I have one hive with a good queen and would like raise a new queen and add about 4 frames of bees into a new hive. Anybody have any idea how this would be done? When finnished, I would like to have 2 hives.
Make or buy a Nuc box (5 frame). Pull
2 or 3 frames of brood and bees and
place them in the Nuc. Shake an extra
frame or so of bees into the Nuc, the
nurse bees will stay, the foragers will
return to mother colony. Re-queen in a
day or two. Also add a frame of honey
and a fully drawn comb if you have it.
Feed, feed, feed.......
You can also place a divider board into
a 10 frame box to reduce the size down
to 5 frames. Then move the board outward
as Nuc grows adding frames
This sounds like a rather advanced operation. I have a hive with lots of Russian bees. I don't have a Russian queen connection/supplier. Is there much very young brood this time of year? Maybe they would raise their own queen if I started with brand new brood cells. My vision is pretty bad/lousy and have trouble seeing those tiny tiny eggs. I do have a starter deep I could use a division board on. Thanks for the tip.
One other thing you could do is crowd them to the point they start swarm cells. This would require that you know exactly when these cells are capped. You would then remove the current queen and half the hive to a new location. Leave the queenless half not too strong, or they will swarm with the first virgin that hatches.
My year old queen is not marked...she is a black Russian and I have looked often but never seen her since this hive began in April 06. The bees are really gentle though. I've been feeding during this mild spell we've been having this week. I think the brood cycle takes off in late January around here. I'm not too wild about using another kind of queen, as I am happy with the Russians.
Memphis is almost the same timing as for me. Most colonies carry a small amount of brood until the end of December, then are broodless until mid January. The first serious cycle of brood starts in mid-February. This one is usually 3 frames of brood or in a very large colony may be 4 frames. The bees are ready to split by the first week of April.
The problem with the above is the timing. You can't normally get queens until about the 15th of April except from a few breeders in Florida.
One other option you have is to wait until the bees prepare swarm cells. This reduces the honey crop to next to nothing but you can make a split and let the bees raise their own queen.
It sounds like you are thinking of making a split now (December), and letting the bees raise their own queen. Don't do it now; there won't be many if any drones around to mate with the new queen.
Unlike other races, Russians will make queen cells to have "just in case"; not necessarily for swarming or supercedure. If they don't need them, they tear them down before the queen pupae mature. You should have plenty of queen cells to use for making a few nucs in the Spring. That's what I do with my Russians; I was able to make 3 new hives from the "spare" queen cells.
You say you don't have a Russian queen connection/supplier: Jester Bees (http://www.jesterbee.com) is not far from you, in east Arkansas, near Memphis. They sell Russians exclusively.
the lack of drones this time of year limits rob s to purchased mated queens for any kind of split. plus the uncertainty of weather. just about anykind of split at this time of the year jeopardizes rob s existing hive.
don't do it rob s, wait ... spring will be here before you know it.
Thank-You all for the great advice. If I do split in the spring...I assume this will limit my honey production. I'm hoping to get 10-15 quart mason jars from this hive next season. I wish I had an extractor. This past year I crushed and strained the comb (kitchen table operation). I would rather have the honey than another hive. Can I split in late June after the bees make the honey and then feed feed feed?
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