Walk away split from single deep
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Lambton Shores, Ontario, Canada
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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 05:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Cecil County, MD
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    68

    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Lambton Shores, Ontario, Canada
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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 07:33 AM. Reason: language

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Lambton Shores, Ontario, Canada
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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?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    2,253

    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Lambton Shores, Ontario, Canada
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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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    coalmont Tennessee
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Walk away split from single deep

    Quote Originally Posted by SuiGeneris View Post
    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?
    I think so

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Norwalk, CT, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default

    You are right on track with your split. Try new techniques and things. Don’t be too cautious about deciding to split. This is supposed to be fun. Just remember to check for Varroa mites and if you have to-hang some 6 week treatments of Apivar strips 1 per 5- frames in the center of the brood nest. Please be vigilant in testing for those critters. I treated with some Oxcylic acid last fall but still lost all my bees, 15 colonies to varroa. The battery went dead and I have nobody to blame but myself. I just did my second round of splits and I’m back and the bees are back. Megabee powder and Thymol medication is on order along with the patty feeding after the nectar flow. Best to you and bees 🐝🐝🐝 keep them healthy. I can’t stress enough to Moniter for mites.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    Congrats sui. It's great when everything works out isn't it? J

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