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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm really interested in trying a new queen breed and I have the opportunity to order one now. I really don't want to kill any of my current queens. Why couldn't I do a split? Obviously there are issues of stores and numbers of bees, but I don't know what kind of time frame is critical. I would like to overwinter new queen in a nuc. I think I have enough stores for that. Will have to go into hives next weekend to be sure. Can anyone tell me the specific perils of doing this at this time of year and what my best case scenario for the split? We should have 2 months of decent temps before cold weather starts moving in. Thanks.
 

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I have heard from a few people that it is better to requeen in the fall than in the spring so you will start out the spring with workers from the new queen. Just make sure she has enough time to be introduced and lay some eggs before it gets too cold.
 

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Just create a two queen hive. Divided 10 frame deep box's. You don't really make a split, same size hive, same amount of bees and frames. Just divide with a queen on each side.
 

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It's what I do. I let them make a new queen though. Gives them a brood break and I divide the stores before I rob them. Of course, you wouldn't be getting a break with the introduced queen. Did my splits a few weeks ago. With your introduced queen, you'll be on the same time frame as me.
 

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I'm in central Connecticut and am thinking of doing the same thing. I only have 1 hive and it's my first year. I started with a 5 frame nuc May 15th and they have done great from what I have seen.
2 deep hive bodies and 1 medium honey super full of brood! (I didn't get the queen excluder on in time!!😜) they have 1med. full of capped honey and I hope they are working the latest one I put on two weeks ago. I'll find out tomorrow.
When I put the last super on is when I found the brood, I went through the box and when I didn't see the queen I put the excluder on.
Anyways, I would like to create a two hive split in a deep but am nervous that it may be too late in the season?! As much as I would love to see them create their own queen I think I would have to buy mated queens at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Jadell, that's a great reason for doing a fall split. Hadn't thought about that benefit. But you are right - I'd miss that benefit. Which brings up the thought of putting a new queen in with bees that may have an existing mite load...hmmm. Ponderous.

Johnny - congrats! Your hive is booming! One suggestion, check with your local club for what is thef minimum winter hive configuration for your area. Don't know your zone but I know CT is "up there" and gets cold. My guess is you are just about at "winter" formation (2 deeps and 2 mediums). Can't see how you could possibly get to that same status for another hive before temps drop and send the girls clustery. (you seem to be intuiting this correctly already). The plus side is that you have a strong hive that will surely need split in the spring, and maybe even twice. Which is great, since I always recommend to newbies to start out with 2 hives (as the experts here taught me). With one hive, if something goes awry, you are extremely limited. Check with your bee club on that winter survival config.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Johnny, this is my first year to experiment with overwintering nucs. I don't feel I have enough experience to give you a reliable answer - even for my area, much less yours. Check with your bee club. You should find lots of people with experience germane to your area and with nucs. Call the Prez and ask him/her and then ask for a few numbers to call, possibly. I know timing is an issue and the meeting this month may have already passed. Just don't be so anxious you risk the strong hive you have. Good luck!!
 

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Have tried splits in the fall and in the spring. Much better results with less work and far less cost (honey stores) when done in the Spring. Spring splits also reduce the tendency to swarm within your best hives. Also plenty of time in the spring for them to make their own queen. Just make sure the split is made when you have drones. OMTCW
 

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Seymore,
I think you'll be fine. Two months is almost three cycles of brood. You won't really be impacting the mother hive that much if you are wanting to make a nuc. I'd go for it if the queen will show up soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Jadell. 3 brood cycles sounds doable, good point.

Cedar - if queen is mated and laying, do drones matter?
 

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if queen is mated and laying, do drones matter?
I don't know much but I feel they do. The production of drones tells the timing mark when the hive is ready to rock. I have no scientific bases for what I feel but when the hive is producing drones you can split and introduce mated queens. Before that you are really blowing on the dice. JMO
 

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I don't believe "ready to rock" describes the state of a new nuc entering Autumn and Winter...
 

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Spring splits also reduce the tendency to swarm within your best hives. Also plenty of time in the spring for them to make their own queen. Just make sure the split is made when you have drones. OMTCW
BeCurious, I think the conversation was referencing spring splits not fall splits. I could be wrong on that.
 

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Over wintered nucs are awesome no question about it! They explode in the spring. If you decide to split I would use a mated queen this late in the year. You should be able to make a nuc without setting the donor hive back too much. Feed both hives to build back up before winter. Then you could split the big hive again in spring if you want to use that method of swarm control.
 
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