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Rather than moving splits to another yard (to avoid bees flying back to the mother colony), does anyone place the split off nuc from a mother colony right next to the old mother colony? If so, what kind of luck do you have with the nuc? Do the bees go interchangeably between the two for a while or do the bees from the nuc go right back to the mother colony leaving the nuc empty except for the nurse bees?
 

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Rather than moving splits to another yard (to avoid bees flying back to the mother colony), does anyone place the split off nuc from a mother colony right next to the old mother colony? If so, what kind of luck do you have with the nuc? Do the bees go interchangeably between the two for a while or do the bees from the nuc go right back to the mother colony leaving the nuc empty except for the nurse bees?
I regularly place the split off nuc (with a new mated queen) either next to or very close to the mother hive. The nurse bees stay with the split and the foragers return to the original hive location where i have left the mother hive. The forage bees return to original site within the first day of being moved and can leave a seemingly populated new split short on adult bees. For this reason I try to move only nurse bees into the new split.
Sometime later if the nuc is not building fast enough for my purposes I'll switch positions of the original hive and the new nuc so the forage bees enter and populate the new split which is now on the location of the original hive. Gives it a boost for early nectar flow.
 

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The nurse bee will stay and foragers go back to the mother hive. Shake in some extra bee's that way you will have plenty of nurse bee's. I may be wrong.
 

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All you need to do is put clumps of grass or branches in front of the entrance on the nuc. Put enough there to make the bees have to fly through and around the obstruction. The bees will re-orientate when they come out of the nuc the first time. Over the next several days gradually remove the obstruction. I usually move the new nuc a few feet away from the mother hive.
Dave
 

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Rather than moving splits to another yard (to avoid bees flying back to the mother colony), does anyone place the split off nuc from a mother colony right next to the old mother colony? If so, what kind of luck do you have with the nuc? Do the bees go interchangeably between the two for a while or do the bees from the nuc go right back to the mother colony leaving the nuc empty except for the nurse bees?
I have placed nucs next to the mother colonies and had no problems. One time all the bees returned to the parent colony. Resulting in the loss of all the brood and the queen cell. Since I have access to two other bee yards fairly close, I move them.

Shane
 

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The bees will re-orientate when they come out of the nuc the first time.
I've read that many times here on beesource, so last spring we used that trick. We buttoned up a hive in the evening after dark, moved it down to a new spot about 1/4 mile away, then took off the screens and made the exit into a veritable obstacle course with plywood and grass. By noon the next day, I had a fairly large swarm of bees hovering at the old location, apparently looking to find the hive back. It looked almost like an orientation flight, but without the hive there. Did they eventually find the hive back ? I dunno, have no way of figuring that out.

That's made me wonder about the longer distanced moves too. Do the bees really re-orient after a long move, or, do they fly out of the hive and end up completely lost because they cant find familiar land marks at all ? We dont notice them congregating at the old hive location, because it's to far away and they cant find it. I'm not convinced anymore that the older foragers survive the move on longer moves. When we moved our hives up island this last fall, a distance of about 250km from the old location, we did notice a very definite decrease in activity at those hives for the first week in the new location. Makes me wonder if a lot of the foragers flew off and got lost right after they arrived, and it took some time for various ages of house bees to graduate into foraging before the hives looked normal again. They all looked completely normal 10 days after the move, but, there was a distinct decrease in entrance activity by day 2 after that move.
 

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I have placed nucs next to the mother colonies and had no problems. One time all the bees returned to the parent colony. Resulting in the loss of all the brood and the queen cell. Since I have access to two other bee yards fairly close, I move them.

Shane
The grass trick didn't work for me either, maybe i need to totally jamb the hole closes forcing them to dig out. The flyers will return to mother hive, if conditions are dry the nucs weak, they can easily succomb to robbing.

Confining them for a couple days or moving several miles generally works. This year all mating nucs are coming to my house for a stay before heading back to the yard.
 

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I've had mixed luck with moving them within the bee yard. I have found like above that if they are confined for a couple days (make sure they don't get hot or hungry!) then it helps. Definitely keep them confined long enough to accept the new queen they have. Last fall it didn't go well for me, moving them about 50' across my yard. I lost 6/8 due or absconding and then SHB. This year they are all moving a few miles.

