Splits 2 miles away
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  1. #1
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    Default Splits 2 miles away

    As mentioned before, this is my 2nd year. Since all my hives survived the winter (knock on wood so far! &#128513, I'll be doing my first splits. I've done much reading about splits, and I often see that you need to take the split 2 miles away. Is this always the case? Or is there ways around having to relocate them?

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  3. #2
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    Aug 2015
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    Good question, following this

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    Depends on the split method. I have split in the same yard often. If you do an even split, then swap where they are, or split using a QE and only take nurse bees, feet away is not a problem. Also, a Taranov swarm method is fine in the same yard -- i have yet to do one of those, by intend to this spring, because it is all part of knowing everything, right?....
    -- Joe
    "Make your own decision and embrace the consequences." -- jwcarlson

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    I am new also but did do a teronov and just put the split part over the origional hive over a double screen board and then just moved the split to its own stand after a month.

    My favorite spit was a fly back (what I call it) Where you leave the queen and maybe one brood comb and one honey comb and no other drawn comb in the hives location and just move the whole hive sideways about ten feet. It was the easiest thing and I intend to do it again this year and then maybe take the extra queen cells it will probly draw out and use them with the other hives in some fassion.

    You could also leave one comb with some empty space on it and maybe a little open brood and then shake the rest of the brood combs bees off and put those brood comb over a queen excluder over a differrent hive and after a couple of hours move it again and give it a queen or leave it and hope they draw thier own queen cells and if they do, move it in a week. I have not tried that last one. I have heard that it is more of a garrentee that they will draw cells if you put a super between the top brood part and the lower hive that they were put on.
    Hope this helps more then confuses.
    gww
    zone 5b

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    I move the mother hive about 30 feet and place the splits in the old location of the mother hive. Usually the two equalize nicely. Sometimes you must adjust things, but not typically.

  7. #6
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    Greenbrae, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    No need at all to move a split. I've done plenty of them within feet of the mother hive. Remember that nurse bees have never been outside of a hive, only foragers (older bees) have. So as long as you have plenty of nurse bees in your split you'll have plenty left even if all the foragers end up back in the mother hive.

    As JWChesnut says, you can move the mother hive so the foragers end up in the split. Helps to equalize, but if you want the mother to remain stronger you may not need this.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    what are your reasons for the splits?
    Like GWW I have become a fan of fly back splits. Spring mite control, swarm control, and increase in one package.
    Move the old hive a few feet away
    In the old location place a hive with the queen one frame of open brood, one of food if you like. Wait a day and give them a shot of OA
    10 days later at the old hive in the new location there are cells, you can break it in to nucs or leave it, most of the mites ended up here, 19 days after the split its now brood less, give it a shot of OA

    In my program I don't find the need to TX after the split, and if I break the old hive in to nucs , and thoes nucs in to nucs i get by till a fall broodless OA, you mileage will vary but it seems a strong tool for thoes who want to be TF, and a slam dunk for TXers
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  9. #8
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    I have been studying nuc management methods of Mel Disselkoen lately - http://www.mdasplitter.com/

    He too keeps talking of 2 miles split moves which I do not understand (why all the hassle?).
    There is no mandatory rule for 2 mile moves; I never used it.

    So I was going to ask here since the topic fits - am I missing something about Mel Disselkoen's 2 mile deal?
    I doubt it, but maybe it truly is important somehow?
    Any comments?
    Last edited by GregV; 02-11-2018 at 04:43 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    Different ways of doing splits with the same end results. Part of what makes beekeeping fun. I am a fan of both methods, depending on my bee resources at the time. I will be trying a fly back split for the first time this year but have done the over 2 mile thing and the stay at home split. The biggest benefit to moving the hive over 2 miles is that the bees you put in it stay there. This is really important if you are only using 2 frames of bees and an introduced queen. On a walk away split, you must shake A LOT of bees into the split and feed like crazy because all the foragers go back to the donor hive. In a fly back split you basically have all the foragers in the split with the queen and all the nurse bees in the hive at it's new location. Since the nurse bees are queenless, they are supposed to make a bunch of queen cells which you then harvest and place into nucs using the bees from the original hive. This type of split is also referred to as an artificial swarm and is supposed to relieve swarming pressure on the hive to keep the girls from going out and exploring the world.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    Greg
    I am new as you know but I am going to give your question a go and if wrong, I am sure smarter people will correct me. When you move two miles, you have a much better chance of keeping the foragers. I could see where this would help in hive build up and allow you to make your split with fewer bees over all and you don't have to load up on extra nurse bees to make up for leaving foragers. Maybe you can get by with out feeding due to foragers staying with the split. More nurse bees where the queens are being made may make better fed queen cells. I could be wrong but it might also make it less likely that robbing will occure due to the queen that the foragers are used to being still in the area and the bees in the split not stopping the foragers that left from coming back. Since mel goes for 5 splits a year from a hive, it may make the bee numbers you are working with go that little bit furthure.

