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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bev, I can't see anything either so I just split by the box. Find the nest in a stack of mediums where the bees are going gang busters and split. Put another empty box on top with drawn comb. Just about every week you can split again during a good flow. You can even throw that box of pollen on top so you have 3 mediums. When you see the brown dust in the bottom of the tray you know the bees went into that box. Another great advantage of the SBB.
I thought I would start a new thread rather than trash the one that I made this post from.

All I have ever done is split by the box and had very good luck doing it. I think it makes a difference when your boxes are all mediums rather than deeps because there is more of a chance that the nest is in multiple boxes. I made the comment that you could split every week but maybe it should be every other week.

And Kevin, never have I feed a split. In a flow (my area anyway) you don't need to. The split that doesn't have the queen doesn't have any brood to take care of so it collects honey like crazy. The half that has the queen usually gets all the foragers and keeps on trucking. The only issue about splitting every other week is you have to keep splitting the one that has the queen, which would be the one with brood and no queen cells. This is also the one with lots of bees.
 

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Just so everybody is clear about this, Ace is talking about a "walkaway split", where he is not introducing a queen purchased/raised elsewhere.

In other threads, Ace has stated that he has never introduced a new queen to a hive, so the only other possibility is to have the split/hive raise their own queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That would be correct but you don't successively split the half that doesn't have the queen.
 

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I agree it's more than possible to do... My flow is roughly from late April to June.... I'm sure that if all my boxes were equally built and all had eggs/right age larva it would work out fine.

I don't do my splits like that though. It's definitely more more work, but I take a frame of brood with attached bees, frame of honey, then I shake another frame of attached bees and drop in a queen cell 24 hours later. Since I make my nucs on the weaker side. I usually feed. I'm sure they would struggle through on their own, but why take the risk when they take down less than a quart of syrup in a week or more?

If I had more hives than time, I'd have no problem trying the walk away split.. I just don't have the resources, that I feel justifies the effort/risk. I'd rather waste a frame of brood than deal with 8/10 frames that didn't get a mated queen back. I've tried that a few times with a hive that just refused to take a queen. No laying workers, but they just wanted to die.. So I shook them on the ground and repo'd their property.

Just the way I do it... I'm still small times... ~60 hives.
 

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Not sure there is much to tell... Depending where my hives are... You have tulip poplar, dandelions, clovers, henbit, blackberries, random wild fruit vines/trees (persimmons, grapes, etc). For row crop you have have mainly cotton and soybeans. I'm sure there are other random things, but that's most of what I'm aware of. The soybeans should put up honey in July, I believe.. But most of my hives aren't really close to that... I'll have a bunch closer to it next year, so I'll see how those do.

In the fall you have asters, goldenrod, and other random flowers that I don't know... But they were pretty confused this year... But it's a been a weird year anyway. Was in the 60s today.. *scratches head*

Most of the leaves still haven't fallen off the trees and I'm seeing dandelions and henbit blooming. Doesn't look like enough to do anything, maybe they'll do something.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this area "averages" around 40-50lbs of honey per hive per the statistics. I wouldn't know what to do if I was in an area that averaged 150lbs per hive... LOL!

The most that I've pulled off a single hive was ~2.5-3 supers.. But have some hives right next it that don't do anything... So it's a wash...

Once I figure out how to get all the hives to do what they are suppose to do.... *evil laugh*
 

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KevinR: Sounds like a April to June main flow, then some row crops in July. Finishing off with fall grod and aster. Am I correct?
any dearth?

Ace: tell me more about the flow in Utica, NY.
 

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More or less.... Usually late Jun into August is 90-105+ degrees of heat, which results a heavy dearth. But it's very easy for us to have a lot of rain out days during the main flow, which is what happen for the last few years. Had record rain falls and flash floods etc... I need to get a bunch of scuba gear for my bees..
 

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kevinR, Our averages on Long Island are no where near the 150lb/hive either. We are 40-50's to be safe, maybe a little more, 60lbs., depends. We run a similar flow here as July and August are hard. Usually pull honey by July 4th. or start a robbing riot by doing it later.
I can usually make early splits around April 1 and be safe, sometimes they give a honey crop as well.

I don't think many places are 150's. Although some guys on here have numbers like that.
That's one of the reasons why I asked, "split like crazy" just can't be done in many places, and even fewer places without feeding. The 150lb+/hive areas maybe- I wonder what they would say.

Maybe the OP will offer some description of the honey flow in Utica NY so I'll be able to understand how this could be possible there.
 

