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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am wondering if it is too late to do a split of a very productive hive.

if i have time i plan on buying a queen for the hive i am splitting and using the old queen for the split. she is going on two seasons now.
or would you suggest buying two queens and just killing her?

or should i just buy on queen and kill the current one?
 

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When making your split, reduce the entrance of the hive(s) to help prevent robbing. You can do a "walk away split" and let them raise their own queen...but time is getting short before fall and cool weather comes. Think about it...16 days for the bees to develop a queen from egg to emergence...then a few days for the queen to get the feel of things around the hive...then the mating flight. If she returns to the hive successfully...then it will be a few more days before the queen really starts laying eggs. By now, almost a month has passed. Then...consider the fact that the eggs the Queen is now laying will take an additional 21 days to develop worker bees from egg to young adult stage. So, it has now been a month and a half or almost 2 months before you have new bees emerging. I think the question is...do you have enough time for all that in your area before cool weather approaches? Will the hive be strong enough to survive by the time frost comes? These are questions I'd be asking myself.

I think if I were splitting now, and had a queen available I would at least requeen the queenless side of the split right away with a store bought queen. If you feel it is time to replace the old queen, then you could do that as well. I wish you the best.
 

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To me, the term "really productive hive" should give you a clue.

I'd say at least keep the old queen--whether you keep her with the original hive or the nuc--then make a few starters from her early next spring in case she's slowing down. That way you can preserve something of her that probably contributed to "really productive." If you re-queen both, its a complete gamble what you'll get next year--next spring there will be nothing left of your current 'good bees'. They'll all be replaced.

Have you overwintered a nuc before? That may also give you a clue to make one or not.

Finally, have you noticed your current queen slowing down at all?

Personally, I'd keep the queen and split her off into a nuc right before the flow next spring, and let the bees raise their own queen from her eggs. But this is my first year too, so I defer to the masters. :p
 

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Its been a long time since I lived in MI, but my guess is that your plan is marginal. However, you didn't mention what resources you have (drawn frames and brood from other hives, etc.). If you only have a double deep, one hive and plan to force both parts of the split to draw out 10 more frames, then I'd suggest that you not try the split. You may only have 8-10 weeks of wax/honey production remaining - not much margin. MI winters are long and cold, which requires the bees to be really well prepared. Perhaps another MI beek can give a different perspective.
 

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High neighbor!
As far as queens go it depends on your mite count and the age of your queen. If you have a high mite count you may want to consider requeening with a queen cell to help break the mite cycle and use your current queen for overwintering a nuc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
tara,

you raise an excellent point.
this is my first year and i am still learning the ropes.
i would rather hedge my bets and not risk killing my hive.
i think i will wait until spring and split.

my next question is it possible to split the hive in to three in the spring with a walk away split?
 

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I split my one and only hive 5 times this past March. I added 3 Nucs in April and I have pulled splits from Nucs, full hives...etc....All hives are very strong and working hard.....I am at 12 right now with the last split happening about 4 days ago.
 

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I was reading this article and got a bit nervous. I did a split of my double deep, with a shallow honey super. I took 4 frames for each new super ( two), two had brood and two had open honey. so my original is now 10 frames that have comb. my two new deeps have the frames described above with some new frames. I coated them in sugar syrup to give them a boost.

After two weeks from sunday 7/10 I am going to add on more deeps to each three. Is this okay, worried now they may not make the winter... Thanks for your help!! I am in South Eastern PA our winters a pretty mild. 45min north of philly.
 
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