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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    I don't know if I will follow through or not or be able to find the queen even with Ray's instructions, but I put four stands and bottom boards and inter covers and telescoping lids on my little trailer and I am going out when it cools off and set them up and level them. Then tomorrow early, I will decide if I am going to break down two of my hives or not. Either way, everything will be ready for if I get ambitious. I guess it depends on what I find in the hives on how I decide to set them up. I am all medium hive body and these hives are only at a little over two mediums of drawn comb when I looked 8 days ago.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyDanger View Post
    Thanks for the post Ray. Easy to follow and well thought out. Great for new beeks like me that worry when splitting! A couple questions for you:

    Can you provide a guideline on the minimum amount of brood that should be going into the queenless, forager-less splits? (I know as with everything that a lot of variables likely go into this, but if you assume good weather, during a nectar flow and putting them into a nuc perhaps?)

    And, can you explain to me why one might chose to do a flyback split as opposed to a split where the queenright section of the hive is moved to the new location? Presumably there are pros and cons to each method?
    I do fly-backs when the two box hive is pretty well all used up, so whatever brood is there is split up between the two splits moved to new stands. The idea is to get 2 splits from 1 hive that will equalize and all 3 be of fairly equal strength at the end of a month. With any beekeeping procedure, there can be modifications made for different circumstances and outcomes needed.

    I choose a fly-back to tripple hive count with stronger equally populated hives after a month. It also gets comb drawn and honey stored and helps to prevent swarming. This is also an easy way to make a split where the splits are kept in the same yard instead of moving them out to a remote yard. There are many many ways of making splits, and the way chosen is for the resources available to make the splits and the desired outcome.

    Cut down splits are a different type of split and used for different circumstances and desired outcome. There are also many other ways to make splits, for different reasons and with different circumstances, and expanding the topic to include comparisons and reasons why to do one type of split over another is not the subject of this thread. Perhaps you can start a thread or two to gain input on different types of splits and the pros/cons of each.

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    I want to try "fly back" this season.

    My question:
    * this thread talks about building "head start of a bare 4 frame nucleus in the center of the box"
    * but here is a thread that says "the established queen and ONE or two frames of open brood & adhearing bees".
    From: https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...11#post1168911

    So what gives? What is better? Why?
    4 frames vs. 1 frame.
    One may not necessarily be better or worse than the other. This is how I do mine, I've tried to give the reasoning behind each frame left as a core nuc in the original queen right box left in place. Lauri does her's a little different, and she gives her reasons why. Both ways work, both ways may have failures of some type or another. There is always modifications that can be made to any splitting system, depending on resources at hand and desired outcomes.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    This is what we did this year and had great success. Process and notes below. We sold 3 nucs off of this hive. Have not pulled honey supers yet.

    Hive 2 - Lauri's Fly-Back Split
    Move Queen to new deep box with 2 frames of open brood and 1 frames of scratched honey/pollen leave in old location
    Fill in box with foundation frames (undrawn)
    Make 1-3 NUCs with all other frames
    Find 2-4 frames with very young larva.
    Notch 2 or 3 places on each frame of larva
    Add scratched honey/pollen frames to NUCs to fill to 3-4 frames.
    Move away from old hive, arrange entrances in different directions
    Close hive entrances to smallest size
    Feed all hives syrup and pollen patties

    2nd week the old queen has built out about 6 or 7 of the frames on the original location. (big flow to begin in 2 months)
    A little disappointed in the fly-back portion, but it may have been a little early and I also forgot to feed syrup the first week.

    3rd week - Fly-back swarm/split is slow to fill the frames in the first deep. Probably ready for a 2nd deep next week

    4th week - added medium to give them room as 90% full in deep (considering using single deep + honey supers)

    5th week - Added 2nd deep and 2nd medium (both drawn comb from other hive). 1st Medium full of honey. (big flow to begin in 1 month)

    7th Week- now 2 full deeps and 3 supers about 50-60% full of honey.

    11th week - added 4th super, all other supers about full (middle of big flow)

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    Thanks to you chiara
    for your detailed way of doing your fly-back and the results. It sounds to me like it has worked out well, giving you nucs to sell, more drawn comb, and a honey crop too. Locational weather and flows always have an impact on how well a fly-back works, but it sounds to me like yours has done well.

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    Funny thing this year is the first year that I used queen excluders on all my colonies for the ease of brood inspections and swarm prevention resulting in the lowest amount of swarm activity in the 8 odd years that I have been keeping bees. Now after harvesting some of my bigger hives I have also split them and after placing a queen cell below the excluder about a month ago expected to find the queen below, but found a queen above the excluder and to my surprise another below the excluder, easy split, and today found another queen above the excluder in another hive.
    Johno

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    OK, here is the way that I like for making up fly-back splits. I thought I'd post it to share as I get asked about it now and then. These can be done when you have a hive of 2 boxes in strength, and works better when a flow is on, but can be done with feeders if needed.

    Doing a flyback split

    OK, here ya go...

