Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Splits are pretty much just that splitting a hive. You can make 2 equal boxes and place the new queen in the new box. I put on a extra hivebody and let the bees go up on it and start laying and building the combs. Once this is done and I'm ready to split them I'll use bee-go to run the bees out the top box. Making the queen be in the bottom I'll place an excluder between them letting the bees repopulate the boxes. The next day I'll return and take the top hive and move it to another location and place the new queen in that box. After the new hive has started good in a few days you can bring it back to the location you have the rest of the bees. I recommend this to keep the new hives bees from going back home to the old box.

As far as the indicators I would say you'll want to see pollen being brought in, drones in the hives, and maybe a least 10 frames coverd with brood if you use the 2 box method I use.

As you check the replies here you'll see there are other ways it's done and all will be right as there are many ways we can do this. You can pick and chose what works best for you and good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
760 Posts
im a big fan of the walk away split method -- which is simply that -
open your stong hive - and by strong is at least 10 frames of brood - the more the better - take out a few frames of brood - with bees on the frame- look for the queen - make sure she stays in the original box.
take about 5 frames of brood eggs,larva, and capped brood
take a frame of pollen and honey

this gives you about 7-8 frames of bees - then put new frames in the original box to fill it back up , put the frames on the outside and move the queen and brood back to the center

take your new spilt (which is queenless- which is ok because they will make a new one) and fill it with new frames on the outside as well
i have lots of bee yards so i just take the new spilt to one that is about 2 miles away - let it sit for about 2-3 weeks- i usually leave it there but if you cant leave it there - bring it back home after that time

if you dont have lots of frames or a not so strong hive you can put 3 frames for brood in a 5-frame NUC and let them raise a new queen - just move it the same as a full deep -

oh and FEED FEED and FEED - this is needed to get them building comb and queen cell building

best of luck !!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
We take at least 2 frames of capped brood with bees and 1 frame of open brood and a frame of honey and pollen and, if we have them, a frame of drawn comb. Place them in a 5 frame nuc box and the next day add a queen cell. We also shake bees into the nuc if we didn't get enough on the brood frames. The foragers return to the old hive leaving only young bees in the nuc. Some of the young bees will start foraging quickly enough but queen acceptance seems to be better with only the young bees in the nuc. Within 3-4 weeks they'll have a laying queen and be strong enough to move into an 8 frame box. If not, then we add more capped brood to build them up. If the queen fails for some reason we add another cell after looking for cells on the frames.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
I am planning on doing a split from a Long Hive that has 2 entrances and has the capability of having a divider board that can be placed in the center of the box after enough brood frames are available.

Is this as easy as moving brood frames/cover bees to each part of the box, inserting the divider board and waiting?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
NDnewbeek, I should have worded my question a little better. I am familiar with the basic elements of when, what combs to provide, etc. My question has more to do with the 2-openings concept and will it work without having to move the split to a different location. In other words, when the split is made with the proper comb of brood/storage combs/cover bees with one side having the queen and the other without, will the 2-opening concept cause any major problems as far as having enough bees on the queenless side?

Would it be better to keep one of the entrances blocked until the split is made, then make the blocked entrance side the area that does not have the queen once the split is made?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
I am not sure about the answer to that question.

I can think of a couple of potential problems if you attempted to give the 'split' side a new queen (returning field bees to 'split' side, for example). If I were going to try that, I would make sure that the 'split' side had plenty of brood AND eggs. Then I would let them raise their own queen. That might overcome some of the potential problems.

If you try it, let us know how it works - I am thinking of building a long hive myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,488 Posts
Making a split.

Open your strong hive. Pull out three or four frames of brood depending on the strength of the hive. Shake ALL the bees off into the hive. Replace pulled frames with empty ones. Place the frames of brood into an empty box next to your hive. Place the brood in the middle and have empty frames on the side. Place a queen excluder over the hive body of the hive you just pulled from. (Which should have all the bees in it) Place the box with the brood comb you pulled over the queen excluder and place the lid on.

Go back in 24 hours. Best if in the evening as most of the forgers have returned. Lots of bees will have moved up to the brood that is above the queen excluder. Pull this box. You now have a queenless split without a queen. Pull the excluder off the hive, replace the lid and that is done.

