Alright guys and gals, I'm coming through my first winter strong (I think) with the one hive I have left after a laying worker issue late last summer. I'm planning on buying 3 nucs this year but I'd like to also split my current hive (double deep). It's currently almost entirely in the bottom box still with a ton of honey and pollen in the top box. I'm planning on checkerboarding the top box if this rain ever quits in north Georgia. I am planning on doing a split with this hive but am anxious to also get honey. I'm not looking to sell any but we didn't pull any last year and I'd definitely like to have enough to share with friends and maybe practice entering some honey shows.
I've considered a few options:
Even-up walk away split: I could almost completely fill 2 single deeps with enough bees and resources to make it and immediately be building into the second box (probably wouldn't buy a queen and would probably notch a few frames to give them a head start on the queenless side). I'm thinking neither of these would be strong enough by the flow to pull honey from but what do I know. I've also considered leaving them in a single deep through the flow and then feed in the summer/fall to build up to double deeps in time for winter.
Classic OTS split. Move queen to nuc with enough to get buy, leave big hive to raise a queen. I'm thinking this would impact production on the big hive but I'm not sure how significantly. I think it would depend a lot on timing and how old my bees were getting by the time a queen got raised, mated, and laying.
Cut down split: I have no clue when or how to time this for my area given the fact that this will be my first head start into spring. I thought about doing a combo cut down/OTS and basically only leave the brood frames with the Queen cells on it so that the big hive doesn't have to feed many babies but can still be gathering a bunch of nectar.
Too many choices and probably selfish to try to get the bees to do what I want but if you had one hive and wanted to split it and get as much honey as possible this year, what would you do.
Zone 7 North Georgia