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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m trying to think of every angle going into this spring.

I have some excess drawn comb this year. Let’s say I rear some queens and make splits. Is it possible to get those queens mated, build hive with drawn comb and turn a honey crop?

Or just focus on bigger hives…
 

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Depends where you are and your flow patterns.

Where I am, I can divide a hive into several nucs at around swarming time, and each one will go on to give me a reasonable harvest. However I have read people on Beesource saying if they split their hive they don't get a crop.

I would say try it. To give your split a head start, give it a bought, mated queen. So egg laying will start immediately. Then feed it well to ensure they build population quickly, (do make sure it does not get robbed though), and see how they do.
 

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I see you are from Mississippi. I am from Alabama. I do splits around the last week of February each spring. Those new splits typically produce between 2 and 4 supers (Mediums) of honey each season.

As Old Timer says, it depends on what is available to your bees. But we generally get a much earlier start in the deep South, which allows a few months of brood-rearing before the nectar flow is over.

Many areas of the US cannot even get into their boxes until April. All of my colonies will have swarmed by the middle of March if I do not take proactive steps. Talk to a local bee club or beekeeper for the most accurate information for your particular micro-climate and region.
 

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My rule of thumb is you need a solid box of bees and brood a month before your main flow to maximize your production. Thats really hard to do in northern areas and the reason most commercial operations are migratory. We used to do lots of splits in the north which usually consisted of 3 frames of bees and a mated queen in late April to early May. Yes, they would usually make some honey but could never compete with early nucs started a month earlier a thousand miles south.
 
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Sure it can be done, even in the North, but it takes more than just skill 9see the above post by a person with skill).. It atkes due diligence, and alot of effort, which is often not economically justified. It is often cheaper to buy more bees.

Crazy Roland
 

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Probably a small crop. It all depends. Are you installing your split onto drawn combs for brood boxes and the supers? Then yes, it’s possible but entirely depends on the queens production and the nectar flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all reply’s. Yes with the excess brood comb this year figured I could get a little honey out of the splits. Hope so at least.
 

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I see you are from Mississippi. I am from Alabama. I do splits around the last week of February each spring. Those new splits typically produce between 2 and 4 supers (Mediums) of honey each season.
How strong are you making the splits that they're able to make 2-4 supers in the same season? When is your main honey flow and when does it end?
 

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Marcin: The split that raises the new queen is made up of all of the nurse bees (non-flying bees) of the hive coming out of winter, all of the brood (both capped and uncapped) and all of the stores. So it is very strong. The queenright portion of the split is made up of only foragers (flying bees) on bare foundation and is fed heavily. This is often called a "Fly Back Split." I shot a You Tube video of it.

https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v...uk3kfQz4AZl-TdxCnuMqTrqrwqitsduSGWesWw_kkP0&e=

Nectar begins trickling around the first week of April, but it does not turn on until mid-May and lasts almost the whole month of June. I get about 6 weeks. I always take a few days off around July 4 holiday and harvest and I don't bother putting the supers back on my hives after that. There is a little fall flow, but not enough for me to worry about.

I am on the Alabama/Florida line. My bees fly all year long, with only a few cold days here and there. Red Maple starts budding in late December and early January. If you don't split by March 15, the bees will split for you. It is a blessing and a curse. I get an early start, but so do the mites. If I don't get treatments in by the end of July, I start losing hives.
 

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Marcin: The split that raises the new queen is made up of all of the nurse bees (non-flying bees) of the hive coming out of winter, all of the brood (both capped and uncapped) and all of the stores. So it is very strong. The queenright portion of the split is made up of only foragers (flying bees) on bare foundation and is fed heavily. This is often called a "Fly Back Split." I shot a You Tube video of it.

https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v...uk3kfQz4AZl-TdxCnuMqTrqrwqitsduSGWesWw_kkP0&e=

Nectar begins trickling around the first week of April, but it does not turn on until mid-May and lasts almost the whole month of June. I get about 6 weeks. I always take a few days off around July 4 holiday and harvest and I don't bother putting the supers back on my hives after that. There is a little fall flow, but not enough for me to worry about.

