fly back split questions
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    891

    Default fly back split questions

    Hey all..Im trying to plan ahead for spring 2019 ( i know wishful thinking)
    Trying to use the last 3 years hive mortality data for my state to further my planning accuracy ( hopefully).

    I have fairly ambitious plans to graft queens and make 20 5 frame nucs in the late spring early summer. Im hoping to pull this off with a large cell starter and stealing frames of brood from my 14 overwintering nucs ( assuming 10 of them survive) and grafting off my most productive queen from a production colony from this year ( again assuming that 10 of my 13 production hives survive).
    I would use 2 brood frames, one honey frame ( probably from dead outs) , 1 pollen frame and one foundation frame per nuc.
    All nucs would be moved 80miles away to my other property.

    For the 10 surviving production colonies im hoping to do flyback splits on all of them for increase but also to attempt to harvest 50+lbs of honey from them in 2019.

    Does all of this sound feasible?


    Particular question about the fly back split is does it significantly impact honey production. If so would i be better off using the snelgrove board technique, taking a small nuc with the new queen from the top box once she is mated and recombining the main hive??





    Thanks in advance.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    oak harbor washington USA
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: fly back split questions

    Quote Originally Posted by aran View Post

    Particular question about the fly back split is does it significantly impact honey production. If so would i be better off using the snelgrove board technique, taking a small nuc with the new queen from the top box once she is mated and recombining the main hive??.
    A flyback split will not adversly impact your honey production at all as long as you time it right. However if you time it badly you may not get any harvestal honey. How well do you knoiw your local nectat flows?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,761

    Default Re: fly back split questions

    Pay attention to mbear said. My only caution is splitting too aggressively can result in ending up with not much of value. Make sure nights are warm when you set those small splits out on their own.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Southwest CO
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: fly back split questions

    Hi Aran,
    It sounds like you are where I want to be in one year. This year I am focusing on building nucs. Can you tell me a bit about how you grew your numbers of nucs and production hives? What was your methodology?

    Have you finished developing your plan for this year? I'd be interested in hearing about it.

    Thanks, RMH

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    891

    Default Re: fly back split questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Mt High View Post
    Hi Aran,
    It sounds like you are where I want to be in one year. This year I am focusing on building nucs. Can you tell me a bit about how you grew your numbers of nucs and production hives? What was your methodology?

    Have you finished developing your plan for this year? I'd be interested in hearing about it.

    Thanks, RMH
    SO last year i caught a few swarms and bought in some queens from various sources to add new genetics.
    Made splits and took no honey last year.
    Went into winter with 15 double/triple deep colonies and 11 overwintering nucs in the MP 4/4/4 configuration.
    As of this week one of the little nucs has died off leaving 25 colonies still going strong.
    I decided 2018 would be about increase and not honey production.
    I took NO Honey in 2018
    I treated with apivar, OAV and formic pro throughout the year and added boxes whenever they were needed and fed 2:1 if they needed it
    For winter they are all insulated with 2 inch foam all the way around with foam inside and on top of the outer cover

    This coming year im hoping to sell some nucs and make a little honey to use/sell so i can get a few more pieces of equipment for my extraction room ( need a nice inline filter) and would love a larger uncapping tank.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    891

    Default Re: fly back split questions

    i made a number of splits with frames of brood with QCs when i was doing regular inspections and did fly back splits on a few of the larger hives that looked like they may be about to swarm also.
    I did a few walk away splits also.

    This year i will graft queens.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,048

    Default Re: fly back split questions

    I don't believe a split of any kind won't effect the total honey crop of the production colony. Especially in the North, weather after the split will determine the honey crop. If the split is made, and the weather goes south, the split colony can't re-build to the population needed to gather a good crop. Or, if the colony does build up, but then weather goes south and the flow ends...and the split colony can't make a crop.

    I'm not saying don't split if you need to. Sometimes it's the only way to build the apiary. I'm just saying don't think splitting doesn't effect the crop. It surely will.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    891

    Default Re: fly back split questions

    im certain youre right Mike. Im at the cross roads thuogh where my wife is telling me NO MORE BEE TOYS unless the money comes from the bees lol. So I will likely have to sacrifice a little in the honey productivity department this year so i can sell some nucs and buy some more toys!!!!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    315

    Default Re: fly back split questions

    aran, I guess I have been reading too much of the lazy beekeeper from Michael Bush. I would leave the production hives alone, and produce Honey from all of them. I have about the same number of hives as you and last year used a 2 basket Hand Crank extractor and a few pails with screens on. 400 or so quarts with my only expense as stickers and jars. I think Increase and toys are too aggressive for 1 years plans. And today you are not really big enough to max out the extraction house, Unless you are extracting for several others. I'll Admit my arm got sore, but the family helped and it only took 2 long weekends to complete. I would take the 10 over wintered NUCs and leave them fill up and do swarm prep. when you have the Swarm cells take the 4x4x4 NUCs and split them into 3 -4 frame NUCs which hopefully get you 30 4 frame NUCs. With all the splits you are talking about, above, your toys for the extraction House may be paided for and no honey to put thru them. I would take the best 10 splits and make them in to production for next year. Leave 15 or so for your self to winter and sell 5 of the nucs for some funds. Try to go into next winter with 25 production hives and 15 4x4x4 NUCs. The time and resources to make the cell starter and finisher and the grafting time , I would invest into checking the NUCs every 5 or 6 days for QCs and splitting accordingly. You will end up with better Genetic Diversity and more production. I always get nervousness making 20 daughter queens from one hive. I have seen 2nd and 3 generation seem great then 4th generation go into the weeds. I Have to admit I am a fan of letting the bees pick the egg/larvae to make a queen from, rather than I. I know the Queen decides to make a winter bee or a drone, I am convinced she also "selects" Just the right egg for a queen, So I let her do it. Good luck with your decision. Do the math a few ways and then go for it. Slow and steady wins the race. Enjoy the journey and put less emphasis on the end goal.

