splitting and adding new queens using a fume board and excluder
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    shelby co ohio
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    19

    Default splitting and adding new queens using a fume board and excluder

    I am wanting to split my three hives. They overwintered well and are doing nicely. I have considered a walk away split but would prefer to avoid the appx. 30 day set back while the queen gets made and bred. My hives are double deeps and full of bees making it difficult to find the queen, x 3. I am considering using a fume board to push all the bees to the bottom box and putting an excluder between the deeps a day or two before I pick up my bred queens. When the queens arrive I could then do basically a walk away split with the top deep and house bees while installing a new queen without fear of the original queen being in with it. I haven't seen it done quite like this but I can't think of why it wouldn't work and it would avoid the need to find the queens. Any ideas or concerns?
    Thanks,
    Josh

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    10,414

    Default Re: splitting and adding new queens using a fume board and excluder

    it's not something i have tried josh so i can't advise one way or the other. but another option to consider, and assuming you can see eggs, would be to put the excluder between your deeps and come back a week later. the box with eggs in it has the queen and vice versa.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Ocala, Florida, USA
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: splitting and adding new queens using a fume board and excluder

    I have done that and will continue doing it. First I would balance the hive to get the brood where you want it. I like to have more capped brood in the box your moving away so I get young bees there quicker. If your not moving the split from your current yard then most of the foragers will go back to the parent hive. Also think about giving the parent hive extra room for the returning bees.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,814

    Default Re: splitting and adding new queens using a fume board and excluder

    In the spring I tend to split single deeps three ways and have good luck determining the queen's location by listening to the splits about 15-20 minutes after "separation." The queen right split is business as usual, the queenless have a roar - not louder, just a deeper base hum. If you've ever smoked the bees down and heard the tone change to somewhat of an agitated hum, that's close. You can always confirm her presence by going through less frames in the split. Leave them queenless 24 to 48 hours and add a queen cell or see how they react to a caged queen, if they're not aggressive toward her I'll direct release; however I'm not introducing different breeds and having the associated acceptance problems.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Southeast Texas
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    1,792

    Default Re: splitting and adding new queens using a fume board and excluder

    using a fume board on a double is very rough on the bees. I never use one below 3 boxes. A better way would be to remove the top box - set it on the lid - now you can remove some frames of brood from the bottom box if they have it to spare - then take a empty box and set it on top of an excluder on the single. Now you have a single - excluder- empty deep. Shake the bees off in front of the hive frame by frame - maybe use a brush? anyway keep an eye out for the queen on the ground. You may have to help her back in. Also if you want more nucs - you can divide up the frames of brood at this time - by the time your done you may have 4 boxes on them. The nurse bees will work their way through the excluder and spread there self's out through out the boxes overnight. Next morning - go in with some tops and bottoms. The hive has a top on it - break top box loose without removing the top and roll it over - attach a bottom and roll it back over - Walla - 1 nuc done - install a top and replete until you have what you want. I split this way but don't use an excluder - I don't care where the old queen ends up. Next couple of days you can easily see where she is by the flight of bees from these new splits - or you can wait 5 days and check for fresh eggs. Fresh eggs in a cell are usually standing straight up on the bottom of the cells.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    shelby co ohio
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: splitting and adding new queens using a fume board and excluder

    I appreciate all the helpful replies. I have gone ahead and ordered my queens. $25 per bred Italian seemed like a decent price. As far as shaking all the bees and queen out of the hive, wouldn't that be harder on them than fuming them down a bit?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Southeast Texas
    Posts
    1,792

    Default Re: splitting and adding new queens using a fume board and excluder

    no fuming them is always harder on them. I never fume a brood nest - the bees can run but what about the larva - they can't - may kill off a whole lot of bees/larva doing this
    Your looking for advise - I'm telling you I would never fume a brood nest
    my 2 cents

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Ocala, Florida, USA
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: splitting and adding new queens using a fume board and excluder

    Quote Originally Posted by sakhoney View Post
    no fuming them is always harder on them. I never fume a brood nest - the bees can run but what about the larva - they can't - may kill off a whole lot of bees/larva doing this
    Your looking for advise - I'm telling you I would never fume a brood nest
    my 2 cents
    I've never had that problem but I don't leave it on long. My experience is that the queen is usually one of the first to move down. I continually check it. You don't have to run every bee out of the hive. I don't think I've ever had it on for more than 3 or 4 minutes. I use honey bandit. You know how it is when you ask for opinions, you get several.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Syracuse, UT
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: splitting and adding new queens using a fume board and excluder

    I'm planning on doing splits this way about the 1st of May or when I see drones. I will put the old hive boxes on a new hive one at a time and drive all the bees out of the old hive bodies and into the new hive using the fume board. I will re-assemble the old hive in the old place. The new hive will have the old queen and the nurse bees. The old hive will have all the fly-backs and the capped and open brood to raise a new queen. snved, did you try your suggested method? Anyone see a problem with this? Only thing I saw above is the concern of this being harsh on brood. I plan on using the almond scented stuff and not the horrible smelling stuff. There will be 3-4 mediums that make up the new hive for the bees to escape to when fuming them out of the old hive box. I will cover the bottom entrance while doing this (have screened bottom boards).
    Last edited by blamb61; 03-07-2020 at 12:04 PM.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Syracuse, UT
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: splitting and adding new queens using a fume board and excluder

    I am also going to try to do a two queen hive this way. I have an all medium box hive. I would remove all but two boxes (5-box hive total including supers). Then I would put removed boxes back on one at a time and drive bees out of it to the bottom two boxes using a fume board and set the empty box aside. Once all the bees are all in the two bottom boxes, I will put a separation board on and then put the rest of the boxes back on and if there any queen cells forming, I will put them in the top box or move some new eggs up to the top to get them to develop a new queen. I would give the upper boxes a top entrance. After a month or little longer, I would replace the divider board with a queen excluder and newspaper to combine them. Early fall, I would remove the excluder and let the queens duke it out. Any thoughts? Would it still work if instead of using a divider board just start with an excluder? Would that cause a new queen up top to find the queen below and kill her or would I get a two queen hive? That would be less steps if that would work. Can I successfully drive all bees into two med hive bodies? Any thoughts would be appreciated. If this works, I would have a two queen hive and be practicing queen replacement and hopefully swarm control. Could loose both queens when they duke it out.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,781

    Default Re: splitting and adding new queens using a fume board and excluder

    You do not need to find the queen, you just have to find where she is not. Take the cover off and give them a puff, wait a minute and she is probably down. By the time you shake and set aside brood frames she will be. Set an empty aside for handling. Then move brood frames above an excluder into what will be your top box. Young bees take queens better and don't fly back. (What squarepeg and Sak said. Harder upfront but less on install queen day. With SQP method at least make sure brood is in top and bottom. )

    With 3 doubles it is time to get comfortable in a cloud of bees.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

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