    Take with you a box with 10 frames of foundation, 2 top boards and 2 bottom boards. Remove the 4 center frames of foundation, setting them aside for now. Go through your 2 box hive, and get a frame that is full of open nectar and put in the edge of the central space you now have in the hew box.

    Next, find a frame of drawn but mostly empty comb to put next to the nectar frame, this is so the queen will have open cells to continue laying. This is important, you don't want her to slow down or suddenly have to stop laying.

    Next to that open cells frame, put the frame you find the queen on, with her on it.

    Next to that, put in a frame of sealed/emerging brood. This gives the queen young nurse bees to help with the brood she has and will continue to make.

    Set this box on it's own bottom board with new top board or boards, in the spot that the 2 box hive was in.

    Now, grab the 4 frames of foundation you set aside, and the spare top and bottom boards, and bring them as you move the rest of the two boxes remaining to new stands. Equalize those to box's frames with each other so they both have frames of: eggs/youngest larva, older open larva, sealed brood, and stores. Put a frame of foundation on each outside edge of both boxes, that takes care of the four frames of foundation you had extra from making up the queen's artificial swarm box. Set them on their own bottom boards and give them their top boards.

    The queen you left in place will get all the foraging aged bees from the two boxes you moved away. She'll get the most of them the first day or three, but will continue to get some for two weeks, since bees go back into the hive for two weeks after their first orientation flights before they become forager aged. The old queens bees will draw comb, they have to in order to keep the queen laying. This has created an artificial swarm with a head start of a bare 4 frame nucleus in the center of the box.

    The two boxes you moved to new stands will make their own queens. They will lose their older foraging force to the old queen's swarm box you made. This leaves younger bees in them which are the best for making new queens, and for feeding all the open brood they have. These two also got most of the stores frames, so they will be fine with stores to keep feeding open larva and making new queens.

    In 12 +/- 1 days new queens will be emerging in the two new hives. Check them on day 9-11 after making them up to be sure they both do have sealed queen cells. The queen will emerge and be laying 2 weeks after emerging, sometimes up to 3 weeks after emerging, but usually after 2 weeks. So, that will mean you should have eggs in them from new laying queens 28 days after setting all of this up.

    You should end up with the original queen hive, and 2 additional hives with 2 new laying queens, all 3 full in single boxes. Depending on the time of year in your area, you may need to start feeding. Check the original queen's box 3 days to a week after setting this all up, if they are not drawing comb yet, then they might need a feeder at this time to draw comb. The other two hives should not really need a feeder until you see eggs laid from the new queen. This way, the danger of robbing is greatly reduced by not having a feeder on a non laying queen hive. Once they are laying, feeders can be given if needed. (I am assuming there was a few frames of stores in these boxes when they were made up.)

    If you can follow all of this, then it may be an option for you to try. If you feel it's a bit much at this time in your experience, then it's something you can think about for next year. Good luck with your adventures in beekeeping!
    I'm planning on giving this method a try later this morning. I have a couple deep boxes with fully drawn comb with some honey stores from hives that didn't make the winter. Would it be unwise to give each split two deeps rather than just one? I don't want to give them more than they can manage but I figure its more space for the queen to continue laying and provides additional stores for the queenless splits. Thoughts?

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    Ambassador...

    Adding to the queen right part should be fine, I probably would myself.
    Depending on the strength, could maybe do it to the queenless parts as well.
    What is your SHB's situation,,, Are they a problem in your area? Even a strong queen-less split is not as well protecting of themselves as a queen-right split, and they will be losing forager bees at first. It might be better to wait until they have mated laying queens before adding space. Just my thoughts for you to consider.

    I can't tell from here what you have and what I might do in your situation. Maybe give a box to the queen right portion left in place, and check on the moved queen-less portions in three days or a week and see what their population is?

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    What about putting a box of drawn out empty comb and one frame of honey in a new hive in a new location and then shaking all the bees out of an old hive into the new hive. All the flyers would go back to the old hive which has a lot of brood to replace them and new eggs to make a queen. The new hive has a queen and young bees and a place to lay and the young bees should live long enough tell new bees are hatched. A queen could be installed in the old hive to not disrupt egg laying there and the capped brood hatching out would replace the old fly back bees without any interruption. This would be a version of a Taranov split it seems like. Would I hurt the queen shaking her?

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    blamb61

    It would work as a way to split, but give much different end results.
    The new hive on it's new stand would need to be fed yes?
    This kind of split is usually shook out on the ground in front of the new hive. Some use a sheet, but I use a board leaned up to the entrance and shake the bees at the foot of the board. Cardboard could be used as well. This way you get to see the queen running up the ramp into the new hive box.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    blamb61

    It would work as a way to split, but give much different end results.
    The new hive on it's new stand would need to be fed yes?
    This kind of split is usually shook out on the ground in front of the new hive. Some use a sheet, but I use a board leaned up to the entrance and shake the bees at the foot of the board. Cardboard could be used as well. This way you get to see the queen running up the ramp into the new hive box.
    I'm not sure why not just shake into the box instead of the sheet. I don't care to see her go in as long as she is in. I would check later to see if she is laying. I would give them one frame of honey to anchor them and get them started. I would put an empty box on top and shake into that, give them a top entrance and temporarily plug the bottom entrance so the wouldn't go out too quick. Think that would work? Any other reason why they used a sheet for this method? Thanks for your reply

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    You can shake them into a box. It might be less confusing and less foragers entering if shaken in front of hive instead, but they'll figure it out.