I am on the Alabama/Florida line. My bees fly all year long, with only a few cold days here and there. Red Maple starts budding in late December and early January. If you don't split by March 15, the bees will split for you. It is a blessing and a curse. I get an early start, but so do the mites. If I don't get treatments in by the end of July, I start losing hives.
Thanks. I just looked up 2019 NASS data on honey yields for Alabama and it shows 45lbs for 2017 and 2018, so your crop looks impressive. In my area, Northern Illinois/Chicago region, early splits with mated queens can make some crop if spring weather cooperates. Our main honey flow is roughly 1st week of June through mid July. All beekeeping is local
 

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You made me check myself. I harvested 423 medium frames off of 28 hives last year. That is an average of 1 1/2 supers a hive. Of course, all colonies are not equal. I have the dinks and the boomers. I have not noticed a difference in my first year hive yields verse my older hives. While I certainly do have those boomers that will bring me 4 supers, I also have the dinks. I think my earlier statement of 2 - 4 supers is an exaggeration once I check the numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Cool video. I had never heard of that type of split. Thanks for giving me yet another way of doing things.
 

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A flyback split is a good way to get a lot of healthy queen cells from the now queenless mother colony and a whole bunch of newly drawn comb from the queen + split with all those foragers and nothing but foundation to work with.
 

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If you have the dbl nucs you can always add frames of brood from them to build those splits up for honey.
 
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If you have the dbl nucs you can always add frames of brood from them to build those splits up for honey.
I did something similar on a tiny scale. I set up a 10-frame hive for my son with a 5-frame nuc. The queen (happened to be Russian) was blowing the sides out with brood. I dropped them in the 10-frame box, added a frame of brood from two other hives just to see what they could do with the extra help. It was amazing how much they drew and filled.
 

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I did something similar on a tiny scale. I set up a 10-frame hive for my son with a 5-frame nuc. The queen (happened to be Russian) was blowing the sides out with brood. I dropped them in the 10-frame box, added a frame of brood from two other hives just to see what they could do with the extra help. It was amazing how much they drew and filled.
That’s the way to do it :)
 

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Absolutely. I start grafting middle Feb and make 2 frame splits 10days later. I fully expect the splits to make some honey and the hive I split from. Our main flow starts in April and is over by the first of June. I start feeding hives in middle Dec. with patties and syrup to get them ready to split. Thats for Northeast Florida. You will have to figure out the timing for your area.
 

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I’m trying to think of every angle going into this spring.

I have some excess drawn comb this year. Let’s say I rear some queens and make splits. Is it possible to get those queens mated, build hive with drawn comb and turn a honey crop?

Or just focus on bigger hives…
I have on Many times hived a Package "on comb" And got 4 medium supers.

My final answer is it depends
on the queen
on the flow
on the race
on the weather
on the mites

think of "Time" if you can buy them time your odds go up.
build comb saves them time, in super and brood nest.
Kept warm saves time
Feeding may save time, vrs foraging, for the first month.
Adding brood.
mated queen VRS a cell or a split.


GG
 

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I have on Many times hived a Package "on comb" And got 4 medium supers.

My final answer is it depends
on the queen
on the flow
on the race
on the weather
on the mites

think of "Time" if you can buy them time your odds go up.
build comb saves them time, in super and brood nest.
Kept warm saves time
Feeding may save time, vrs foraging, for the first month.
Adding brood.
mated queen VRS a cell or a split.


GG
I literally just copied your answer (along with the OP's question) and printed it for a reference sheet. I don't remember ever doing that with bee info. If there had been a super-like button, I would have hit it.
 

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It is possible, but I’m sure my luck has something to do with my location.
I started this spring with 2 hives that I split and 1 also swarmed after but ended up with 6 full hives and 1 double nuc resource hive and I ended up harvesting 700 pounds from the 6 full hives. I pretty much don’t have a dearth period and yes my hives had almost 2 full deeps of honey before winter.
 
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