Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split
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  1. #1
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    Default Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split

    I'm toying with a post flow split. From what I've read, they either make bees or honey. I realize, you can't have your cake and eat it too. My 3 hives are currently limited to 3 medium 10 frames each with a QE and supers on top of that. If I added a 4th medium to the brood area of the strongest hive now, is it likely the queen will see that as an opportunity to lay more or that they will fill it with honey? Our flow seems to have slowed a bit in the last couple of weeks, but I anticipate it will pick up again. I'm thinking that more bees would translate into them bringing in more stores. After the flow is over, I would split them and allow the queenless split to raise a queen. I'm not good at finding queens, so this would likely be a walk away or vertical split of some sort. I suspect I'm missing something, because it seems too simple.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split

    It will translate to them eating more stores! Take the honey you can get now, cleaning out the frames will put more into circulation and act like a flow. Different hives will act very differently to a slowing flow.

    I would suggest reading https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...lits-Ray-s-way.

    Vertical split is a low impact split, especially with a hive that is weaker. Pick your best queen, follow Ray's and other flyback posters and have no impact at all on your two hives.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    It will translate to them eating more stores! Take the honey you can get now, cleaning out the frames will put more into circulation and act like a flow. Different hives will act very differently to a slowing flow.

    I would suggest reading https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...lits-Ray-s-way.

    Vertical split is a low impact split, especially with a hive that is weaker. Pick your best queen, follow Ray's and other flyback posters and have no impact at all on your two hives.
    Should I be doing it now or wait until after the flow? I have been reading quite a few of Ray's posts and like this particular method(with the exception of finding the queen... I'm no good at that). I think I would employ his split the boxes, take a coffee break and listen for the noisier distressed box upon return. Either way, I'm taking bees away from a hive so I'm confused how that would have no impact. I'm not trying to contradict, just trying to wrap my head around it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split

    I would do it still in the flow. You are not going to get a lot of honey as the flow slows, brood rearing can eat up eveything in the house if she does not slow down. Robbing with no flow is not a rooky happy time.

    You only need to raise queens in one hive, that is what I mean by no impact to (those two until you have capped cells).

    You are requeening your three hives by vertical split , I've got that right?
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split

    Bjorn
    How many hives do you have now? If three, you could take two brood frames from each and shake the bees off and put them in their own box. Add a frame or two of honey and pollen and then put a queen excluder on your strongest hive and put this box of brood you have made up (with some of the brood being open) on top of that queen excluder, come back in a week (not later) and check for queen cells and if they have made some, set this box you have made up on its own stand as a new split. It supposedly works better if you give them a top entrance also when you do this. Since it is on your best hive with the most bees, your queens will probably be well fed and capped in that 5 days to a week and so that will be done when you set it on its own stand or even make more splits with any extra cells.

    Just another way that might be easier.

    It helps if you are in a flow.
    I am new and have not did this one yet but am quite sure queen feeding quality might be better with it then what I am doing.
    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split

    bjorn...

    Listen to gww, he's describing a good way and yes giving an upper entrance to the box you add on top is very helpful.

  7. #7
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    Default

    I am not limited by equipment. I have lots of drawn comb, a couple empty 2 story nucs, a few extra bottom boards and covers. I'm just playing it safe by only messing with one hive. My intent is expansion, not requeening the existing hives. The 3 I have are all new from packages this spring. The italians have taken off better, so I figured I'd use them as a donor. I like the idea of a couple frames from each... less impact on any one hive. And it would be like russian roulette for which type of queen I get.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split

    Bjorn
    It does not have to be russian roulette on which queen you get. You can mark the frames of brood that you put in the box and destroy all the queen cells except what is made on the frames you want. You can try to make sure the frame you want is the one with the most brood and eggs and try to use capped frames with no young stuff on them from the other hives. They may not make the queen cell where you want but it is a good bet they most likely will. You could try notching the cells to improve your odds. If you don't get the cells you want capped in five days or so, destroy them all and put another frame in from the hive you like and give it another week.
    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    bjorn...

