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Hello,

I did a walk away split yesterday 5-20-2010 and I have never done one. In one hive I put the queen and 4 frames covered with bees, brood, pollen and honey the brood had all stages of brood. I put new foundation for the rest. In the other hive I left the rest of the frames covered with bees and brood in all stages and pollen and honey. I filled the rest with new foundation.

The questions are: What can I do to help each of the hives build back up quickly to have a honey crop from them this year?

Do I need to feed them or not at all to let them do it on their own?

Can I use a baggy feeder?

How long to feed them for?

How long do I need to wait to check the one hive for queen cells and how long will it take for the hive with the queen to build to full strength again.

Our honey season ends late August.

Thanks for any advice
James
 

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Sounds like you did your split perfectly. Should go very well for you. You can use any type of feeder you like. It may or may not help them draw out comb. My bees are not hitting my feeders very hard right now. The nectar flow is on and they just prefer the real stuff. I have the syrup there as a back up just in case.

Good luck with your splits.
 

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Well the real question about getting a honey crop will be if the second one actually makes it's own queen. Check back in 5 days to see if they have started queen cells. Hopefully on the hive with no queen you left a frame or two with eggs. The hive with a queen will be much stronger quicker as you other hive has to hatch a queen, get her mated, and then she will start laying and then you have to wait for the first of those brood to hatch. The good thing is that while they go broodless they will bring in more nectar and pollen.
 

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I wouldn't count on any honey from either colony. They will have their hands full getting that comb drawn and enough honey for winter. You can equalize them if you like by taking a frame or two of capped brood from the stronger one and giving it to the weaker one.
My experience is that they will not draw foundation unless there is a flow on. They will just damage it. I don't like to leave foundation in the hive when they are not drawing it.
 

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What can I do to help each of the hives build back up quickly to have a honey crop from them this year?
By making a split, my thinking is your action cost your honey harvest with these hives this year. Sorry, I'm sure that was an answer you weren't wanting to read at all.

Do I need to feed them or not at all to let them do it on their own?
I would feed, but if your nectar flow is on hot and heavy now, maybe you can let them forage on their own.

Can I use a baggy feeder?
Certainly, whatever you like. I don't care for baggy feeders myself. I like hive top Miller feeders, or bucket feeders

How long to feed them for?
I'd feed until all comb in the split is drawn out, then I'd keep feeding to ensure they have stores sufficient this winter.

How long do I need to wait to check the one hive for queen cells and how long will it take for the hive with the queen to build to full strength again.
You will have queen cups within 24 hours after making your split. Your bees in the queenless split will make emergency queen cells. Mama's gone, the alarms start blaring (only the bees hear 'em):D, and they begin the process of making a queen. The resultant new queen will not be laying until approximately 4-5 weeks from now, assuming she's successfully mated and makes it back to the hive before a bird or spider or praying mantis eats her. Then add another 3 weeks on top of that for her prodigy to begin emerging. Then add another 3 weeks for this 1st generation to begin foraging. So now you're into mid-late August.

For the hive that was queenright, she should build up strength within a month, I'd guess.

Hope this helps!
 
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