Walk away split from single deep
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  1. #1
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    Default Walk away split from single deep

    I'm looking to split my single-deep hive which is jam-packed with bees (and which I just supered with a honey super to avoid swarming). I'd rather split the hive than have honey this year, and according to a local beekeepers facebook group I'm on, there's still about a month of time left to start successful splits (most people around here stop splitting in mid-July). I've been doing a lot of reading, but most instructions I find assume you are running a double-brood hive, and/or have drawn frames (this is my first hive, so I don't have any extra drawn frames yet). I was wondering if this was a reasonable approach:

    1. Transfer 4 of the frames from my current hive into a new hive box, bees and all, making sure to get at least one frame with eggs or very young larva, one of capped brood, and at least one frame packed with resources.
    2. Place brood frames in the middle, resources next to that, and undrawn foundation on the outside
    3. Shake in an extra frame of bees & close up the new hive
    4. Reorganize the old hive with frames of brood in the middle, resources next to that, and undrawn frames on the outside
    5. Reduce the entrance on both hives, and add a hive-top feeder to both hives
    6. Check the new hive in 4 weeks for eggs/young larva/queen


    I think everything else is good to go - I've got drones in my hive, night time temps are above 15C (60F), and there is a lot of pollen coming in.

    Is this a reasonable approach?
    Last edited by SuiGeneris; 06-20-2018 at 06:57 AM.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    That sounds like a reasonable plan to me.

    Since your original colony will retain all of the foragers as well as the laying queen, it might be worth considering a flyback split much like Lauri or RayMarler have demonstrated. You get more drawn comb in a hurry at the original location, and the new colony has an abundance of the resources necessary to make well-fed queen cells. You can equalize later if you find one to be stronger than the other as winter approaches.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    That is an interesting way to go about doing it, but it sounds like there is a bigger risk of 'messing' things up...I'll read more and decide.
    Last edited by squarepeg; 06-20-2018 at 08:33 AM. Reason: language

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    Did you do a very thorough check for swarm cells? Make sure the bees move onto the super by lifting the cover after a day or two. If you saw the single as jam- packed and you are still in the flow all it takes is one more frame starting to hatch.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    It really is less of a risk, particularly in the investment in time and bees. A hard split takes half your bees offline for a month.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    I did a very thorough check last night and didn't find anything looking like a swarm cell (to my untrained eye, so take that as you will). Some capped drones, a lot of a capped and open brood, a lot of stores. I removed a bit of comb from the bottom of two frames - mostly drone comb, but if there was a swarm cell hidden in there its gone now. The frames are getting tight though - not a lot of empty cells for the queen, although there is some brood I think will emerge soon. That's why I need to either split or start supering like mad...I have added a super as a bit of insurance, and I'm hoping that holds them to Sunday (which is when I'll be ready to split).

    EDIT: you posted while I was replying; I assume your later comment was in regards to the fly-away split being less of a risk?

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    Yes.

    There are tricks to increase the odds of getting the bees to move up. A day or two with the super frame in the brood nest by pulling a side frame out or pulling a super frame out and lowering a deep frame with bees down through both bodies. Sometimes they just move up easily.

    Do another swarm prep check Sunday before you do the split. There should be an area of eggs that looks normal and dry.

    congrats on a hive doing well.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    I re-read the flyback split thread and relaized that I mis-interpreted how its done...if anything, its easier than what I was planning. Couple of questions about it:

    1. How far away do I need to move the old hive? We have coons and skunks, so ideally I'd like to keep it inside my electric fence.
    2. Should I feed the colony with the queen, seeing as they'll have minimal comb to work with. The nectar flow is good right now.
    3. Ultimately, I'd like to have both hives on the same hive stand; how long should I wait before moving the old colony back to the stand?


    thanks

    Bryan

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    10 feet is plenty.


    Good flow probably makes feeding unnecessary. It is insurance with a robbing risk. I'm mostly ambivalent about feeding in a flow.

    If you have an excluder you can move the started cells back onto the same hive. The super in the middle and a top entrance.

    I would wait until the new queen is laying before putting split on same stand.

    got to go, I should be removing asbestos siding right now.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    If you're looking to keep them both on the same stand, you could just turn the newly created hive around right next to the hive in the original location. The foragers will all fly back to the original location with the queen they already know, and the new box has an opposite facing entrance which should keep the foragers from getting confused with the new house right next door.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    sui
    I like this site because of the pictures but most really like wally shaw's instructions if you want to look it up.
    http://www.killowen.com/swarmcontrol1.html

    I don't post this to change you from a good path but post it cause it is another way to work with limited space and not moving spits long distance.

    I did a teranove split and used the board in the same apairy last year where you shake all the frames on a ramp and then put the bees that don't fly back to the old hive on top of a snelgrove board.

    Just so you know, I just did two hives on the flyback split and so I am not trying to change your ideal. The thing I found hardest on mine was finding the queen. I did not feed the part that has the queen and gave them only one frame of stores but believe that I may have to feed the part that was moved at some time and you may want to also. The moved part is the part that will be making the queen cells and they have no foragers. My queen cells looked a little dinky to me cause I did not feed but relied on stores in the hive already. It will work out but my opinion is that the hive with all the foragers and the queen in a flow do pretty good taking care of themselves. A place for the queen to keep laying is good though.