Interesting remark above about whether or not foragers on long moves really reorient or if they just fly off and die. I've done removal jobs within a mile of my home and had all the foragers return to the old location the next day. I'm only going to move the nucs for about two weeks, just long enough for the queens to hatch and mate, and then bring them home for closer observation. Perhaps I'll get a good chance to check this theory of diminishing numbers after a move. I would expect numbers to drop a few weeks after the move due to the brood cycle being interrupted. But I would think if something were going to happen it should be within the first two weeks, unless the nuc was given A LOT of capped brood that all hatches and makes up for the loss. I guess then the loss would only be evident in a nighttime inspection (bad idea) or closely monitoring daytime activity. Now I'm wondering if I could rig up a scale to weigh my nuc every night after a move. Barring any major honey flow I wonder if a substantial loss could be documented.
 

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I wasn't pleased with keeping them in the same location either compared with moving them. At least when I made them up and moved them I knew what strength I had. That's the hardest thing for me to determine.
 

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go by the book. they have to moved to a new location to have enough bees to start the nuc. been there, done that to save time but lost a lot of nucs.
 

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If you like the parent colony robbing the nuc out it's the way to go sometimes too. I move my nucs from the mother yard after this happened a couple times, but it is hit or miss. Perhaps in a good flow area it's less prevalent.
 

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go by the book. they have to moved to a new location to have enough bees to start the nuc. been there, done that to save time but lost a lot of nucs.
what book?

every year I make splits and leave them in the same yards. especially spring splits.
the biggest reason for me to relocate the summer splits to a nuc yard is robbing, but doesn't happen every year.
 

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I regularly place the split off nuc (with a new mated queen) either next to or very close to the mother hive. The nurse bees stay with the split and the foragers return to the original hive location where i have left the mother hive. The forage bees return to original site within the first day of being moved and can leave a seemingly populated new split short on adult bees. For this reason I try to move only nurse bees into the new split.
Sometime later if the nuc is not building fast enough for my purposes I'll switch positions of the original hive and the new nuc so the forage bees enter and populate the new split which is now on the location of the original hive. Gives it a boost for early nectar flow.
Clyderoad, what percent of capped brood frames, open brood frames, and nectar/pollen frames go to your splits?

Phil
 

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My splits stay in the same yard. I make them into duplex or triplex divided deeps with a double screen on the bottom and set them on a strong colony to heat them. I shake lots of bees into them and get enough nurses to take care of the brood and young bees accept queens better anyway. The splits entrances go out the sides and back
 

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Clyderoad, what percent of capped brood frames, open brood frames, and nectar/pollen frames go to your splits?

Phil
It depends on what I want to accomplish.
For example in a few weeks (last of March) I'll split about 20 hives to increase my hive numbers and build for our early flow as I lined up 2 new outyards this spring and have honey agreements with the farmers.
I've been feeding sub to my strongest hives to push them for the splits. When the time comes I should be able to take 3 capped frames, 1 open frame and 2 honey/pollen for the split, most of the rest of the frames in the hive body (10) will be drawn comb. I'll add a mated queen to them. I may have to feed but I'll see what the weather/bloom looks like. This is a pretty strong split but will still leave the parent colony with plenty of resources from the way things looked this past Sunday. By early May these splits and the parent hives should be good to add a super and grow into honey makers.
Summer splits for new queens is done differently.

Is this by the book? :)
 

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I have done this before when making splits without moving the nuc to a new far away location. Ended up with a disastrous result. All the field bees would fly back to their mother colony no matter how many times I try to get them to stay. The more I shook, the more they flew back. Bummer. They will not stay! Absolutely not!
If you have a few colonies then shake a few frames of nurse bees you can find from these strong colonies into your newly split nuc hive. All the field bees will fly back to their original mother colony. But with more nurse bees into the new nuc this will ensure you have a strong nuc hive for the new queen. Be sure to feed the nuc hive right away with syrup and patty. I will be using this method on my splits this year with more nurse bees added from the other strong hive. Now I don't have to worry about the field bees anymore.
Anybody has a better idea here?
 

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I always move my splits, even if only for a week. Been doing it that way for over 40 years with great results. Why change now?
My buddy keeps them within the home yard and is always complaining how slow to grow they are.
In my opinion the foragers return home to the parent hive, leaving only the graduating nurses and drifters to supply the new colony. This creates a slow income, and thus a slow build. big powerful splits supply greater numbers of nurse bees on the brink of graduating to foragers, thus the loss of foragers is not realized by the keeper.
 
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