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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In an effort to get prepared for my first spring split, I would like to lay out my plan, and welcome your feedback. My goal is to end up with 4 hives in 2019 starting with two if both make it through winter.

Location: North Alabama
The hive I would like to split is going into winter in two deeps and one medium. The hive did spectacular this year and really is/was strong. If it makes it through winter I would like to split it.

Plan:
I would like to just take one deep and move it over to another bottom board and add a queen. I have a local source for nice queens that should be available the last week of March. I was thinking of locating the queen in the hive and move the deep that she is in over to the new bottom board. I can then let them build out new deeps as they grow during 2019.

Option: I do have two 5 frame deep nucs, that I could move frames to and then add queens to and then move them into deeps as they start growing. If I do this, should I take the 5 frame nucs, let them expand to 5 over 5 and then move to deeps? Or just let them get established in a 5 frame then move them? I would need to add about 2 undrawn frames to each of the nucs, I can move 3 drawn frames into the nucs to get them started.


Is late March in North Alabama a good time to make splits? Any suggestions or things you can suggest on doing different?


Thanks!
 

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late march is a good time to split because that's usually just prior to prime swarming time.

if both colonies survive winter i would consider splitting both of them to prevent swarming.

at that time of year the colonies are expanding rapidly so no need to put the splits into the 5 frame nuc boxs.

if i recall correctly you have 8 frame equipment and some drawn supers.

i would consider making each split with a deep of foundation on the bottom, then a deep of drawn comb, and a super of drawn comb on the top.

i believe you will find the will expand the broodnest down and draw the bottom super of foundation while storing honey in the drawn super on top.

be ready to add more supers as they fill them.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Are your plans to only have four hives? Spring is a great time to be way more agressive if your end plan is to have say 10. I start feeding pollen patties and 1:1 about six weeks before I plan to split. You get a lot more bees but also significantly move up the swarm dates so constant monitoring is needed. Consider doing a flyback split which by all accounts gets a lot of comb drawn and you don't need to buy a queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
2019 Spring Split

I currently have 4 x 8 frame deeps ( the two current hives ) and 2 x 8 frame mediums with drawn comb ( one is on a hive, the other stored in garage). If both hives winter over splitting both is an idea that I didn’t think about.

4 is the number I feel comfortable with, maybe more in 2020. Or maybe a fall split in a nuc to try to overwinter.

I don’t mind buying the local queens, and I was thinking they would save me nearly a month vs the walk away split.

Thanks!
 

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Re: 2019 Spring Split

I don’t mind buying the local queens, and I was thinking they would save me nearly a month vs the walk away split.
exactly right. around here that month is critically important because of the relatively short main flow period during which most new wax gets drawn and most of the season's honey gets put up.
 

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Re: 2019 Spring Split

depending on what your ultimate goals are for numbers you can almost certainly do better than ending up with 4 hives total if both survive the winter.
You can do a fly back split on one hive . The other hive break down into 4 nucs and either give them queens/cells or let them raise their own.
This would put you at 6 hives going into summer and you may even be able to split the first hive/fly back split hive again in mid to late summer and give those splits queens.
 
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