failing plz help

    Do you have telescoping or migratory tops on the nucs you built? I could see a migratory top allowing enough water in to cause the bees to abscond.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  17. #76
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    Telescoping, but the problem was because of the inner cover between the nuc and the med nuc I used to house the syrup. It warped and left a gap on the back corner.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  18. #77
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    Default Re: Splits failing plz help

    Even though we are in a mild winter area, at times it can be
    quite windy and cold on rainy days here. Just now the weather man
    announced that there is a cold front with possible rains on
    the way. It will only last a few hours ending before the sunrise.
    We may or may not get hit by the rains though.

    Even then I will not take the risk of letting my 2-3 frame of
    bees get wet or colder than they're used to. So I put a piece of
    water proof tarp to cover all the nuc hives. All my nucs
    are in a double deep set up now. From reading here if the bees don't
    like their hive environment then they will take off no matter what time of the
    year it is. The last thing I wanted to see is for them to pack up and leave with the approaching of winter. So
    I will do my best to take precaution against any potential environmental attach on these hives. All hive entrances got reduced to a few bees space now. When it gets colder later on I will give them one bee space entrance only.

    I can see that your nuc hive may be finding another better shelter because they
    don't feel safe inside after this storm. Insects and small animals like snakes, rats, etc. can feel the change in weather more sensitive than us. And especially with a hurricane storm they don't want to stay there for any future potential round. On you tube vid, there was an AHB queen leading her colony through the summer dearth to get to the greener field on the other side of the mountain. This trip took her through a very long journey more than 10 miles, leading her colony through a confrontation with an elephant herd too. Quite impressive that a capable queen can do that in an effort to survive for everyone in her colony. So yes, it is quite possible for a queen to make such a decision for her colony. That is why I don't want to take any chances.

    A well built hive is water proof and secure all the way around. That means no gap or cracks on the walls or cover. During the winter time they like a tightly closed hive cover and a reduced one bee space hive entrance. All I can say is all these will take you through the learning curve much faster. Every specie on Earth has its requirements in order to thrive. Next time I would wrap all the hives in a plastic tarp to make them feel more secure. If the hive entrance is too big then reduced it to one bee space. I do that every winter to conserve the heat inside. This winter will be a heated hive for all of them. Safe, warm and secured!

    It all come with experience! To what extent will you go to safe guard your bees?



    Plastic tarp on tonight w/coming rains?:
    Attached Images Attached Images

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