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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've a dbl deep 8 frame with probaly 5 frames of capped brood/ plenty of honey/ 4frames / some pollen b bread. My question is would a March 1 split be too soon to take 2 frames of brood with honey frames and put over top of a dbl screen board. They also have some capped drone brood. Want to try a split and let them requeen themselves. Just added .75 to 1 syrup today. Ye or ne
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Always seek responses from others in your area, but absent any, I would go for it. Before you split on March 1, check your extended forecast for any crazy weather coming.
 

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I would not split early. Yes you can but you don't get much and risk is high. Later in the year more likely to get better mating and more splits. A week colony raising queen is not so good. Only use queens from your best colony, that brood pattern looks a bit spotty....
 

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I'm in southern Virginia and went in some hives yesterday. No drone brood at all yet. Don't set a date unless you're seeing lots of drones.
 

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Tarheeler: I am in the deep south (Florida/Alabama line). I can get away with some crazy early splits. The keepers that are chiming in from Virginia are probably much more in tune to your situation.
 

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give them 1 more brood cycle, the frame you are holding has "beeless " area on the bottom of the hive, IMO that is still early for that hive. I am lookin out at 2 feet of snow still so am not near your location, But I like to split when "packed" that does not looked packed. hopefully a bottom deep frame looks light on stores as well.

good luck
patience pays off IMO more drones better mateing weather

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
give them 1 more brood cycle, the frame you are holding has "beeless " area on the bottom of the hive, IMO that is still early for that hive. I am lookin out at 2 feet of snow still so am not near your location, But I like to split when "packed" that does not looked packed. hopefully a bottom deep frame looks light on stores as well.

good luck
patience pays off IMO more drones better mateing weather

GG
Yessir Thanks. Just looking for some opinions and have reached out to a club for a mentor. So far just forums and a PhD in bees from YouTube videos (Danger)!!! 1 year of solo hands on and 2 more helping from time to time. But I am on the NC/SC border east of Charlotte. Gonna reach out to a few local geeks and seek advice also. Ive only made 1 split and it was a late summer. Thanks
 

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Yessir Thanks. Just looking for some opinions and have reached out to a club for a mentor. So far just forums and a PhD in bees from YouTube videos (Danger)!!! 1 year of solo hands on and 2 more helping from time to time. But I am on the NC/SC border east of Charlotte. Gonna reach out to a few local geeks and seek advice also. Ive only made 1 split and it was a late summer. Thanks
really IF you only need 6-10 queens it would be optimal to raise queens when the bees raise queens, the bees know....
look in your states swarm date page and look at last years swarms not the first one or last one but the middle 1/3 date wise, and the peak.
IMO raise your queens as close to the real McCoy for optimum queens.
too soon can have weather and nutrition, and drone count less optimal conditions.
Late has its issues, as well, not the point, say it is june 1st to july 15th for the most" swarms/middle 1/3 of the time scale.
then do a 1/2 batch on june 5th and the other on june 25th, spreading the 2 for weather related bad times.

just like the 3 little bears not to soon , not too late, but just right. let the bees build a bit and have bigger or more splits and warmer nights, so better splitting up for overnight brood and mating temps as well. queens and drones fly at a certain temp, better if the odds are 100% it gets warm enough.
From the Aforementioned date set above.
If you need them desperately then look at the queen taking 20ish days to be ready to mate from egg and do a batch to mate June 1 so may 12th or so, remember all states will vary but try to say in the window your locals bees prefer.

queen schedule is one of those things just because you can does not always mean you should.

GG
 

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2021 17 hives
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I asked a similar question and got a response from Michael Bush 7 or 8 years ago. His response to me was he liked to wait until the colony had 8 frames of brood.

I did something similar to you on 3/28/20. My colonies were at 5 frame and that set them back pretty much. I also like to use double frame boards for my splits. This year when I do my splits I will find the queen and leave her on 1 frame in the bottom box and keep the top box with the rest of the frames and let them requeen. The advantage is most of the field force will fly back to the bottom. I start my opening on the top at the back but don't bleed off the field force after that. After a week you are ready to move your top box before the new queen is capped and she will fly back to the new location. They also have lots of chances for starting new queen cells and you can make as many splits as you like from them at this time. If you don't have nucs made or bought yet this is a good time to do that. They will do better in the smaller boxes.

By the way, we had a rainy April in our area and none of my queens got to fly and get mated so I had lots of drones and had to start over again in May. You are about 3 weeks ahead of me probably, so you may want to wait until you hear from others closer to you.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
10 4/ I like the plan as far as small nucs. As a newbie I dont have much drawn comb so all that I get them to draw will be great too.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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TH, in my opinion, March 1st is too early for walk away splits. Too many old foragers fly back, so the nice strong nuc you started with all those bees only has one frame left when the temps drop and they all die. BTDT. You can start grafts that early if you have capped drone brood already with the actual splits taking place two weeks later. I intend to do my first round of grafts as close to March 1st as the weather will permit.
 
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I did NOT specifically say to Tarheeler to do his split on 3/1/21. What I said was to wait until his colony reached 8 frames of bees. Or I implied that, sorry. To be clear I think that 3/1/21 is to early for a split. His deciding factor will be if he has drones that are ready to fly and mate. JWPalmer has more experience than I do so I defer to his correction. Bee keeper since 2012, but lots of mistakes along the way.
 

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I was looking at the extended weather forecast for my area in Georgia. Looks like fairly warm wet weather until March 10 when the low drops to 26F. That was the last day they showed. Pretty far ahead for a forecast so it will probably change.
I would feed pretty heavily with 1:1 syrup and pollen if you do split. Treat them like a new package of bees. .
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The main thing about the weather is that nobody knows lol including the forecasters.I will probaly wait till mid March at least then look ahead. Rain rain rain here this year and more on the way. I believe this to be a factor in the mold in 2 of my hives
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Jim, I was not correcting you. Your advice is as sound as any other. I was talking from personal experience of trying to do walk away splits too early and having the nucs all die. 3/1 is the date in the title so I was referencing that. I do believe that a flyback split or a Cloake board/double screen board split like you mentioned has a better chance of surviving if the weather gets chilly again and eight frames is a good number of bees to have to make either one work.
 
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