Gamble on early split
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Col. Hts, TN
    Posts
    2

    Default Gamble on early split

    Hello everyone!! Long time lurker...first time posting. First let me thank everyone for the wealth of info shared here. I have learned so much in the short time here.

    I'm currently running 10 frame double deeps on this hive and feeding sugar block and pollen. The queen is from last spring splits. Inspection last Saturday showed me a booming colony with all ages of worker brood from eggs to dark "chocolate" capped brood. As for drones, I didn't see new ones but wasn't looking closely enough for them. I did find drone brood that was both open and capped with some being dark capped almost ready to emerge. It was a bit cool and windy so I didn't want to spend time locating the queen after seeing eggs and larvae only days old. Also, no queen cells were found. Hopefully that sets the scene.

    Now for my gamble...
    Yesterday (Wednesday) I went out to this same hive and placed a queen excluder between top and bottom deeps. With the plan of checking for queen cells in 3 days and splitting of the deeps prior to virgin queen emerges.
    My reasoning being I could get a good start on a spring split if I got the timing correct between queen development,
    drone maturity, warming spring weather etc. With the worst case being the new queen doesn't get mated and I have to recombine.
    Of course I have reviewed the gestation calendars for queens and drones as well as long range weather forecasts and it all seems to work out pretty well on spot. Normally I would wait until April to split and definitely after seeing drones in hive.

    I know I have read somewhere...either here or Dr. Miller or G. Doolittle about this type of splitting but of course I'm not able to relocate the info.
    So here I am asking for opinions on my gamble...thanks in advance for all responses!!
    As a young man, I was known as a beehive kicker...
    As an older man, ok so not much has changed.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,115

    Default Re: Gamble on early split

    Beechgrove Bee, welcome to the posting side of Beesource. Not sure how your plan of simply placing a qe between the boxes is going to generate queen cells. You will need to somehow block the queen pheromones in the upper box to get cells started, look up the use of a Cloake board. The qe will help you determine which of the two boxes she is in as there will be no eggs in the ql box after three days. If you are just wanting to make 1 split, set one of the boxes on a new bottom board. Make sure there are frames of eggs and young larvae in both boxes and you are done. Check back in a few days to see which box has made qc's and then you will know which hive is still qr. If you want more splits, once you have qc's, you can put a frame with a capped qc and a few frames of bees into a nuc. The bees can come from either or both of the hives. Hope this helps.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Col. Hts, TN
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks for the reply and advice JW.
    I had not thought of the pheromones and must have confused what I read with what I remembered...anyway...I was able to inspect today and as you suggested there were no Qcs started. I was able to find all stages of brood again in the bottom box so I knew where my queen was. I located her and set her aside until I had confirmed the status of the other box. The other box had no qc no eggs and all larvae were capped or emerging.
    I also saw lots and lots of new drones which I did not see a week ago.
    I put the queen into this box on a new bottom board...she has plenty of resources and space to lay and loads of nurse bees. I left the other box in its original location and I know it also has enough resources to make a new queen.

    If I had not seen as many drones I would have probably removed the excluder and buttoned it back up and waited. I feel confident those drones will be plentiful and should be sexually mature by the time a new virgin has emerged.

    Seems as though spring is truely arrived... Hope everyone has a successful year and meets their goals...whatever those may be!!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    As a young man, I was known as a beehive kicker...
    As an older man, ok so not much has changed.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN (Rutherford Co)
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: Gamble on early split

    Quote Originally Posted by BeechgroveBee View Post
    Hello everyone!! Long time lurker...first time posting. First let me thank everyone for the wealth of info shared here. I have learned so much in the short time here.

    I'm currently running 10 frame double deeps on this hive and feeding sugar block and pollen. The queen is from last spring splits. Inspection last Saturday showed me a booming colony with all ages of worker brood from eggs to dark "chocolate" capped brood. As for drones, I didn't see new ones but wasn't looking closely enough for them. I did find drone brood that was both open and capped with some being dark capped almost ready to emerge. It was a bit cool and windy so I didn't want to spend time locating the queen after seeing eggs and larvae only days old. Also, no queen cells were found. Hopefully that sets the scene.

    Now for my gamble...
    Yesterday (Wednesday) I went out to this same hive and placed a queen excluder between top and bottom deeps. With the plan of checking for queen cells in 3 days and splitting of the deeps prior to virgin queen emerges.
    My reasoning being I could get a good start on a spring split if I got the timing correct between queen development,
    drone maturity, warming spring weather etc. With the worst case being the new queen doesn't get mated and I have to recombine.
    Of course I have reviewed the gestation calendars for queens and drones as well as long range weather forecasts and it all seems to work out pretty well on spot. Normally I would wait until April to split and definitely after seeing drones in hive.

    I know I have read somewhere...either here or Dr. Miller or G. Doolittle about this type of splitting but of course I'm not able to relocate the info.
    So here I am asking for opinions on my gamble...thanks in advance for all responses!!
    I'm in Middle TN too. Murfreesboro. I'm debating on splitting right now. I have at least 1 hive that's ready. I think I'm gonna try the Taranov method. Let me know how it goes!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    wnc
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: Gamble on early split

    Easiest thing to do is to find the queen, and move her and three frames of bees to a nuc box. The remaining bees will give you a lot of queen cells a week or so later.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN (Rutherford Co)
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: Gamble on early split

    A northern TN beek on FB reported to a group that he has drones already. "lots of drones" but I'm not seeing that. Anybody else seeing drones flying???

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    1,943

    Default Re: Gamble on early split

    I've had drones for a few weeks now. You can split right now if you have mated queens but I'd give it a couple weeks for better flying weather for queens to get mated if you're raising your own queens.

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