Take your new box to your split location (at least two mile away) outyard or somewhere else. We usually just place it on a 4 way pallet, but you can just add a bottom board and top. At the new location leave queenless for 24 hrs. Add your queen and let the split start to build up. If no flow is on, make sure you feed.

Any questions just PM.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I do splits the same way alpha 6 described and it works real well. It's quick and we leave it to the bees to know how many nurse bees need to move up through the excluder to adequately cover the brood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Hi alpha6,
That makes great sense! Thanks for the information. One question: Do you really need to move the hive 2 miles away (from original location)? Won't the bees stay with the brood so you don't have to worry about them drifting back to the original hive? I'm not sure what options I would have moving them to a different location. If you do move them, how long do you leave in the new location?

Thanks,
Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,488 Posts
Hi alpha6,
That makes great sense! Thanks for the information. One question: Do you really need to move the hive 2 miles away (from original location)? Won't the bees stay with the brood so you don't have to worry about them drifting back to the original hive? I'm not sure what options I would have moving them to a different location. If you do move them, how long do you leave in the new location?

Thanks,
Chris
Well the problem is that the nurse bees will stay with the split but the forgers will return to the original hive the next day if you leave it in the yard. This means that the split will not be getting supplied with pollen and nectar which the brood (which should be at all stages) need to survive. Maybe if you place the split right next to the original hive if you can't move it you will get drift but you would be taking a chance. Once the new queen is established you can move the hive (split) back (at night) to the original yard and they will return to that hive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,532 Posts
When making splits using a excluder you can smoke more bees into the box above by smoking the entrance. If you are doing this during dandelion flow and leave the split(top above excluder) in the same yard you risk loosing to many bees and the brood can be chilled. There are to many variables to deal with leaving the split in the same yard. It will work but not as good as moving it to another yard. I make splits into nucs using swarm cells(not using excluder method) in june/july and just place the nuc on top of the hive I split from in case I get the queen(I watch for her but don't look for her, if she ends up in the nuc I know where she goes). Enough bees always stay in the nuc to care for the brood but it is generally warmer then. Part of being a beekeeper is finding what works for you with the methods you apply to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
I'm a fan of No-look splits.
That is: split the hive 50-50, and don't bother looking for the queen.
Check both hives in 3 weeks, the one that has brood is the one that got the queen, go back 2-3 weeks later and re-split that hive. The other you can re-queen if you must have pure-bred queens (I like my mutt queens though).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
I was wondering why you'd even need to look for the queen. One box will have her and one won't. Unless it's to watch for laying workers?
A lot of people seem to want to find the queen just for the sake of finding her... it's rarely ever needed. One brood frame will tell you as much about the queen as you need to know most of the time (and all of the time if you like mutt queens like I do). Playing "Find The Queen" is a fun waste of time, but a waste of time none-the-less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Great information everyone--Thanks. Last season was my first as a beekeeper, so this Spring I'm hoping to do my first splits.

Like alpha6, I live in Colorado and am wondering how concerned I should be about temperature and chilled brood when splitting. Once March gets here we'll start having some warm days, but the night will still be cold and April/May still typically bring us some snow.

Should I expect to wait until May/June to do my splits, or is that typically too late? My hive of Italians seems especially full, and with all of the extra honey they have I'm expecting the population to boom once we get a little warm weather and some blooming/foraging.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
For those of you who are using a Long Hive, please chime in on doing a split with a long hive that has the capability of being divided into (2) boxes with an opening for each side...
I am going to use a long hive (the width and depth of 2 deep Lang brood boxes) where a divider board can be placed in the center of the box to divide it into 2 boxes. Each side (or end) of the long hive box will have an entrance.
Once there are enough frames of brood/food stores available, I want to divide the long bottom box and make the split. How is this best accomplished to ensure enough forage bees remain with the queenless side? Should the entrance that will accomodate the split side of the box be blocked off so there is only 1 opening until the split is made?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
So for the "no look" split, I guess the assumption is that you arrange it so that both hives have eggs, brood and stores (and bees). One would have the queen, and you don't know which one but you don't care because the queenless hive will make a queen. I guess if you see queen cells they go in the new hive?
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top