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Hi
everyone, I'm pretty green or as you might say a newbee so bear with
me.
I am trying to go with all mediums and at the same time go
foundationless.
My question is:
what kind of split should I do if any and when. Also can I cut down
already drawn plasticell foundation from a deep to medium frames and how
do you do this. It is my understanding that the bees need drawn
foundation between the empty foundationless frames to use as a guide.
I don't have a lot of drawn foundation yet to work with and the drawn
deep foundation might work if it can be cut down.
A little about my setup.
I am just going into my second year
I only have one 2nd year hive that I replaced the queen in last summer
for a SMR wild russian survivor queen from our area.
Coming into spring I seem to have a strong colony and a pretty standard
setup, meaning a
screened bottom board and 2 deeps, inner and outer covers and plasticell
foundation.
the 2 medium honey supers were off the top for the winter. I was able
to remove the bottom deep in March since I want to go all medium and
added back the two medium honey supers on top of the only remaining deep
with foundationless frames checkerboarded with drawn plasticell
foundation from last years honey supers to start my conversion to
foundationless. I took off the screened bottom board to clean and
replaced with a slatted rack. shook the bees from the empty bottom deep
back into the top of the two mediums. It felt like the hive was light on
stores so I added a top feeder filled with a thick sugar slurry and
some pollen substitute, hopeful that this would help them to fill out
the foundationless frames early. checked yesterday and all the slurry
was gone and no drowned bees. I am hoping that this will be enough sugar
and took off the feeder. really don't like feeding sugar but with only
one hive I did not want to chance starvation at this point.
I have a experienced mentor from our local beekeepers assoc. however
foundationless and all mediums he has not tried yet. he is willing to
come and help me do a split but I do not know which kind would be best
at this point or if I should be doing one at all. :scratch:
reading these posts have been wonderful for me through the winter. I
have learned so much. any suggestions Beeks?
 

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Splits most of all require bees. I would not worry about getting rid of the deeps yet, that is drawn comb and that is what you need to make bees. Make bees and they will make wax and brood. If you remove the deeps next spring when they are in the mediums that is a good plan.
Feed, they should have a least some stored honey and pollen frames. Feeding sugar will let them haul more pollen. feeding the sub will let them store real pollen.
How much open comb do they have and how much brood in the pipeline?
 

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Definitely ask your mentor. You are pretty far north so it's hard to make any strong determinations. As Saltybee said, splits require bees. How many bees and brood do you have? A good walkaway split will happen just as they are starting to expand rapidly as the weather gets warmer.
 
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