    Just my guess of why the two miles, I don't mind being corrected cause that is how I learn.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    necessary ? no
    but it helps when making small splits to insure you don't have forgers leaving to go to the old site making some splits weak and one strong
    the fly back is not that much different then OTS in the way i use it. The queen less side draws cells (notch if you feel like it, I don't) and is broken in to nucs. I eater leave them a few feet apart facing the old location, or move them and leave a bar/frame with a cell on in a new nuc
    I did this to 2 over wintered nucs 4/7 last year ended up with 5 nucs and one brood factory an 1 production hive.. the nucs were then split the same way 3/4 ways later in the year, some got split a 3rd time (witch was a mistake)
    one of the queen right splits (1 drawn comb of open brood and ementy foundation-less frames ) had drawn and filled a 4 over 4 dubble nuc and was moved to 10f gear 5/30, and latere used a brood factory for nucs
    its counter part (also started in an empty hive with no drawn comb) filled a KTBH (22.5 deep frame equivalent) and gave a modest harvest on what was a very poor year .

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    If you split a hive - everything you put in the new split will stay with that split if moved 2 miles or more. If left in the old yard the old forgers will return to the original location/hive. some split more than 1 per hive and the move keeps everything evened out

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    This is really important if you are only using 2 frames of bees and an introduced queen.
    Right.. Reading about this 2-frame splits..
    Yes - this 2 mile thing is one of this old-school ideas.
    Still unconvinced.

    All you have to do is just shake in there enough young bees and be sure they have stores (or feed).
    I do it right next to the mother hive to avoid the hassles of driving around with the bees.
    The young bees will not fly anywhere, they already stay put exactly where you put them.

    In fact, you can check the next day and shake even more bees into the 2-frame nuc if too many left.

    The immediate need for forages is really not that critical.
    That need is compensated by the stores you give them (or feed).
    In fact, I would rather pack that 2-frame nuc with young bees so to set them up with a quick growth.
    I would rather keep all foragers at the old site and load them up with work.
    Last edited by GregV; 02-11-2018 at 07:39 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    that is fine if your pulling a nuc from a hive in the traditional manner
    When your breaking that same hive up 5 ways your not shaking in excess to compensate, there is no excess all those bees on all those combs have been moved, no hive to shake nurce bees from the next day if you have a fly back issue

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    Well then, if I am to break a hive in 5 ways simultaneously - I'd stand those 5 nucs in a row right exactly on the old place and be done with it.
    Rotate the nucs around for 2-3 days to confuse the flying bees and distribute them evenly among the nucs.

    If I do this in July, I would have normally have stand-by hives also, so to take any extra bees (a hatching brood) for the nucs as needed.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    I would save the hassle. Start the splits over a Snelgrove board (both parts of the split on the same base) and once you have well-started queen cells then divvy up the entire upper section into two-frame splits in a nearby queen castle. Shake in a few more nurse bees to each section of the QC if needed.

    If you really loaded up the upper section of a Snelgroved colony from a strong hive you could get four or five good starts to move to the QC.

    Moving colonies to another yard two miles away sounds like huge pain in the neck to me. And an entirely unnecessary one if you plan your splits around keeping them in the same space.

    I don't do it any more because I don't want any more colonies but my experience with queen castles (four, two-frame sections in a single deep) was really good. Timed right they all grew into oversized "nucs" that only needed some extra frames of honey and pollen and a little feeding to top them up into three-deeps of five frames apiece that sailed through the winter and emerged ready to rock the following spring. One summer I raised sixteen colonies in four queen castles - I started the whole bunch because I figured most of them wouldn't "take", but they all did.

