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Discussion Starter #1
I have a hive that is going gangbusters over my other hives. I am considering doing a split to get more bees. We have a dearth coming up and I'm wondering if this is a good time to do this as the new hive should be prepared to build up by the Fall flow.
The Michigan Winter was brutal - I don't know if a mid-Summer split would be strong enough or not.

I've never done a split but it looks like a walkaway split would be the best way to go.

Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Think of it as MP's double nucs in a vertical set up. Very different in that you cannot leave them stacked vertically after the 2nd queen gets going. That is the time to replace the excluder with a bottom board and separate them.
If I tried this method, then when I moved the new "colony," wouldn't it have to be miles away?
 

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No.
The advantage to making a split without a big move is the bees do not get lost. Field bee are location specific unless they reorient. Reorient is never 100%. The old two feet or two miles rule. If they can find the right hive they stay with it. When the split is established, stack some empties beside the hive. Move it sideways at the same height or close to it, next day move it a little more (down is easiest, then sideways). If you watch closely some of the will fly to the old location and then veer off to the new spot. so much for a beeline course.
A going hive is really not hurt all that much by losing a few to a move. What you lose from one you gain in another, Just move a brood frame with bees and without queen to balance.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No.
The advantage to making a split without a big move is the bees do not get lost. Field bee are location specific unless they reorient. Reorient is never 100%. The old two feet or two miles rule. If they can find the right hive they stay with it. When the split is established, stack some empties beside the hive. Move it sideways at the same height or close to it, next day move it a little more (down is easiest, then sideways). If you watch closely some of the will fly to the old location and then veer off to the new spot. so much for a beeline course.
A going hive is really not hurt all that much by losing a few to a move. What you lose from one you gain in another, Just move a brood frame with bees and without queen to balance.
Forgive me for asking yet MORE questions but....
If I split, add a queen excluder and stack, then set the new hive to the side (same level) just as the new queen is born, won't these bees exit high but want to enter low (which would be right back into the old hive?)

Did I miss something? When I split and stack, should I have an upper entrance?
 

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I used a 2 level nuc hive for a split. Put the Queen below the excluder with capped brood and food stores. Put eggs and open brood plus a frame of capped brood and food stores above. Next day I put the lower Queen half off to the side on its own bottom board with the entrance facing backwards. The following day I put the Queen portion back on the other half over an excluder and closed the top entrance. Nine days later I put the top portion back on a bottom board but off to the side entrance facing forward.

The Queen continued to lay and the Queenless box raised an emergency Queen. I fed both sides during this time.
 

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"Forgive me for asking yet MORE questions but...."

If there were no questions, beesource would just be arguments.

"If I split, add a queen excluder and stack, then set the new hive to the side (same level) just as the new queen is born, won't these bees exit high but want to enter low (which would be right back into the old hive?)"

I like the excluder because it seems to get more of a superceder response than emergency response; fewer better cells. I add a frame of brood to the queeenless side around a week in, do not know if I need to do that. With an excluder the workers go where they are needed.
The excluder stays in until the new queen is laying. Replace the excluder with a bottom then start to move the hives apart. Up to a month after laying is fine.

"Did I miss something? When I split and stack, should I have an upper entrance?

I do, but then I have one before. The upper entrance gets the top split field bees trained to using that enrtance, they stay with that entrance as you move it away.

This is not a high volume method, it is a low impact method that keeps a balanced hive. It works with only a few hives and does not require dedicated resources. The hive keeps on functioning as it would without the split. It does not have the drifting and robbing problems of normal splitting. Does not have the yields either.
 

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Janne,
Moving the brood up mimics opening the brood nest and gives the queen more room to lay. Have you noticed the combined hives have more bees than the hives that were not stretched? That is very different than traditional splits.
 

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Jackam, an older beekeeper told me to make divisions this way.

You move the parent hive at least 10' away one super at a time during the middle of the day.
Before restacking, pull 3 to 4 deep frames from the parent hive containing eggs, larvae and capped brood and place them in a new deep super that gets put in the original parent hive location.
Make sure the queen isn't on those frames.
Takes less than 15 minutes and the field bees come back to the original location and populate that single deep super.
Reduce the entrance down on the division. I use hardware cloth across the bottom board opening that is about 3/4" short.

You may need to feed them this time of year.

Check the division 4 days later for queen cells.
This can be done with any size deep.
It's simple and is how I make divisions.
 
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