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What's your goal? Are you using mated queens or producing your own? Are you splitting for expansion or swarm control? Do you want to feed or use natural resources?

The start of dandelion bloom is good. If you have lots of silver maple around beginning of april will work if you are using mated queens. You would have to provide syrup in April for stimulation and increase acceptance of your queens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You're right, not enuf detail. I'd like to try both a home raised queen and a purchased one. More for expansion. And we're willing to feed. We're experimenting here. I have a hard time figuring when the pollen and nectar flows are adequate. About the time I think things are right, we get a cold snap.
 

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Sounds like you are new to this and haven't spent enough time observing floral sources yet. I think the best simple advice I can give you is to wait until you see dandelion bloom in open areas. Dandelion bloom on the south side of a house and next to the foundation don't count. You will have good nectar and pollen as long as it isn't raining all the time. Your overwintered colonies will have built up more than if you split earlier and you will have a better population of drones available. Monitor your hives and watch for the formation of swarm cells. If they are strong enough now they could swarm by the beginning of dandelion but if you give them empty comb in the brood nest and empty comb above you should be alright. Remember if you want a queen in early spring you need(usually) to have her ordered in advance.
 
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