    Nancy

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    Nancy If your going to break the QL section up, what is the advantage of the senlgrove board?

    If you just set one hive over the other on a sold board, in 10 days isn't the net effect is the same? when you break up the top box, the bottom gets its foragers.

    I suppose you can siphon off more bees with the SGB. Turning nurse bees in to foragers, but isn't that depleting your splits...

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    If I am planning on making multiple splits from the upper (QL) section above a Snlegrove board I usually make it up with two deeps above the board. Of course, it helps that I winter in three, 10-frame deeps so by the time I'm ready to split I have very strong colonies as resources. And I will strip out nearly all the brood from the QR section. (This is not my normal use of a SB, just when I'm using it for the purposes of heavy re-splitting.)

    The advantage of the Snelgrove board is that there is none of the robbing and overall disturbance to the colony (or yard) at this point as there is when making splits in the same yard. (That robbing and general upset is one of the reasons you might move the splits to another yard, initially.) But with a SB, it just doesn't happen.

    If I am planning or re-splitting, the QL section only stays above the SB long enough for them to initiate and cap queen cells, so I know what I have to work with. Then I bust it up.

    In that short amount of time, the oriented foragers have already returned to the parent section below, so almost all the adult bees "upstairs" are un- or only weakly-oriented nurse bees. They are easy to move to the queen castle and seem to generally stay put in their new digs.

    The advantage of waiting those few days is that I can assess all my capped queen cell resources before dividing them into the much smaller sections, so fewer duds are created, and there is no reason to re-open the QC afterward as all the sections can be stocked with adequate resources, and a limited number of likely-looking queen cells on one frame. You just wait the calculated number of days from the initial split, add in a couple of safety days if you've had bad weather, and voila, four new splits are ready to be installed in nuc boxes. (I then put them in regular nuc boxes with an additional drawn empty frame in middle, one frame of honey and pollen, and a mixed frame to make up the fifth one.)

    I use the tricky little doors in a Snelgrove board only when I am maturing a single split over the QR section (or allowing a split to get started - but not completed - because my ultimate goal is to re-unite the sections without making a new colony, for one reason or another.) The doors give you great flexibility to load up the upper section with extra bees to make sure, among other things that the new emergency queen cells will be well-tended and kept warm early on if it is a bit cold. And you can move a big whack of brood to the QL section if the QR section is looking like it might have been thinking of getting a swarm organized. And then you can give them back those extra bees when they are ready to settle down to make honey instead.

    And, most importantly for second year beekeepers making their first splits, in almost all circumstances you can really screw things up, and recover from those errors gracefully. If you mess up the division of brood frames, or even get the queen in the "wrong" box - all those issues can be easily fixed over the next few days.

    The only exception to this flexibility is when you are using the Snelgrove board to interrupt an imminent swarm, one with already-charged queen cells. In this single instance - because of the urgency of the situation, and the very strong intentions of the bees at that point - you really have very little leeway in terms of who, and what, goes in each section.

    But otherwise, the use of a Snelgrove board, though often described as a tool for advanced beekeepers, is the easiest way I know to make splits. I teach all my second-year beekeepers to use them because it can be done without all the complexities and risks of conventional splitting techniques. That way they learn how to make their own queens, when needed, without a lot of extra stuff thrown in to confuse the process. Unless you have poor conditions for mating (predators, extreme weather, etc.) a Snelgrove split is really hard to screw up.

    Nancy

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Splits 2 miles away

    I always move splits to a different yard. I have several yards within 10 miles of eachother, so its not a big deal. I install hives on folks properties too, so Im very comfortable moving hives, easily and quickly.

    There are techniques to split and keep at the same yard, like the snelgrove board mentioned above. If just simply splitting without moving 2+ miles you'll loose the older flying bees. They'll go back to the mother hive that they've oriented too. And this can be a significant population lost depending on the ratio of old/young bees inside split. My 2nd year keeping bees i split in the same yard. The majority of the splits lost a significant population. All survived, however they were not nearly as strong as they could have been and grew slowly.

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