Timing for after the split?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    123

    Default Timing for after the split?

    Looking for some collective knowledge here as this is my first foray into doing splits.
    So, the story so far. I'm doing some OTS splits.

    On the 10th of March I removed the queen and made new colony with her and 4 frames. Its going gangbusters and ready to add another box.
    On the 17th of March, we went back in the hive and made splits of all of the queen cells we found. I made 5 splits with 3-4 frames in each into nuc boxes. They all look good as far as traffic coming in and out. I am hesitant to disturb them and haven't been in the boxes since I closed them up on the 17th. Ideally the queen was ready for her mating flights last weekend, which was sunny and 70 here in the bay area. 3 good days for mating flights, then it rained all week, and forecasted to rain into Saturday.

    I plan on going into the splits (Nucs) this Sunday to determine if I have queens and add another frame or two for them.

    - If I find any of the queens, should I mark them this weekend? Are they past their mating flights window, or might they still head out for another rendezvous? Does a dot of paint inhibit her flying ability?
    - Is it too early to move them into another yard? Should I leave them alone for another week?
    - If the queen is out while I'm in the hive with a smoker, will she come back into the hive while I'm there? Will I drive her out with a smoker?
    - What should I anticipate seeing inside the nucs? I think too soon for capped brood, but possibly eggs and larvae? All the capped brood from the original split should be opened up, right? (It'l be 4 weeks since the old queen was in there)
    - When is a good time to treat with Oxalic Acid dribble?

    Thanks for any insight.

    Phil in Fremont.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Winslow, AR, USA
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Timing for after the split?

    Phil,
    It sounds to me like you're doing everything right. Your timing sounds good. It's amazing how fast they build up, and rebound from the splits, isn't it? You should be able to go into the nucs and check them out with no problem. In case the Q might still be doing mating flights I'd make sure you stand behind the hive. But you should find eggs, and larvae at this point. The nucs should not need any treatment at this point due to the brood break, and the mites self destruction on the first 8 day old larvae. I made strong splits, not the weak ones Mel says you can make, and turned 2 hives into 8 last year. Just make sure you feed them to help them draw out the comb you need. I screwed up on that point last year, but still kept 6 of them alive into this spring. Have you bought the book? If not, there's a ton of info on the website www.mdasplitter.com.

    Ron

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,913

    Default Re: Timing for after the split?

    >On the 10th of March I removed the queen...
    >On the 17th of March, we went back in the hive and made splits of all of the queen cells we found.
    >I am hesitant to disturb them and haven't been in the boxes since I closed them up on the 17th. Ideally the queen was ready for her mating flights last weekend, which was sunny and 70 here in the bay area. 3 good days for mating flights, then it rained all week, and forecasted to rain into Saturday.

    If you made them queenless on the 10th, the queens would emerge probably on the 24th. They would harden for a few days, orient for a few days and likely be mated and laying a few eggs by April 8, which is today.

    >I plan on going into the splits (Nucs) this Sunday to determine if I have queens and add another frame or two for them.

    That would be the 7th.

    >- If I find any of the queens, should I mark them this weekend? Are they past their mating flights window, or might they still head out for another rendezvous? Does a dot of paint inhibit her flying ability?

    It doesn't inhibit her flying. I can't say if it will attract predators. I've marked some virgins in the past. The bigger risk in my experience is that she'll fly and not come back when you're trying to mark her. If she is runny I don't try to mark her.

    >- Is it too early to move them into another yard? Should I leave them alone for another week?

    They could be another week getting mated at the longest. I would wait.

    >- If the queen is out while I'm in the hive with a smoker, will she come back into the hive while I'm there?

    Maybe maybe not. You will confuse her landmarks.

    > Will I drive her out with a smoker?

    Yes. You may not drive her out but she will run. If she's still a virgin, she might run out. You sometimes find a virgin in the corner on the bottom or even hanging underneath the hive.

    >- What should I anticipate seeing inside the nucs? I think too soon for capped brood

    It is, unless you put some in already that now got capped.

    > but possibly eggs and larvae?

    Possibly eggs. Possibly young larvae.

    > All the capped brood from the original split should be opened up, right? (It'l be 4 weeks since the old queen was in there)

    Yes it will all be emerged.

    >- When is a good time to treat with Oxalic Acid dribble?

    IMO. Never.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Timing for after the split?

    Thanks Michael,
    Indeed, they were pretty fast, and ran a lot. We had pretty good success at making queens, and will let them be for another few weeks to see eggs and larvae. No eggs yet.
    I appreciate the expert opinion.

    Cheers, Phil

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    231

    Default

    If you can vaporizer I would, otherwise do the dribble. You don't get many opportunities to have a broodless hive and you should take advantage of it to knock down as many mites as you can. I always use Randy Oliver's middle formulation for making up a dribble.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Timing for after the split?

    Indeed, waiting another couple of weeks makes all the difference. Capped brood is quite obvious, and the queen is much easier to find, and catch. Recombined the failed splits and they are all off to the races. 5 colonies from one. Not a bad start to the season.

    Thanks all.
    Phil in Fremont.

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