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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is lots of great information on the mechanics of making splits here and on Michael Bush’s page. Thank you all for you input on earlier questions. I'd like to get your thoughts on my situation too.

I have a strong hive consisting of 4 mediums with lots of stores (honey and pollen) and bees, showing brood in all 4 boxes. We are still a little cool over night (30s). There is pollen coming in, but the early nectar sources are just now becoming available. In this area we typically have an early flow in April then the main flow in June. I want to split my hive to make up for a winter loss, but also want to preserve some honey production as well. I am also lucky enough to have a supplier with mated queens available and will pick one up on Saturday to put in the new hive when I make the split.

So my question is this, would you do an even split of this hive or split off a nuc for the new queen and leave the original hive nearly in tact? The hive isn't showing signs of swarming yet, but it's still early due to the weather we've had up until now. I guess my additional goal would be to discourage a swarm as well.

My plan was an even split and put a box of un-drawn foundation on top of each hive. Does that sound reasonable?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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If they weren't all ready that strong, I'd wait until two weeks before the main flow to do a cut down split, but with brood in all four boxes, I'd just split them by the box. Deal the boxes to the new bottom boards. Put one of them back at the old location. If you want to maximize your honey crop, two weeks before the flow give the one at the old location all the capped brood from both hives and the one in the new location all the open brood and honey from both hives. The old location should make a good crop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Michael. That's an interesting approach (moving the capped brood into the original hive). I will give that a try. One follow on question, how important is it for the new hive to be queenless for 24 hrs before adding the new queen? I plan to use a push cage to introduce the new queen.
 
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