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You have to keep in mind that Acebird is talking about splitting with 10 (I think) frames of bees and brood..... They probably have enough workforce that they can sustain themselves.. i.e. similar to a natural swarm.

I split mine to the point that they are flipping me the bird wondering what I'm doing... I've made quite a few one frame splits when I had too many cells to deal with.... I guess I could have smush them, but I choose to waste sugar and roll the dice. This year I didn't get to do many splits, work had me flying around during prime time. I'm hoping that I don't suffer to bad, this winter.... But if I do... I'll make more in the spring...
 

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Yup, I'm aware of that.
I don't think I have a queen in any of my colonies that can lay up 10 medium frames completely, for harvest every two weeks, while at the same time laying up other remaining comb that will be able to maintain the colony for another harvest of 10 frames of brood in two weeks.
What kind of queens do they have up there? and what kind of flow? I'll wait for his reply.
 

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Neither do I... I believe that Acebird might have exaggerating the time frame for the sake of the example.... I'll pull one or two frames from a colony per week. If I feel they can sustain it..

If he does have egg laying machines, I need to send him a case of homebrew and he can send me some queens. *grins*
 

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Acebird - you should be able to make this (more or less) work. It is certainly feasible to make 4 fold or more increase in a season. In my area though while the early ones would have a fair chance as the season progressed a lot of the later splits would be too weak to deal with hive beetles.

There are other strategies than walk a way splits that don't require manually finding the queen, and that will allow you to get queen cells built under good conditions on multiple frames so that you can generate several new hives with one split early in the season. But whatever works for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Kevin, I have 8 frame equipment and the hives going into winter are 4 or 5 boxes. The first split is 2 boxes each then through an empty box on top because I don't know where all the bees are going to go. Once it becomes obvious where all the bees go the next split is going to be two boxes again. I really don't know how many splits I could make because I have no need for all the hives. But if you could get away with just taking 2 frames, 2 frames and 1 frame, think of how much better it is to have 16 frames loaded with bees. I have robbed a split that had queen cells and put the frame in a split that I thought was a dud and got lucky.

With 8 frame equipment your odds of getting the brood nest to span three boxes is greater than if you have 10 frame equipment. So I think the luck that I have had with splits stems from using 8 frame mediums. I don't think I would have much luck with 10 frame deeps splitting by the box.

Personally, if I had the time I would build my beehives square 8 frames. I know it wouldn't be standard but I think it would fit a hobbyist who just wanted a few garden hives better. It would be closer to a tree cavity and probably even better to split by the box.
 

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Personally, if I had the time I would [HIGHLIGHT] build my beehives square 8 frames[/HIGHLIGHT]. I know it wouldn't be standard but I think it would fit a hobbyist who just wanted a few garden hives better.
"square 8 frames"??? :scratch: :s

A box sized to hold the length of a standard Lang frame is 19 7/8 inches outside dimension. So a "square" box is 19 7/8" by 19 7/8". That would hold 13 frames, yet you are advocating 8 frame hives as best. :gh:

Or are you now also advocating building custom sized frames as well???? :eek: :scratch:
 

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I dont think he advocates anything, was just a post about what he would do, and I assumed he meant the short way so custom frames would be in order.. but thats just me assuming....

I tried walk away once and didnt like it.. took too long to get back up and rolling.. If the weather would return to normal I think walk aways would be fine.. as it stands, by june the rain stops, everything begins to dry up, and it stays that way until august when it finally rains again. A 20 dollar queen has them on their toes in no time and I can requeen to get rid of the early commercial pooqueen when my own drones are flying well so I have bees that overwinter.. I am going to try making a few this spring, but again, fear that missing that FIRST major flow will spell disaster if it dries up as it has the past few years.
No way with our weather we could get it done without lots of feeding.
 

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. A 20 dollar queen has them on their toes in no time and I can requeen to get rid of the early commercial pooqueen when my own drones are flying well so I have bees that overwinter.. I am going to try making a few this spring, but again, fear that missing that FIRST major flow will spell disaster if it dries up as it has the past few years.
No way with our weather we could get it done without lots of feeding.

Agreed. I gave up on walkaway splits. I just buy 3 or 4 queens and go from there. Much easier and more sucessful. It's worth the small investiment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I dont think he advocates anything, was just a post about what he would do, and I assumed he meant the short way so custom frames would be in order.. but thats just me assuming....
I thought I was clear but I will make it clear, yes, custom frames and custom boxes. I could cut down the ones I have and never have to make anymore. The only way that would bite me is if I lost all my hives in one year and had to start over with a nuc.
 
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