    Gray Goose

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    891

    Default Re: fly back split questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    aran, I guess I have been reading too much of the lazy beekeeper from Michael Bush. I would leave the production hives alone, and produce Honey from all of them. I have about the same number of hives as you and last year used a 2 basket Hand Crank extractor and a few pails with screens on. 400 or so quarts with my only expense as stickers and jars. I think Increase and toys are too aggressive for 1 years plans. And today you are not really big enough to max out the extraction house, Unless you are extracting for several others. I'll Admit my arm got sore, but the family helped and it only took 2 long weekends to complete. I would take the 10 over wintered NUCs and leave them fill up and do swarm prep. when you have the Swarm cells take the 4x4x4 NUCs and split them into 3 -4 frame NUCs which hopefully get you 30 4 frame NUCs. With all the splits you are talking about, above, your toys for the extraction House may be paided for and no honey to put thru them. I would take the best 10 splits and make them in to production for next year. Leave 15 or so for your self to winter and sell 5 of the nucs for some funds. Try to go into next winter with 25 production hives and 15 4x4x4 NUCs. The time and resources to make the cell starter and finisher and the grafting time , I would invest into checking the NUCs every 5 or 6 days for QCs and splitting accordingly. You will end up with better Genetic Diversity and more production. I always get nervousness making 20 daughter queens from one hive. I have seen 2nd and 3 generation seem great then 4th generation go into the weeds. I Have to admit I am a fan of letting the bees pick the egg/larvae to make a queen from, rather than I. I know the Queen decides to make a winter bee or a drone, I am convinced she also "selects" Just the right egg for a queen, So I let her do it. Good luck with your decision. Do the math a few ways and then go for it. Slow and steady wins the race. Enjoy the journey and put less emphasis on the end goal.

    Gray Goose
    I lucked out last year and at an estate sale i got a honey pump, heated 40-50gallon clarifying tank, and a heated uncapping tank and a bottling tank all for dirt cheap. ( i cant recall exactly but i think i may have paid $600 for everything used)
    All i need is the filter and i wouldnt mind a larger uncapping tank. I already have a 30Frame maxant extractor and uncapping plane.
    I know all of this is overkill for a hobbyist of my size but im a doc and this is my hobby and like most hobbies it costs more than it gives and im ok with that.


    I guess i will need to see how the bees get through the rest of winter before i start counting my chickens for splits !!!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    315

    Default Re: fly back split questions

    All i need is the filter and i wouldnt mind a larger uncapping tank. I already have a 30Frame maxant extractor and uncapping plane.
    I know all of this is overkill for a hobbyist of my size but im a doc and this is my hobby and like most hobbies it costs more than it gives and im ok with that.

    Well that clears it up a bit. By All means carry on then your almost there. Maybe consider connecting with a couple other Beeks and offer to use your Extract room for a split or 2. Barter some bees that you may need for an extraction room that some one else may need. Unless access it is not ok for someone to bring in some full suppers to your place.

    I am in a similar place where I can do what I want with out worries about cash flow. Last year I build a shed to put the hives under, Keep them dry and rain, sleet, snow free. Extraction room is on the 2020 schedule.

    thanks.
    Grey Goose.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    891

    Default Re: fly back split questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    All i need is the filter and i wouldnt mind a larger uncapping tank. I already have a 30Frame maxant extractor and uncapping plane.
    I know all of this is overkill for a hobbyist of my size but im a doc and this is my hobby and like most hobbies it costs more than it gives and im ok with that.

    Well that clears it up a bit. By All means carry on then your almost there. Maybe consider connecting with a couple other Beeks and offer to use your Extract room for a split or 2. Barter some bees that you may need for an extraction room that some one else may need. Unless access it is not ok for someone to bring in some full suppers to your place.

    I am in a similar place where I can do what I want with out worries about cash flow. Last year I build a shed to put the hives under, Keep them dry and rain, sleet, snow free. Extraction room is on the 2020 schedule.

    thanks.
    Grey Goose.
    I really like the idea of bartering with local beeks for splits in exchange for using the extacting equipment. I hadnt even considered that.
    My wife tells me no more toys for this hobby or that hobby but she knows i typically get the toys anyways lol. I work hard i have to enjoy my hobbies!
    We are getting a large barn put in at our place Spring 2020 so within that i will build a dedicated room for extracting and a separate workshop for woodworking/building hardware.
    Until then the extraction equipment lives in the basement, to be brought out and used then cleaned and stored again. Its a bit of a PITA but at the same time its part of the hobby and hence inherently fun!


    Last nights check revealed:
    15 big hives still looking great
    7 of the 10 nucs looking good
    2 of the nucs with smaller clusters hopefully they make it but they may well not
    1 of the nucs is a deadout i think although i only peeked into the top box.

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