Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?
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  1. #1
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    Default Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?

    I plan to do a vertical split in the spring on a hive that has two medium brood boxes. I plan to build a double screen board for this task. I am a new BEEK not yet skilled in finding the queen. Since the queen cannot be in both brood boxes at once, does it matter which one she winds up in? Is it better for the queen to be above the double screen board?

    Does there need to be newspaper between the screen board to initially break the pheromone so that the queen-less side realizes they need to raise a queen?

    Some say the hive entrances need to be reversed front to back after 7 days and how important is that?

    Thanks to all for your patience. There is so much information on the web and so much to learn.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?

    Newspaper separation will not be needed. New queen can be raised in either upper or lower box but there are some subtle differences. Will you be making multiple diversion entrances in double screen board as in a Snelgrove design?

    I usually do not search for the queen but either shake the bees from both boxes into or in front of whichever box I want her to be in. She is the easiest bee to shake off the frame. Smoke can also be used to chase the bees down then place a queen excluder to allow the nurse bees to repopulate the shaken frames before placing the double screen board between them. After three or 4 days it will be obvious which box the queen is in and you can swap boxes if you wish.

    Make sure drones are flying before you do the split. There is lots of different, confusing and apparently conflicting advice on methods. I would suggest doing a search on Snelgrove division boards to get yourself some backgrounding. If you put username on search enjambres it will narrow down to some posts with good information. Snelgroves original theory and instructions is also available by free Pdf. download.

    I have been using the Snelgrove division board for splits and queen replacements for three years or so.
    Frank

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?

    Frank,

    I was considering making front and back entrances on the double screen board (four total). Is there significant advantages for side entrances as well?

    Would I wait a couple of weeks after seeing capped drone cells to make sure drones are flying? In middle Tennessee that might be mid-April.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?

    Quote Originally Posted by mooboy View Post
    Frank,

    I was considering making front and back entrances on the double screen board (four total). Is there significant advantages for side entrances as well?

    Would I wait a couple of weeks after seeing capped drone cells to make sure drones are flying? In middle Tennessee that might be mid-April.
    Drone brood should be at least at the purple eye stage when the division board is placed so that they will be matured to mate by time the virgin queen flies. That is the soonest you should split to ensure a fully bred new queen.

    The side doors can be selectively manipulated to send reinforcing bees to the bottom box if you want to keep it strong for honey production while the top box is raising the new queen. Not absolutely necessary if you want to merely do an even split.
    Frank

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?

    Frank,

    Thanks for replies. A few more questions:

    In your view, which box is best for the queen to be in, above or below screen board?

    Initially box above screen board should have entrance opposite the bottom box? Any reason to swap these after 7 days?

    Thanks for your patience. I did look at on-line info for Snelgrove board. It is a little more than I can comprehend since some documentation is geared towards swarm control instead of a split increase.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?

    I use it for swarm control as well as new queen.

    Swapping entrance positions is a way of diverting oriented bees to the other box.

    I want the created queen cells to be up top where I can readily view conditions in the queen making progress, pull off some extra frames with cells, judge feed conditions etc, of the queenless portion. That is a more a problem if it is happening in the bottom box. The queenright colony is on the bottom with excluder and several honey supers, then the double screen board, then the box that is making new queen (queens?) on top.

    It does take a fair bit of reading and rereading to get the ideology absorbed, then much of the hocus pocus feeling goes away.

    Try the method you have in mind with bottom box queenless. I did it once that way by accident; actually both upper and lower boxes made new queens and the original queen somehow managed to go to work in the honey supers of another hive, but that is another story! As long as you have viable eggs/brood in both boxes it will work out. Apparently, from Snelgrove, occasionally the bottom box queenless bees will discover the queen is up top and and join her. I have not deliberately done it that way but I believe some other users here use that method with good results.
    Frank

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?

    Okay thanks Frank. I will make sure both boxes have eggs and brood and give it a try.

    Joe

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?

    One more question Frank. Would you wait till the new queen starts laying before you de-stack the vertical split?

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?

    Quote Originally Posted by mooboy View Post
    One more question Frank. Would you wait till the new queen starts laying before you de-stack the vertical split?
    I would usually have several spare nuc colonies at the same time so would not worry about the rare chance the queen would fail to produce. Some areas have fairly high rate of queens fail though so in that case you could choose to wait the extra 10 days to two weeks to verify.

    The division board and top colony are a nuisance for inspection of bottom box and honey supers so there would be some advantage to get it set off on its own bottom. Depends a lot on whether you are seeking increase or merely renewing the old queen, achieving swarm control and keeping hive count the same. There are many, many different options you can do, even place two division boards and start two new colonies from each queenright one.

    I really would recommend taking the time to study and understand Snelgroves theory and instructions because all the other variations you will read about are based on the same theory.
    Frank

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?

