Considering a Split
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Syracuse, UT
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    198

    Default Considering a Split

    Installed two packages this spring, both in 4-box medium with the top two boxes having drawn-out comb and the bottom two boxes only having one drawn out frame as a guide with the rest of the frames foundationless.

    Check on both two days ago. One has a lot less bees in it so I looked at the frames and there is a lot of capped brood in both the top two boxes. Only one frame of honey in the top box. The other hive has a lot of bees and has benefited from a lot of drifting from the other hive I believe (they are next to each other). I didn't look at frames in that hive but hefted the boxes and the top is completely plugged with honey and the 2nd from top is about 75% full. They are festooning in the next box down. I gave them a 5th box on the bottom. Tonight there is a ball of bees below the populous hive about baseball size hanging on the bottom board (it is hot outside). I don't think they are trying to swarm because there is another fairly large sized clump separate from those also on the lower box.

    I'm thinking of doing a split this Sat with the populous hive. I would shake all the bees out of it into another hive in a close by but different location. I would expect the queen and all the young bees to stay in the new hive and all the flyers to go back to their old home where there will be a lot of capped brood. I would give them a new queen (if I can find one to make this feasable) to get that colony going quickly and not wait for them to try to make one.

    Sound reasonable?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
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    465

    Default

    There are several threads sloshing around about Fly back splits right now. I did my 1st using that method this year and was tremendously successful. Enough so that i also did a 2nd.

    There are other methods that each have their own plusses and minuses.

    For a Fly back you basically move the entire hive to a different spot in your yard after you find the queen. Take the frame with the queen and all the clingers and put it in a box at the original spot and fill it the rest of the way with empty foundation.

    The foragers fly back to the original spot and begin drawing comb like crazy. The hive you moved has all the resources to easily make another queen. I broke that hive in 2 for the 1st one and 3 for the second.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Syracuse, UT
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: Considering a Split

    What I'm proposing is different that what you proposed. I'm proposing leaving the old hive with all the capped brood in the old place and shaking everything including the queen in the new place. The result would be a lot of young bees and the queen together (no brood) which would give her time to make bees before the young bees die out (I assume the young bees would stay put in the new hive and would not fly back into the old hive). In the old hive, there would be old bees (the fly back bees) but a lot of capped brood to replace them quickly and new eggs to make a new queen or could just buy and put a new queen in the old hive.

    My concerns are will I hurt the queen shaking her into the new hive. Is it too early to make a split with an installed package even though they have a large population and have about 1.75 med boxes of honey already.

    I think the method you mentioned would work but I would be concerned that you would end up with old bees and the queen together without any brood and the population would get small by the time new bees were developed. I could see them drawing out comb very quickly though with that arrangement.

    I will search more on fly back splits to learn more. Thanks
    Last edited by blamb61; 06-15-2018 at 06:56 AM.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
    Posts
    465

    Default Re: Considering a Split

    I hate shaking unless it is a drone laying hive. To me it's too disruptive. That's why I originally responded to this thread.

    If you are worried about old bees, this is a picture of one I did on May 5th this year. The picture is from yesterday June 14th. No issues with old bees there. I even have a super on it already.

    Here is another thread with directions and pictures.

    I don't think old bees are an issue at all because you are simulating a swarm.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    3,946

    Default Re: Considering a Split

    blamb...
    I think you are talking something like this.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETgWMMZr4So
    I did one last year but my hive may have already swarmed cause I did lose my queen and there were capped cells already in my hive. If you shake them on a ramp, I do not think you have to worry about hurting the queen.

    I will say this though. leaving my old bees with the brood and cells, this old bee part of the hive did swarm with virgin queens two times. I did not have that problem with the fly back split which separated the brood from the old bees.

    If you do the flyback split with the queen with the old bees, you may end up with a little lull when the old bees start dying but the new hatched brood is not yet foragers. However, they would have built so well and have plenty of stores in the hive due to starting with no brood untill the queen layed them that it will even out in my opinion. If you just do not want to find the queen, the teronov is an easy way to split. I did not have a queen for either of those two splits and so used queen cells and both built up just fine. The flyback did build up a little faster and if it had had a laying queen the whole time, it would probably did even better. In my small experience, either one will work just fine. I do not believe that you will hurt your queen very often by shaking her off the frames. It is done multiple times for all kinds or reasons in bee keeping. If you slam frames down on a ball of bees rather then kinda letting them settle, you might hurt some bees or if you don't shake and smash her with the side bars when replacing frame during inspections, you may have more risk then shaking her off of a frame.
    What ever you chose, good luck.
    gww
    zone 5b

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Syracuse, UT
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: Considering a Split

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    blamb...
    I think you are talking something like this.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETgWMMZr4So
    I did one last year but my hive may have already swarmed cause I did lose my queen and there were capped cells already in my hive. If you shake them on a ramp, I do not think you have to worry about hurting the queen.

    I will say this though. leaving my old bees with the brood and cells, this old bee part of the hive did swarm with virgin queens two times. I did not have that problem with the fly back split which separated the brood from the old bees.

    If you do the flyback split with the queen with the old bees, you may end up with a little lull when the old bees start dying but the new hatched brood is not yet foragers. However, they would have built so well and have plenty of stores in the hive due to starting with no brood untill the queen layed them that it will even out in my opinion. If you just do not want to find the queen, the teronov is an easy way to split. I did not have a queen for either of those two splits and so used queen cells and both built up just fine. The flyback did build up a little faster and if it had had a laying queen the whole time, it would probably did even better. In my small experience, either one will work just fine. I do not believe that you will hurt your queen very often by shaking her off the frames. It is done multiple times for all kinds or reasons in bee keeping. If you slam frames down on a ball of bees rather then kinda letting them settle, you might hurt some bees or if you don't shake and smash her with the side bars when replacing frame during inspections, you may have more risk then shaking her off of a frame.
    What ever you chose, good luck.
    gww
    I have seen that video. That is what I based what I wrote about on. I'm not sure why they would shake the bees onto a sheet instead of just putting an empty box on a hive and shaking them into that? If I do this, I will do as I described, give them a comb of honey to get them started, and probably provide them a top entrance temporarily and plug the bottom tell they get settled. Could try how you mentioned also. I may just wait tell next year. Advantages I see is another hive that might make it through the winter and might prevent a swarm this year but disadvantage is that it might give me two hives that will not be as strong going into winter. Ever hear of a new package swarming? They are very populous with drifting from the other hive contributing to that. Thanks

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