Advice
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Thread: Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    Default Advice

    Ok I am a 3 rd year beek. I have 2 overwintered hives. I overwinter with 1 10 frame brood chamber and a med honey super. Both hives not showing any signs of swarming. But I want to stay ahead of them. So I am thinking I need to split. I was thinking of taking 2 frames of brood from each and putting them in a nuc. Letting them make there own queen as I am seeing drone brood. But I donít have 4 frames of drawn comb to replace. Any suggestions

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Skaneateles, NY
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    Default Re: Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Sickdog5 View Post
    Ok I am a 3 rd year beek. I have 2 overwintered hives. I overwinter with 1 10 frame brood chamber and a med honey super. Both hives not showing any signs of swarming. But I want to stay ahead of them. So I am thinking I need to split. I was thinking of taking 2 frames of brood from each and putting them in a nuc. Letting them make there own queen as I am seeing drone brood. But I donít have 4 frames of drawn comb to replace. Any suggestions
    problem right now is the lack of drones to mate with any queens they may raise although by the time she is flying they should be ready.
    You can do a pre-emptive snelgrove split then pull the new queens and a couple frames of brood to make 2 new nucs and then reunite keeping the original colonies large for the honey crop.

    This would get you ur two original colonies without significant drop in honey harvest and two new nucs each with fresh newly mated queens.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Advice

    small splits like that won't be as capable of producing well fed queen cells as a strong colony could, and they will be very weak by the time new brood is emerging.

    it makes more sense to split the queen out with 2 or 3 frames of brood, an artificial swarm if you will, and let the strong parent colony produce the daughter queen.

    both the queenright and queenless splits should do well enough to gain strength and be in a position to draw new comb on this year's flow, plus swarming will have been prevented.

    an alternative would be to purchase mated queens and make 50/50 splits.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    Default Re: Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    small splits like that won't be as capable of producing well fed queen cells as a strong colony could, and they will be very weak by the time new brood is emerging.

    it makes more sense to split the queen out with 2 or 3 frames of brood, an artificial swarm if you will, and let the strong parent colony produce the daughter queen.

    both the queenright and queenless splits should do well enough to gain strength and be in a position to draw new comb on this year's flow, plus swarming will have been prevented.

    an alternative would be to purchase mated queens and make 50/50 splits.
    Thanks I like this idea. If I split them them do I give them undrawn frames like checker
    Board them? Do I need to move the split far away from the parent colonie?

  6. #5
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Advice

    i haven't had much luck checkerboarding drawn frames with undrawn frames. the drawn frames get pulled out too fat and the undrawn frames get drawn out too thin.

    i would put the undrawn frames out to the sides.

    i've had good luck giving the queenright split 2-3 frames of mostly capped brood. i usually do move them to another yard for at least a week or two, but you can compensate for fly back by shaking in an extra frame or two of nurse bees.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    Default Re: Advice

    Ok but what if the outside frames are mostly honey and pollen. Do I want to be putting those toward the center of the brood chamber?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Advice

    SD, you leave the honey/ pollen frames to the outside and insert the new frames next to the now condensed brood nest. Do like SP suggests splitting into a nuc, but be ready to put them in a full sized box within a month or so. I already had to hive a QR split I made near the end of March.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  9. #8
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    Jun 2016
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    Default Re: Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    SD, you leave the honey/ pollen frames to the outside and insert the new frames next to the now condensed brood nest. Do like SP suggests splitting into a nuc, but be ready to put them in a full sized box within a month or so. I already had to hive a QR split I made near the end of March.
    . Yea got that but I said I don’t have any drawn comb to give them just empty plastic frames. If the frames I put toward the outside are undrawn frames then I have to replace the ones I remove with frames from the outside of the nest that have some pollen and honey on them. Will the bees move it?

  10. #9
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Advice

    Let's try a map. After the split, the main hive bottom box could look like this:

    HFFBBBBFPH

    Where H is honey, F is your new plastic foundation, B are brood frames, and P is pollen. In this example, three frames of brood, mostly capped, were removed to form the new split. It does not have to look exactly like this but it should give you an idea.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #10
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    Jun 2016
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Let's try a map. After the split, the main hive bottom box could look like this:

    HFFBBBBFPH

    Where H is honey, F is your new plastic foundation, B are brood frames, and P is pollen. In this example, three frames of brood, mostly capped, were removed to form the new split. It does not have to look exactly like this but it should give you an idea.
    . Ok thanks for taking the time. Totally get it now. Only thing I was asking was my hives seem kind of pollen bound rite now. Lots of pollen not a lot of brood to feed. So if I had to stick a frame of say mostly pollen towards the center of the brood nest would the bees move it around so the queen would have a room to lay?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Advice

    As you know I am in your region. I think its a bit early for splitting. We are enjoying a so far warm and steady spring (though a slow started one, too), but our nighttime minimum temps are still hovering in the 36-42 range. I would not split unless forced to by unequivocal signs of imminent swarming: you start to see early stage, but definitely charged queen cells on 5-day interval hive tip ups. And if you are also seeing a fair amount of nearly hatched drone brood (or lots of live drones.) Drones take 10 days longer to emerge than queens.

    Why not set out to do the box tips on a five-day schedule? (I haven't started mine though I may do so next weekend, certainly by the following one.) With only two boxes to check it should take you less then 10 min/hive. Twenty minutes every five days is not an onerous chore. If you see charged queen cells on the bottom of the frames you will know it's time. I scrape all queen cups off the bottom of the frame so I know I am not missing anything each time. (I know they will replace them with in hours.)

    Also, just take one of the "excess pollen frames" (starting with the oldest and skankiest one) to make way for opening the side of the brood nest. Take another one out once they start to draw the first OSBN, which will happen in about 6-12 days. Freeze the frames you take out so SHB don't start in on them. They are still useful to the bees, just not so much right now. I rarely do more than three rounds of it.

    Also checkerboarding as a swarm-prevention technique requires drawn comb both with stores and without. if you don;t have that it cant be done. Make a point of getting some extras made this summer for next spring. It is started much earlier than this, so it is too late for a Walt Wright style checkerboarding project , even up here . Also get ready to super up with drawn comb so that when the dandelions start they don' have to store choose between brood and nectar storage.

    Do you know how to do the tip ups and what to look for? Quick and easy for you, and easy on the bees.

    Nancy

  13. #12
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    Jun 2016
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    Default Re: Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post

    Do you know how to do the tip ups and what to look for? Quick and easy for you, and easy on the bees.

    Nancy
    Yes i do. Remove super tip up brood box andl ook for queen cups along the bottom of frames right?

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    53,407

    Default Re: Advice

    >But I want to stay ahead of them. So I am thinking I need to split.

    You don't NEED to split if they aren't trying to swarm. What do you want? Honey? More bees? Decide what your goals are first. Then figure out how to accomplish it.

    http://bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
    http://bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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