    Listen to gww, he's describing a good way and yes giving an upper entrance to the box you add on top is very helpful.
    I already have top entrances on the hive, so I assume the new entrance would face 180 degrees away from the existing TE. Correct?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split

    By using drawn comb, it's much easier than using foundation or foundationless. Not as much worries over feeding to get comb drawn or strong flows. Easier to do on a fading flow or ending flow.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split

    For making the queen cell, the top entrance can face the same way as the entrance. The ideal is to keep as many bees up by the brood comb that you are trying to get queen cells on. It is one more separation of bees from the queen that is on the hive below the queen excluder and it lets drones out.
    After you get queen cells capped or close, you are going to move the split anyway. The move needs done before the cell hatches so that there is no mistake and a virgin comes back and kills your queen in the hive below the queen excluder.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  12. #12
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    Default

    Thanks guys.
    gww, for someone who claims to be newbie you seem to be a wealth of info. I think you're selling yourself short.

    Realistically, I only have 3 queens, none of which have overwintered or are from my area. It will be a crapshoot anyway. I'm hoping to pick up some feral genes in the mating process.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split

    I am a newbie starting on my third summer and not many splits under my belt. I have been helped by the forum and by ray individually and have lots of time to read. That has helped but all mistakes are still my own.
    gww
    zone 5b

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split

    Quote Originally Posted by bjorn View Post
    Thanks guys.
    gww, for someone who claims to be newbie you seem to be a wealth of info. I think you're selling yourself short...
    I could not agree more!
    A man who shares what he's learned quite humbly.
    Very admirable, thanks for sharing gww.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split

    Ray
    A man who shares what he's learned quite humbly. Very admirable, thanks for sharing gww.
    That's just dumb ray. I get coached by you, steal what we have discussed and then I get the credit for being smart? I just say watch me like a hawk, cause I may think I understand and not and then hurt someone when my goal is to try and help. You and a few others have helped have the things I have tried work out better then they should have.

    I am trying to give helpful hints that I have stolen from others but believe are right.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  16. #16
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    Default

    The weather finally looks like it will cooperate with me today. I plan to take two frames from each of my 3 hives with eggs, some capped brood and the bees shaken back into their original hives. The remaining 4 frames will be drawn empty comb. I'll place them over an excluder on my strongest hive. I'll put the upper entrance above them so any bees using the upper entrance will have to go thru this box. I do currently have supers on this hive. I plan to put this new box on top of the supers to create more pheromone isolation and make them really want queen cells. Does this sound correct?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split

    bjorn
    Make sure the supers have bees working them. I agree it is a good ideal to leave the supers but it does need to be a super that has bees working it and not just comb or foundation with no activity. Not from experience but just something I have read that makes sense to me. Also, just my opinion, but if the brood frames don't have a really good honey and pollen band on them, it might be a good ideal to find a frame with some pollen and honey in it and put it up with the brood on top.

    If the frame is capped, maybe scratch some capps off to expose some of the honey. I think it will work fine with out all this but no sense in not giving the cells to be made every advantage to be well fed as possible so you can get nice fat queen cells.

    Understand that I have not done this but have discussed it and these ideals are generally put forth in some old bee books like the one I read yesterday off of michael bushes web site.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesdoolittle.htm

    I sure hope you give us an update of how it went in 5 to ten days. Keep in mind that the cells/split, need to be moved (set the whole thing on its own stand or make even more splits with the queen cells) by day nine or day ten. Day eleven might be too late and you really don't want your cells to hatch while on the hive you made them on. I think you count the day you put the brood on the hive in this. I can't wait to hear about your success.
    gww
    zone 5b

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split

    I would prefer to have both and upper and a lower entrance, that way the original queen's pheromones are not travelled up into the top so much where the new cells will be made. It should still work the way you describe as the bees smell her but she is not up there, so they think she's failing. I just like to make entrance at both ends to help separate the two ends more fully as far as function. That is the reason for putting the super over the excluder then add a box with eggs/larva/brood and stores over that... separation from the colony below. I do feel that when having the cell building on top, that if you can have only one entrance, it's better to have one at the top than it is to have just one on the bottom. Less chance of queen pheromone strength at the top that way.

    Good luck, keep us informed!

  19. #19
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    I will have top and bottom entrances... actually I run both all the time on my hives. I'll set alarms on my phone to check them in 7 days. I've embraced the fact that my memory sucks, so I use alarms frequently. I will also update as this whole exercise progresses.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Increasing broodnest in preparation for post flow split

    bjorn
    I will also update as this whole exercise progresses.
    I am looking forward to it.
    gww
    zone 5b

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