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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I started with a 5 frame nuc about 1 month ago and I am now hooked! I appear to have a WBC brood box completly full. Maybe the feeding I was advised to do by this forum has worked. What advice would you give to increse hive numbers for next year. I havn't had the luxury of taking an honey this year, but next ..............
 

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How many colonies are you shooting for????

A strong overwintered colony should allow
for 2 splits after they rebuild. Honey
production suffers though.

If you are only looking for another one or
two then shoot for a Nuc or two next spring.
 

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I don't know what your weather and winters are like, but it might be possible to make a split yet this year if you have mild winters and don't mind feeding.

Otherwise do as Bruce suggested and make a couple of splits next spring. Then when those are strong enough you can take one frame from each of the 3 and make up the last split.

Or if you want more honey, you could make up one split, then take a frame or two from each when strong, then a frame from each of the three when strong, etc.

And talk to a local exterminator or two (the little guys are usually best) for swarms and keep an eye out for others.

Or buy some packages or nucs
(I'm cheap, that is why that is the last suggestion)

Either way, don't plan on a lot of honey till the year after.

-rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi, Just a few comments more; I was advised to use this site for all its worth so...
I live in the UK, Autum/winters are getting warmer, but can be protracted,but not usually deep frost for long periods, so I might consider splitting this year. But, where will the new queen come from? ( will they make an emergency queen cell?)Also, how practically do I do it? Would you simply lift a few brood cells and put them in a nuc and see what happens? I wouldn't want to loose everything.
Someone said beekeeping was a gentle, relaxing hobby. Mmmm
 

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Buzz, if it were me, I would make increase by making one split right before the honeyflow then add other colonies by collecting swarms or removing unwanted bee colonies from houses or other places. This way you get honey in your second year (which I'm sure you and your family would like) and can even make some money doing removals. I added four new colonies this way this year without having to "borrow" a single bee from my own hives. Plus, I was able to make a tidy sum for the removal work and obtained an additional 70 lbs. of honey from those colonies.
 

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Contact your emergency agencies, IE: fire, police. Also, your pest control companies. Go to your local beek club. Let everyone know you will remove bees from houses, barns, trees, ETC. charge 200 pounds sterling minimum.
Use the money to buy more equipment.
I charge 300 USD or more and have done over 40 so far this year and have 4 waiting to be done at this time.
 

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I started out with 3 packages in '04 and after lerning how to set bait boxes,neighbors finding out I take swarms and splitting I ended up with 19 colonies. Ran out of frames,lids, bottoms, hive bodys and time. I gave 2 away to friends starting out new. It can be very addictive.....
Henry
 

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my problem has always been splitting before there were enough bees. I would not split a regular lang hive this time of year here in my state.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi chaps, thanks for advice. At the moment I really think I'm going to split now and introduce a commercial queen into the new hive. But a couple of things are knagging at my brain.
1 The main flow is over, I don't mind feeding, but will this be enough to build up for the winter, bearing in mind I will be replacing the drawn foundation with straight undrawn.
2 Do I need to use dummy boards, if so how
3 Hoe many frames of broad would you put in the new hive
And finally....
4 The winters in UK can be unpredictable, with minus 5C occaisionaly, but not usually sustained, I guess I'm asking, what do you chaps consider mild....
Enough for now, Thanks for your help, you are a great help, never found a web site like it!!
 

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Where I'm at, minus 5C is a nice winter day. It's the minus 30C days that get a bit uncomfortable!

The real question is how warm it gets. If the bees can get out and fly occassionaly it really helps.

I would think you could split your hive in two yet with no problem if you are willing to feed. They could still make plenty of wax if there were plenty of young bees in the hive. If your winters are fairly mild, and it sounds like they are, you should have no trouble.

If things don't take off well, you can re-combine before winter really sets in.

It would be wise to get some advice from a local beekeeper who might be more familiar with your conditions.
 

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Given that your main honeyflow is over, it would take alot of feeding to make splits now. You might better wait till spring and then split. I'm not saying it couldn't be done, just that you might better wait til spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for your imut all. Just had a call from a mate whose got some 4 frame nucs spare! Guess I won't need to risk my decent hive to my impatients after all.
 
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