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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to be making my first splits. I had two of my four hives die over the winter. The remaining two hives consisting of two deeps are very strong. I would like any comments/opinions on my plans.

Last week I added a deep with alternating empty and honey frames on top of each hive primarily because both hives were very light on stores, yes it's been a long cold winter.

I am expecting my queen to move up and start laying in the empty frames. I know the flow won't start around here until May, so the frames I added last week hopefully won't start to be used to store nectar, and will contain brood. In mid-April I plan to pull frames of brood and shake off any bees. I then plan to add these frames to another single deep, along with frames of honey/pollen. I plan to place these frames on top of a queen excluder and wait about two hours. I then plan to pull of the top deep and set it on a separate hivestand, and introduce a queen, reduce the entrance, and feed.

This sounds too easy, am I missing something?
 

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Your plan sounds good. It is similar to how I sometimes make splits. The only change I would recommend is after you put the box with the frames of eggs and brood on top of the queen excluder I would wait longer than two hours to take it off. I usually wait at least one day. Three or four frames of brood is sufficient to start another hive. Just make sure that at least one of the frames is open brood. This will help the hive except the new queen better.
 

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My only question is why would you shake off the nurse bees? If you do an even split of brood, honey and pollen and not worry which box has queen put a queen excluder between the two deeps after doing evening out you can leave queen excluder in place overnight, bees will equalize between both boxes. Next day move top box to new location and wait a hour the queen-less hive will be making a loud hum while the queened hive will sound normal. Either add a queen or allow queen-less hive to build a new queen. This is just one way to do splits, there are several others too.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am really bad at finding my queen, and just don't want to introduce my new queen to a hive with my old queen in it. Is it really that easy to just listen and determine a queenless hive?
 

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I am really bad at finding my queen, and just don't want to introduce my new queen to a hive with my old queen in it. Is it really that easy to just listen and determine a queenless hive?
 

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Is it really that easy to just listen and determine a queenless hive?
Not when you have the constant roar of 18 wheelers, motorcycles and cars whizzing down a four lane hiway just 75 ft from the hives.
 

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I am really bad at finding my queen, and just don't want to introduce my new queen to a hive with my old queen in it. Is it really that easy to just listen and determine a queenless hive?
I say no I have had queenless hives 10 last year all at one time and I seen or heard nothing different. Now it was my first year I ever pulled the queens so I don't have a lot of experience with queen less hives but mine where normal.
If I was you I'd wait for your flow and take your queen out and put her in a nuc with some stores and brood and let the main hive requeen it's self.
Good luck.
 

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Not when you have the constant roar of 18 wheelers, motorcycles and cars whizzing down a four lane hiway just 75 ft from the hives.
That sounds like a crappie place to live.:s
 

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Life doesn't always give you choices. You can make lemonade out of lemons and ad vodka and life becomes much happier. Think of all the people on this forum that live in the desert and have bees. You have to love their determination to make due with what they have.
I live on an 8 acre commercial plot that is approximately 4 acres of pavement and tin buildings. Many people rubber neck as they go by and think it is an oasis in the City of Utica. It doesn't come without effort which is what most beekeepers would say about beekeeping.
What if you were blind. Could you be a beekeeper? I think so. Blind people have determination.
 
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