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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A week ago I took a strong hive, did a 50-50 split, adding a new MN hygenic Italian queen to the new hive. I checked after 3 days, there was only a thin bit of candy left but I went ahead and released her. She scrambled right down into the frames. There were several bees around the cage prior to releasing her but otherwise the colony was pretty calm, still full of bees.
My question is--how long does it take a split to become more active? I see a few bees leave and return now and then, but the other hive with the old queen has been very busy, to the point I've thought of enlarging the hive entrance though weather here still gets into the 40's and even 30's overnight. Very active, while a few minutes ago I watched for a full 5 minutes before seeing a bee leave the new hive.
I plan to check Saturday or Sunday for new eggs/worker larva or even find the queen if need be, but I just wonder if this is typical that it takes a new split, with new queen, awhile to "settle in"?
 

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If you moved the split away from the original hive stand, then it has no field bees, so will take a little longer to get started up again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I did move it away from the original stand, about 10 feet. So all the workers probably migrated back to the old stand? I did not feed them, since in the split I had a couple frames of capped honey, and several with uncapped honey and pollen. Would feeding then be something I should do given the scarcity of workers?
 

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I agree with Ray that it will take them a bit longer to build up. Another consideration is what was the 50-50 of? If there was 4-5 frames of capped brood then that could be good or bad. 30-40 degrees at night with a minimum of bees might mean chilled brood. I'd feed them to make it easier until the new queen is laying well and the population of bees starts to build.

Good luck,

Pete0
Bena, VA
 

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They will make it the way it is, but feeding them will help them build up more quickly with less stress, especially if they need to draw comb to fill out the brood nest area in the new hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the help and suggestions. I did feed, and there were several flying in and out yesterday afternoon in mid-60's temps. Nothing like the other, with dozens coming and going but I feel they will make it ok.
 

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Whenever I do splits, I put some grass over the entrance of the new split, so the bees reorient to their new location. And I always feed massively until they've drawn all the comb needed for the brood nest boxes.

I just returned home with six MnHyg queens, so yesterday I made six 2-frame splits. Did this to give them 24 hours of queenlessness so they'd accept the new ones today much easier.

The interesting thing is, one hive I splitted from was at the west end of the row of nine hives running east/west. So I set the new box on the previously prepared stand 2' to the west of that hive. It was mid-afternoon, and the new bees were taking their orientation flight. It was interesting, as soon as I set the new box in place, bees started orienting to it! Apparently because they were used to their home being at the "end" of the row! By the time I made the split, field bees were entering the new hive! Beekeeping is one surprise after another.
 
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