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Hello. I run about 350 colonies for honey production and have requeened with mated queens. I try to do this towards the end of march. I have recently found that the splits I make with just a couple frames of brood and a queen seem to almost always take the queen. On the other hand with the large overwintered hives I'm not getting as we'll of a take and it seems that about 40 percent of them are queenless with cells when I go back and check in say 10 says. These that do this seem to always get back queen right but I've wasted a new queen only to have them make there own. My question is should I be just requeening with cells instead of mated queens. I have also just thought of killing the old queen and letting them raise there own from the start. I seem to have better production and almost no swarming with a new queen is my reason for the annual requeening. Thanks tracy
 

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We have noticed that large splits have higher percentage rate of rejecting cells as well. The smaller splits always have higher acceptance rates.
 

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The goal that I try to reach is; every thing has a new queen (cells), every thing equally as strong, all reaching their peak right before the main flow. I do not see why you would make strong or weak splits? Timing is everything you only have one chance a year. Make it count. Nothing like young queens.
 

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We have noticed that large splits have higher percentage rate of rejecting cells as well. The smaller splits always have higher acceptance rates.
Yes, as long as they are large enough to adequately occupy the space they are in. Two comb nucs are tricky in a 10 frame deep but work awesome in a space half that size.
 

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The goal that I try to reach is; every thing has a new queen (cells), every thing equally as strong, all reaching their peak right before the main flow. I do not see why you would make strong or weak splits? Timing is everything you only have one chance a year. Make it count. Nothing like young queens.
I totally agree word for word. New queens and well timed nucs. Dont let them get light and give them plenty of empty space overhead.
 

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ahhhhh..... Just like the Bull of the Woods would say:

every thing equally as strong, all reaching their peak right before the main flow.


Easier said than done in recent years with the sporatic weather.

Crazy Roland
 

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every thing equally as strong, all reaching their peak right before the main flow.


Easier said than done in recent years with the sporatic weather.

Crazy Roland[/QUOTE]
The perfection I speak of, of course, is the goal. Results will vary from year to year.
 

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Results always vary from year to year. Yes I only do 2 framers in 5 frame NUCs. Actually I like to give 2 frames of bees/brood and frame of bees and food even in the 5 frame NUCs, but thats plenty small enough for top notch acceptance ratings. 10 framers always get 4 frames, but the problem we found is they dont always equalize like you think they should before being set down.

Now with that said we tried a little something different this year. I brought 50 strong colonies into a new yard in the early morning with all my extra splitting gear already staged and split directly into the boxes and set the bees in same yard as we made the splits. Bees didnt drift and stayed in the boxes. Also there was zero robbing when we split like that. Now when I go back in a couple of weeks and check on those splits I will really know how they faired, but so far it looked pretty good.
 

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Now with that said we tried a little something different this year. I brought 50 strong colonies into a new yard in the early morning with all my extra splitting gear already staged and split directly into the boxes and set the bees in same yard as we made the splits. Bees didnt drift and stayed in the boxes. Also there was zero robbing when we split like that. Now when I go back in a couple of weeks and check on those splits I will really know how they faired, but so far it looked pretty good.
Must have been a nice flow. Most times when I try splitting strong hives that have just been moved in, the robbing can get pretty bad. If they have a day or two to settle they are calmer but, of course, lots of bees are going to return to their old spots. We make them up a strong 3 combs directly into a pallet and then move them into a new location early the next morning, allow them to fly a day, then equalize as needed and cell the next day. We've had mixed success leaving the nucs in the same yards.
 

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It was the first time I ever tried to split like that. Yes they were on a flow, but I wouldnt call it a good flow. Though a week after I left they were on a significant flow as they completely ignored my drums of syrup. We are kind of derailing this thread, but I am curious now. When I split in same yard I stack the splits on top the mother colony and let them sit till atleast that evening to eqaulize on their own. Then set down say 6:30 pm and move to new outyard which has worked pretty well in the past. Of course its only myself and another guy generally working out @$$es off from 7am till almost midnight and sometimes till 3am depending. So how many splits do your put on pallets before running them to the outyards? Im thinking not more than say 50 - 80 to keep most the bees in those splits?
 

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It's more work but you can increase acceptance by splitting the hive and placing the 2 halves a hundred feet apart. After a day of good flying conditions, the queen less hive will mostly bee just nurse bees that take a new queen better. Once the new queen is laying, you can trade places again to reclaim field bees before you move the split to an out yard. I split late and make use of mated queens from necessity. Wish it warmed enough to use cells early in ND but ....
 

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It was the first time I ever tried to split like that. Yes they were on a flow, but I wouldnt call it a good flow. Though a week after I left they were on a significant flow as they completely ignored my drums of syrup. We are kind of derailing this thread, but I am curious now. When I split in same yard I stack the splits on top the mother colony and let them sit till atleast that evening to eqaulize on their own. Then set down say 6:30 pm and move to new outyard which has worked pretty well in the past. Of course its only myself and another guy generally working out @$$es off from 7am till almost midnight and sometimes till 3am depending. So how many splits do your put on pallets before running them to the outyards? Im thinking not more than say 50 - 80 to keep most the bees in those splits?
We had 2 to 3 men doing about 60 to 80 pallets a day killing maybe 90% of the queens. Always have a forklift in the yard to move pallets around if they begin to drift. We pick them up the next morning before they begin flying and relocate them to a new spot. Frankly, what you describe is probably the best way to get size uniformity, but as you say, you gotta work your tails off till all hours and rehandle all the top boxes. I've done it a few times, just hate to ask the help to work even longer hours. Sounds like you are doing that while we are discussing the day and drinking beer. :applause:
 
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