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Making some splits from my strongest top bar today. The queen in the picture is my breeder queen, her mother was caught from a feral swarm two years ago. They came out of a cedar tree, near the center of town, they have lived there for fifteen years that I know of. They cast at least two swarms every year, I guess someone forgot to tell them they needed fed and treated. This queen is the most prolific layer I have ever seen, last year during the main flow there were 20 bars of nothing but brood. I kept having to take them out and put them in my other top bars to make room for honey. Enjoy the pictures.
 

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Nice looking bees matt, I too run survivor stock and hope to never order another package from the bee suppliers. I run top bar and foundationless langs. My survivor stock will be out working when the Italians are still hitting the snooze button.
 

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Nice. I noticed what looked like a queen cup on the right side of the third pic. Are you splitting the hive and letting them make a queen or did you have some swarm cells?
 

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How long do you get with one of the six frame nucs? I assume the split outgrows that pretty quickly. How many bars of drawn comb are you moving over on your splits?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Shannon

Good eye, those are queen cups, but nothing in them. I move three or four bars over to the split, depending on colony strength. These are walk away splits, so they will last around six weeks or so, until the queen gets to laying really good. If I have a mated queen, I will just put in two bars and shake in some extra bees.
 
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