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I have read that you need to move a nuke a minimum of 3 miles away from the parent hive for about 2-3 weeks or the adult bees will fly back to their home hive leaving the brood suceptible to cold and dying when doing spring splits. Is there any reliable way around this ? I can get my bees about 1000 feet away on my own property - would that be enough room if I screen them in for 24 hours and then put some grass in the entry way when I take the screen out?
 

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If you get enough nurse bee in your split, they will cover the brood and won't fly back to the parent hive. Usually it is the foragers that return to the parent hive.

You plan sounds good, but you can also leave the nuc right next to the parent hive. Just make sure you make it strong.
 

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You do not really need to move half far away and are better off not moving if you are limited to 1000'. When I make a split I normally move the old queen and two or three frames of brood and bees to wherever is convenient. The old bees go back to the original hive that is raising a new queen with a OTS notched cell or two. Read about that at mdasplitter.com If I am introducing a new queen to the split, I do not want those old bees and I am happy for them to go home. The young nurse bees on the brood taken for the split accept a new queen well.
 

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One approach that I used successfully was to leave the queen in the big hive, put a couple frames of brood, a couple frames of honey and an empty frame in a nuc. I left the nuc in the place of the main hive and moved the main hive 20 feet away. The foragers returned to the nuc, packing it full of bees. I checked it today and had a bunch of really beautiful queen cells on both frames, so I split it again, to double my chances of a mated queen.

I just wish I'd had enough resources to make more splits with those cells. They were nice.
 
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