Split Timing
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Thread: Split Timing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    Hillsborough, Central NJ
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    Default Split Timing

    One of my colonies is booming. Its bursting with bees. Last time I pulled some frames, about ten days ago I didn't see swarm cells, but from what I have read and from videos I have seen this colony needs to be split. I was hoping to leave it as a big, strong hive, but I want to prevent them from swarming. I have been feeding heavily, protein patties since March 1, and sugar water for the past 2 weeks. I am in central NJ, daytime temps 55 to 70, nighttime 45 to 50.

    When should I split? Is it too soon to do it on the next warm, sunny day?

    Alan

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Split Timing

    Alan, if you have drones, split away. Give them lots of bees but do not overdo it on the brood frames. Chilled brood does not make for more bees. Just one or two frames with eggs and brood and several drawn combs. If the hive is bursting, I would give them at least three extra shakes of bees off other brood comb. Just don't shake in the queen.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
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    May 2018
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    Hillsborough, Central NJ
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    Default Re: Split Timing

    Thanks JW. If the weather cooperates today I will pull a few frames and make the decision.

    Yes, my biggest concern is shaking in the queen. I am never much good at finding her. But when I watch videos on splits and things the keeper always seems to find the queen instantly.

  5. #4
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    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
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    Default Re: Split Timing

    my biggest concern is shaking in the queen
    shake the bees off all the combs you want to use, place in a new box, put box above an excluder over the main hive.
    a few hours later the bees are back on the combs and you know the queen isn't on them
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  6. #5
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    May 2018
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    Hillsborough, Central NJ
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    Default Re: Split Timing

    Thanks MSL, I saw that technique in a video, and I figure I will give it a try.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Split Timing

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    shake the bees off all the combs you want to use, place in a new box, put box above an excluder over the main hive.
    a few hours later the bees are back on the combs and you know the queen isn't on them
    If you see drone cells but no swarm cells;
    Then lift up your top and set on a new bottom. Move your queen body to a new spot. Put the top at the old location. Basically you get your swarm, a brood break and a cutdown split if the timing is right. Big if.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    Hillsborough, Central NJ
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    Default Re: Split Timing

    What about relocating the new hive? I don't have tons of options. I can move the new hive 100 feet away. Is that reasonable?

  9. #8
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    Jan 2013
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    Crown Point, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Split Timing

    I wouldn't split it personally. I'd probably reverse the brood boxes. Add another brood box and bait up up. And add supers.

  10. #9
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    Jan 2013
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    Crown Point, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Split Timing

    Or equalize all your colonies so they are all the same strength. Possibly the better plan.

  11. #10
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Split Timing

    I pulled a walkaway split off of what has got to be my strongest hive last weekend, shook off the frames and added a queen excluder and another super. Checked on them yesterday and added a third super. Only hive in my yard stacked five high. Might go to six before the flow is over. Yikes!
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    Hillsborough, Central NJ
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    Default Re: Split Timing

    Well the split has been done based on advice above. I think it went well, nothing of real note. The hive was absolutely stuffed with bees. IMG_2468.jpg

    I did not find any swamp cells, but I did not pull every frame. Out of 20 deep frames 19 of them were covered with bees. There was tons of resources, brood, drone brood, drones, etc. So I split them up and now they are set. The hive with the queen is absolutely humming. I cannot believe the number of foragers coming in and out of the hive. They are bringing in loads of pollen, multiple colors. And they are sucking down sugar water.

    The queenless hive is different. There are definitely foragers, but not nearly as much activity on the landing board. They are not taking down the sugar water as fast. Could they be more focused on creating a queen now?

    How long would you wait to go back in for an inspection on both hives?

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Warren County, NJ, USA
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    Default Re: Split Timing

    lay off the feed! pollen is copious! nectar is coming in NOW! get supers on NOW! i had 2 swarm already!

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Split Timing

    Alan, I agree with coal reaper, there is no need to be feeding the parent hive. The split should get a feeder and some patty for the first two weeks and then monitor need from there. You can keep the feed on them longer if you gave them a frame or two of foundation, but stop once it is drawn.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    carney, maryland, USA
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    Default Re: Split Timing

    I split on March 26. I made sure to leave behind lots of frames with eggs and/or real young larvae.

    Make sure the queenless hive has frames with eggs or REAL YOUNG open larvae. If not you can probably pull a suitable frame from the queen-right hive and put it in the queenless. I would also feed the queenless hive with pollen patties and sugar water.

    You probably already did all this, but I thought I would be a nag.

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