    A frame of open larva brood would hold them much better than a frame of nectar, but actually they should have both, along with a drawn but empty frame for the queen to keep laying without missing a beat. The frame of sealed brood could be skipped because only young bees would be staying anyway.

    I would not be plugging the bottom entrance, I see no need, I'd want the foragers to be going back to the original box as soon as they may. And the bees that stay will be wanting to do orientation flights.

    Some use a sheet, I'd use and have used a board. It is so the field bees don't all go in with the younger bees and queen as well all at the same time and cause more confusion that way. If the bees crawl in, there's not the confusion of being shaken in, they are more oriented to the insides of the hive. I guess it really don't matter that much, it'll work just shaking everyone in like you say, I have done that as well. But I never block an entrance.

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    I do the fly-back the way I do for another reason as well. Youngest bees that have not had an orientation flight are not the bees that draw wax. The youngest nurse bees just nurse the larvae and take care of the brood nest area. Foragers and older house bees draw the wax, not the younger nurse bees so much.

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    Ray,

    Thanks for the great explanation. I am using all 3 medium 10 frames for my brood nests. How would one divide that up? Leave the original queen at the original location with 2 (currently full) brood boxes and divide up the 3rd for the queenless hives? I currently have 2 supers on top of the donor hive, I assume I'd leave those on top? Would I want to add a 3rd empty hive body to the queenright portion? Would foundationless frames work in the spots you have indicated to use frames of foundation? Sorry for so many questions... trying to learn as much as possible.

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    bjorn...

    I would do as I explained in the first place, a frame of open nectar, a frame that the queen is on, a drawn but empty frame, and a frame of sealed/emerging brood into the center of a medium box, with 3 foundationless frames to the side of them, at the original hive location. I'd also add another foundationless frames box on top of them, but I'd have a couple of frames that were drawn in the center of it. I might put one box of honey on top of that, or not, depending on the whole situation of flows and weather and time of year and strength of hive ect.

    I'd move the rest of the boxes away to a new stand, and in 7-9 days, go thru it and split it up into 2 or 3 hives, making sure each one had a frame with cells, and dividing up the rest of the frames equally as to contents between them. I'd also add a box of foundation to each, with a couple of drawn frames in the center of them. The drawn frames are as "Bait Frames", used to "Bait" the bees up into using the box, giving them a ladder and cluster space to move up into.

    This is how I'd do it, other's may do something different. There are many variables in beekeeping so that everyone doesn't have to keep bees exactly the same was as someone else might do.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    Everyone keep in mind that this way of doing things should be done with some kind of a flow going on. If not, then feeding will be needed, being careful not to plug out the drawn comb next to the queen in the queen right portion left in place. Feeding that one may be better to wait until she's filled that frame up with eggs first, usually about three days. The parts moved away that are queenless have the stores, but will build cells better if there's a flow or feeder on. The problem there is robbing can get started because they have no laying queen and a feeder on as well, so just watch and keep track of what's going on.

    All in all this system works best in the spring flows, after an over wintered hive has gotten strong enough in bees, brood, and stores. It gets a little bit trickier when doing later in the year, it just depends on the flows and drone populations in the area you are in.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Fly-back splits, Ray's way

    Bjorn
    I use foundationless and it works great in the old location where the old bees are. Just put a new box there and the frames that ray mentioned in his instructions in the middle pushed together and put the foundationless on both sides. If you can find the queen, put here there also.

    Your three mediums should all be moved to a different location except for the frames you pulled out for the box at the original site.

    Then it just depends on how many hives you want on how you divide the hive you have moved. You could probably get by with making up to three weak splits or one strong split or two medium splits if the hive is full of bees and brood now in all three boxes.

    I had a two medium box and I sit each one on its own stand in a new place. Last year I had a three medium box and I set it all in one place and it was strong enough to give me a little honey before all was said and done and I still gained a hive.

    I have found that this year, I may have had better queen cells made if I would have fed the parts that I moved but think it is going to work out anyway.

    You do need to make sure there are some stores and open brood with larva (preferably eggs) in each box you set aside on its own.

    Just my opinion, but leaving two boxes full of brood and bees at the old place kind of defeats the purpose of this kind of split.

    My experience so far is that you do not need to feed the bees that are on the original spot but the bees you move might do better with a little pollen and sugar water though I did not do that this year. The moved part is going to have no foragers for some time and so unless it is just packed with stores, feed will help it.

    I really liked last year when I only made one split where I just moved the whole hive to a different stand except for what I pulled to put in the original hive location. It made for very strong hives going into winter, just not as many hives as might have been possible. You could have two strong hives or four with three very weak hives.
    Cheers
    gww

    Ps I am new and not as smart as ray who has helped me every time I have did one.
    zone 5b

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