    I sure hope this helps more then hurts and I am a new bee keeper and so keep that in mind.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    Granted, you are ready to go honey-less this season, might as well make as many splits as possible.
    I am going for it just in about 2-3 weeks.
    Will see how many splits I will manage to pull off out of the two survivors.
    Ideal target is to end up with 7-8 colonies.
    Sugar is cheap to worry much.

    Will be doing the fly-back too.

    PS: of course it seems like I started catching some swarms finally; there will be some honey anyways.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    sui
    I like this site because of the pictures but most really like wally shaw's instructions if you want to look it up.
    http://www.killowen.com/swarmcontrol1.html

    I don't post this to change you from a good path but post it cause it is another way to work with limited space and not moving spits long distance.

    I did a teranove split and used the board in the same apairy last year where you shake all the frames on a ramp and then put the bees that don't fly back to the old hive on top of a snelgrove board.

    Just so you know, I just did two hives on the flyback split and so I am not trying to change your ideal. The thing I found hardest on mine was finding the queen. I did not feed the part that has the queen and gave them only one frame of stores but believe that I may have to feed the part that was moved at some time and you may want to also. The moved part is the part that will be making the queen cells and they have no foragers. My queen cells looked a little dinky to me cause I did not feed but relied on stores in the hive already. It will work out but my opinion is that the hive with all the foragers and the queen in a flow do pretty good taking care of themselves. A place for the queen to keep laying is good though.

    I sure hope this helps more then hurts and I am a new bee keeper and so keep that in mind.
    Cheers
    gww
    I tried a Taranov split last year and liked it as well. It would stand to reason that the separation of flying vs. non-flying bees would be about the same as in a flyback split. I think the biggest difference would be which hive gets the existing stores and drawn comb, as well as the responsibility of making a new queen. Either one works, and works well.

    Here's the only issue I had with the Taranov split. When I shook the bees off the frames onto the sheet-covered ramp, I also shook out a lot of nectar as well. I think the next time I try that method, I'll shake them into their new box (shaken swarm method) so as not to waste all of their work by dumping it on the sheet. I tried using a bee brush, but it really seems to bring out the alarm pheromone in them.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    Thanks everyone for all of the helpful feedback! Instead of working I've been reading up on flyback splits, and I'm going to give that a go. If you don't mind, would someone please confirm that I've got the concept right:

    1. Start mid-day, when foragers are out
    2. Move my current hive to a new location ~10' away from its previous location (which I can do in my electrified space).
    3. Move the queen and two frames of eggs/larva/stores to a new box, fill remaining 8 spots in the new box with undrawn foundation. Place the new box (with the old queen in it) in the hives original location, with the door facing the same direction as the origonal hive.
    4. To the old box (in its new location), replace the 2 removed frames with undrawn foundation.
    5. Reduce entrances on both hives, add hive-top feeders
    6. 4-5 weeks later the old hive (hopefully with its new queen) can be moved back to the same stand as the new hive


    In both hives, I assume I arrange the frames as per usual - brood in the middle, stores next, undrawn frames on the outside.

    Did I get that right?

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    Sui - if it were me - I would make the split as you have described and move the old queen with the split. This will retain most of the old bees as well -false swarm if you will. Just another option. I will be doing the same to 300 hives over the next 3 weeks myself

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    SuiGeneris...
    That plan should work good. Just make very sure the main hive moved away without the queen has at least one frame with a good amount of eggs in it. Also, you do not need to leave a frame with eggs in the old location, as they have the active laying queen which will be giving eggs as comb is drawn. A frame of emerging brood is good to give her, she can keep laying in the cells the emerging brood vacates, and the emerging brood gives youngest bees to care for the new brood she's creating.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    Did I get that right? Well you got nothing wrong!

    I am a move the old queen fan. Queenright half is just more stable and the old flyback bees are better guards/ foragers. What I like to do (and almost never get around to actually doing) is add a new frame with a starter strip into the brood nest 5-7 days before the split. New soft comb and young brood. Sometimes they will keep filling the frame right over the QCs, that is a pain.

    You do need to move some nurse bees with the brood frame back to the old location, how depends on how good you are at spotting the queen.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    Salty
    I actually did one of each cause I could not find the queen to put in the original location. So I moved the queen on one and left the queen on the other. The one thing that I really think I could have done better but was to lazy, is, I believe I would have gotten better queen cells if I would have fed some pollen and syrup while the bees were making the queen rather then rely that they had enough in the hive to get the job done. I believe they would have made better and more queen cells as my made only one small one in one of my moved parts.

    I think mine will work out though the queens are not mated yet but think they would have did better with better resources. To rays point on using capped brood instead of open brood, If for some reason the queen can not be found to leave with the old bees, you do not have to quit or not do the split. I could not find the queen on one and so I had to add a comb of open brood to the old bees instead and they made a nice couple of queen cells. It was not the plan but seems to be ok anyway.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    Saltybee yes moving the queen away with the main hive and leaving a frame with eggs and a frame with emerging brood and a frame of stores behind at the old location without the queen can also work very well. A little bit difference in management but not much. I find you won't get as equal in populations of a split off that way but it does work, especially with a little added management of moving a frame of brood back to it as the new queen starts laying. There are pros and cons for each way of doing it, both ways can work out very well.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    Ray, My view probably is rooted in some very drifty bees I had. They would move to the queen they liked best even after their own was laying and had a good brood pattern. Young bees stuck with the old queen better than the nuc's.

    When you get down to that detail, I think it is the bees more than the method.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

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