Too Late to Split?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Macon TN USA
    Posts
    125

    Default Too Late to Split?

    One of my hives is 6 mediums deep and FULL of bees! (I use all 8 frame mediums) It is a hive that I started in the spring when I split another large hive. It was already doing pretty well and I had another hive get robbed and what was left was not doing very well, so I combined the small hive with the larger one. Now it is almost over flowing. The top box has foundation, but only about 1/2 drawn out. The next three or four boxes are full of honey. When I pull the outer cover off, bees are completely covering the inner cover and just start rolling out. I have not robbed it yet, but plan to in the next two weeks. I checked it last week and still had some uncapped honey, so I decided to wait a few more days.

    After I rob it, I will remove a box or two, but with it being so full even when 6 deep, should I consider splitting it?

    Is July too late to split in Middle TN?

    I would of course start feeding them immediately, and hope both hives would be strong by winter, but I wonder if I would be better off waiting until next spring to split?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,155

    Default Re: Too Late to Split?

    If you think it is crowded now, wait till you remove the honey supers and 1/2 of the real estate! If you don't split them when you pull the honey, they will most likely swarm. I look at post flow as the perfect time to make your nucs to overwinter.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Macon TN USA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Too Late to Split?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    If you think it is crowded now, wait till you remove the honey supers and 1/2 of the real estate! If you don't split them when you pull the honey, they will most likely swarm. I look at post flow as the perfect time to make your nucs to overwinter.
    Yes, I was wondering if they would swarm. As I said, this is a new hive that I started in the Spring. I was hoping that it being such a new hive, it would not swarm, but if I remove those boxes, I'm pretty sure they will.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,155

    Default Re: Too Late to Split?

    One of my first splits this year was a queenright split made at Easter. May 13th I pulled a nuc from that hive. Two days ago I noticed a swarm in the trap near the bees. Guess which hive was missing its queen? All the walkaway splits are just at 7 frames of bees, this hive was in a double deep 10 frame with a super by the end of May. The girls will be giving up four nice deep frames of capped honey in two days. Shhh. Don't tell them. They were a little testy when I was looking for the queen the other day.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,291

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleetwood271 View Post
    Is July too late to split in Middle TN?
    In my area I don't, they won't grow much, after the 2nd week of June the flow is pretty much over. You'll have much better success splitting earlier at the beginning of the flow in April thru May when swarms are naturally occuring at a high rate.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    659

    Default Re: Too Late to Split?

    I've had summers where splits do very poorly and some where they did fine. It seems to hinge on the amount of rain we get. We're getting a decent bit of rain so far so I bet the splits will stand a good chance if you feed them.
    Beekeeping 6 Years - 12 production hives and about 12 nucs - Treatment OAV Only

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    wilmington,nc
    Posts
    49

    Default

    You can spilt when you feel like feeding bees. They will do fine as long as they have pollen and syrup.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,155

    Default Re: Too Late to Split?

    Key word on that is pollen. Seems the queen doesn't lay a whole lot when there is no pollen coming in.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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