    Educating myself about Snelgrove's methods for purposes of both swarm control and increase has been my winter project this year. I made some Snelgrove boards that will isolate two 4-frame nucs on top of the divider in a hope to create two new colonies for each queenright hive.

    I have read the Wally Shaw paper multiple times, but I am still a little uncertain as to the exact make-up of frames I need on top of the board. Obviously, I need eggs and young larvae to create new queens in the top. I also assume that I need stores, as the workers will be returning to the bottom box. Do I want capped brood located more in the bottom or the top? I am assuming you would want capped brood in the top to create more nurse bees for queen rearing, but I am unsure of that.

    Frank, what are your thoughts with regard to frame/resource placement? Thanks.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?

    pms
    Just food for thought, the last split I did using the board, I did a teronove split. I shook all the bees off all the frames on to a ramp and then put this on top of all the brood and let the bottom with the foragers and brood and stores make the queen. The top with the young bees, I let them draw all new frames like if it was a swarm. I left them on the hive untill it was pretty well drawn out and they had some stores and then moved the top to its own stand.

    I am pretty sure that any forage age bees in the top went to the bottom hive when I moved the top to its own stand but it all worked out ok and is one way to get a split using the board. I won't say it is the easiest way. I think if you just moved the brood frame with the queen on it and then shook a bunch of frames of bees off on the ground in front of the box with the queen, it would work just as good. I am new but think it pays to remember to put some extra space for expansion on the hive under the board and since all the foragers will start out on bottom with only young bees on top, you either need a frame or two of honey and pollen in the top box or you need to feed for a little bit untill the upper box has some bees graduate into foragers which at that time they will be oriented to the entrance in the board to the top box above the board that has the queen.
    I hope I did not muddy this up too much.
    Franks way is going to be much easier probly.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?

    I want quite positive swarm control, so to support the theory that a high ratio of young bees and brood is a primary swarm trigger, I want to move all the capped and open brood to the upper box. This leaves the majority of foraging bees below with the queen. Give her mostly open comb (with just one frame with some open brood to anchor the bees). This gives the queen plenty of room to lay and the workers can concentrate on making honey. It should be near a month for the queen to re establish a crowded brood nesd again; this will usually take them past peak swarm time. There will be enough nurse bees to take care of remaining and new brood the queen will lay up. It can be a good time to throw in some bare foundation to get drawn in either upper or lower box.

    The upper box should have frames with honey and pollen as well as the majority of the frames with open and capped brood, as initially there will not be a strong foraging population. Nurse bees can graduate early though when necessary. As the upper box brood nurse bees reach orientation age they are diverted to the lower box to become part of the honey making crew. You should keep track of honey and pollen supplies in the upper box and may have to delay or advance forager diversion accordingly. I have only once had to vary the timing from what Snelgrove proposes. Actually timing of events in his area in England and my location in Canada are very similar. Someone more southerly would have different dates.

    Because the foraging bees ratio is low in the upper box, swarming out is avoided when the new queen emerges to mate Much empty comb is available because of emerging brood so you have ideal conditions for a new queen to get to work.

    Functionally you have created conditions in both upper and lower box that would be similar to the age group segregation achieved by a "Taranov Swarm" manouver but leaves the queen with the older bees rather than the younger.

    I have not found it to reduce honey production to any great extent. Only a couple of times have I seen the bottom box getting ready to swarm before the new queen above was mated; probably my fault for setting them up a bit too early. I am not so much in a hurry now to get the first jump on early queens.
    Frank

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?

    Thanks Frank. That fills in the blanks.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?

    Pms1212
    If you did not want to find the queen you could end up with what franks split is by shaking off all the frames with brood in them that you intend to move up. Then put the box with the frames of brood you shook off over a queen excluder to let the nurse bees have time to cover the brood and after a couple of hours, put the screened board where the queen excluder is to seperate the hives.

    Just a thought.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Must Find Queen for Vertical Split?

    Quote Originally Posted by mooboy View Post
    I plan to do a vertical split in the spring on a hive that has two medium brood boxes. I plan to build a double screen board for this task. I am a new BEEK not yet skilled in finding the queen. Since the queen cannot be in both brood boxes at once, does it matter which one she winds up in? Is it better for the queen to be above the double screen board?

    Does there need to be newspaper between the screen board to initially break the pheromone so that the queen-less side realizes they need to raise a queen?

    Some say the hive entrances need to be reversed front to back after 7 days and how important is that?

    Thanks to all for your patience. There is so much information on the web and so much to learn.
    My old mans eyes are a problem when finding queens. Something that works for me is putting another medium box on a solid bottom and brushing and shaking the upper box of medium frames into the lower box and putting the beeless frames in the receiver box. When done, put a queen excluder over the bottom box and put the now full receiver box on top. The beeless brood will soon be covered with just the sort of young nurse bees most ready to accept a new caged queen. Doesn't take all that long especially if you are watching and spot the queen in the process. After the brood is populated, put in your double screen.

    Sorry should have read posts

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