Think they'll make it?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Escambia, Florida, USA
    Posts
    46

    Default Think they'll make it?

    So I made a split from my best hive last week. I had wanted to do the regular fly-back method, but after searching through the entire hive TWICE, I absolutely could not find the queen, so I just went with a few frames of eggs/young larvae to let them make their own. Placed 6 frames total of brood and eggs, 2 frames nectar, and two drawn empty comb into a two-story 5-frame medium nuc with a reduced entrance, and apprehensively stuck a hive top feeder on it. Moved it across the yard.

    Went back yesterday to check and of course, they'd been robbed out and it looked like the aftermath of a Game of Thrones battle in front of the hive. Inside the hive was pretty bad, lots of starved dead larvae. But there was still a fair amount of bees and a nice fat queen cell. I gave them another frame of brood and another of honey, and didn't bother refilling the feeder. Think it was a waste of resources? Assuming she emerges, does that queen stand a fighting chance? This is in the Florida panhandle.

    And as you would expect, when I checked the parent hive yesterday, the queen was on the first frame I looked at. Typical.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    3,896

    Default Re: Think they'll make it?

    If the robbing has stopped, I think they will make it. At some point you may have no choice to feed or add a frame from a different hive. If you gave them a frame or two and they had good honey bands above the brood areas still after the robbing, I bet they do ok.
    I am new though.
    Cheers'
    gww
    zone 5b

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    1,945

    Default Re: Think they'll make it?

    Quote Originally Posted by FL_Ranger View Post
    So I made a split from my best hive last week. I had wanted to do the regular fly-back method, but after searching through the entire hive TWICE, I absolutely could not find the queen,...........

    And as you would expect, when I checked the parent hive yesterday, the queen was on the first frame I looked at. Typical.
    Let me join your club.
    I went through the darn thing three times yesterday and could not find that queen for the life of me.
    This is after emergency splitting the hive 3 ways with the fly-back being the goal.
    Pretty darn sure queen was not left in the old site (harder to miss since I did not leave them many frames).
    She was probably in that split with the freshest eggs but the bees had enough of me after an hour, and insisted I just leave.

    In the end, I just distributed the QCs across all the three hives to be sure everyone has a queen in making and will let it all shake out. At least, I am pretty sure I messed up their swarming away while I am camping with the kids 4 hour drive away.

    One question though - why split so late in Florida?

    OK, I am in WI and was trying to hold out until July before brood-break splitting.
    Our main flow is starting now and robbing not a major concern.
    But splitting in Floriday now, during the dearth (I assume?) is asking for trouble.

    Also, granted, this is Florida and no winter to speak of - I am not even worried, since the cluster size is not terribly critical.
    Of course they will make it. Feed and they will make it.
    FYI - I only feed under the lid (never in the open) and robbing is not a typical concern this way.
    Last edited by GregV; 06-25-2018 at 07:48 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Ukrainian frame experimentation.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,446

    Default Re: Think they'll make it?

    The main issue is the parent hive robbing them out, you will have to keep an eye on it, even when adding frames of honey back.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Escambia, Florida, USA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Think they'll make it?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Let me join your club.
    I went through the darn thing three times yesterday and could not find that queen for the life of me.
    This is after emergency splitting the hive 3 ways with the fly-back being the goal.
    Pretty darn sure queen was not left in the old site (harder to miss since I did not leave them many frames).
    She was probably in that split with the freshest eggs but the bees had enough of me after an hour, and insisted I just leave.

    In the end, I just distributed the QCs across all the three hives to be sure everyone has a queen in making and will let it all shake out. At least, I am pretty sure I messed up their swarming away while I am camping with the kids 4 hour drive away.

    One question though - why split so late in Florida?

    OK, I am in WI and was trying to hold out until July before brood-break splitting.
    Our main flow is starting now and robbing not a major concern.
    But splitting in Floriday now, during the dearth (I assume?) is asking for trouble.

    Also, granted, this is Florida and no winter to speak of - I am not even worried, since the cluster size is not terribly critical.
    Of course they will make it. Feed and they will make it.
    FYI - I only feed under the lid (never in the open) and robbing is not a typical concern this way.
    Thanks for the responses. To answer your question, definitely not my preferred time to attempt a split, but it was kind of an experiment + me getting greedy. There were still bees coming and going from the nuc today, so maybe they'll pull through. I'll know for sure in another week or two.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    2,951

    Default Re: Think they'll make it?

    Purchase a moving/robbing screen and install it immediately. Use a hive top feeder to replace what was robbed out. I would bet with proper care, you can make splits most of the year where you are. I am still making splits here in Richmond and our flow is over too. Just came back from the store with 30# of sugar, a week's supply at best.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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