well matt of course it depends where you are located but i will start spliting bees next week
and keep going till next december lol. the queens this early are from HI but in Feb, queen cells are able to be got in FL
Leaving for Fl this weekend. Made splits weekend before thanksgiving with 90% takes. Bees never did kic kout drones unless they do this weekend. If I still have drones plan on grafting in two weeks. Usually by second week of feb you can mate queens. But if weather man holds true its suppose to be cold all winter in eastern US incl Fl./ wait and see!!
Its cold here in FL this week, down in the 30's for the next few days. I was in some hives last week and I have no drones, but the maple is startin to bloom. I will be splitting after orange blossom bloom (March-April).
Mid Feb we would usually make splits with cells in FL just north of Disneyland. 3 frames of brd and enough bees to cover at least 5 frames,fed HFCS until flow started or they had enough stores in deep, would make 2 supers avg of citrus honey above a single deep. Also 3 lbs avg of bees were shook out of them in April for packages before sending them north to WI early May.
I just think it's incredible that your bees are working for you year round either making honey or making bees. Can I be nosy and ask how you long you guys have been migratory between your Florida and Home Locations.
We would catch all queens kill the bad/poor/iffy ones and cage the good/great ones and they would go to another beekeeper( he knew what they were and wanted them). Starting over with cells(from Miksa and/or Indian Summer) in all colonies/splits(making up for deadouts from previous year/winter) and have triplexes(deep with three chambers) made up for extra cells to make mated queens for colonies that didn't have cells take.
usually in east texas we start grafting around feb. 20. start making mating nucs around march 1st. begin splittin our hives around march 5th. 1st round of queens are ready to be caged around march 24th. but of course, just depends on the year
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