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hive splitting questions(and maybe a couple of others!)

1515 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Ross
Hi Everyone...
Ok, remember how when you were new at this and the info poured over you and you felt awash in it but still stupid? Well, that is me..
Here goes- I have several hives that are huge..brood box plus 6-10 supers that appear to be full of honey and brood. I did not do any extracting this year- yes, I have the equiptment but decided that I needed to learn bees at this point rather than honey. Besides, I don't even know how to extract yet.

1) Is it to late to split? I am in North East Texas with mild winters and have been told by area beekeepers that we will have yet another(small) flow in October.

2)The whole splitting process is confusing the heck outta' me. Do I simply SPLIT my big hives, creating a new one with frames of both honey and brood- and assume that they will raise a new Queen?

3) Will the workers leave the new hive and go right back to their old hive? Can I set the old and new right next to each other? Would that be best even?

4) I feel like if I do nothing, I am going to have a disaster here shortly. I pulled the inner cover off one of the big hives and there were larva actually stuck to it! Jeeze! No, I am not using excluders. These hives are going gang-busters and my ignorance is gonnna do me in here soon. Will the Queen most likely be up high in these hives and all the supers down low be just mostly honey?

5) If it is to late to split, would the best thing to do is simply plop some more supers on top of these allready to big hives and wait till next spring?

6) Yes, I am going to our local beekeepers club- really great people- who answered my questions- but I think I asked the questions wrongly or was not able to absorb the answers and was left scratching my head- as usual.

One last thing...I do not want to buy any new Queens(to do splits) right now. I am not smart enough to do the right thing by them at this point. I would rather simply work with what I have at the moment. I have 20 hives of various sizes...most a brood box plus 1 super which I put on about 6 weeks ago. They (the small ones) are doing well. Not crowded and working well. Its these big hive-tropolis things that have me worried.
To anyone who wants to tackle these over-long questions...thanks, your as pal.
Opps...sorry...on last smallish question...can I do all this with just my smoker? I do not have any of the fume boards or stuff such as that.
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Welcome, Tim.
My advice to you is:

Go through the large hives one box at a time. Remove all frames which are fully capped honey. "store them if you don't want to extract them" Get the hive down to where there is only brood and open cells of honey. Then we can guide you through the rest of the steps. Right now I don't think you really know how strong or weak your hives are. You may have only 1 or 2 boxes of bes with 6 or 8 empty boxes under them. That is why you don't understand the local beeks and their advice. You must first get a hive that is compact and well known from top to bottom, then we can help you.
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