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Hi. I'm happy to say my bees are doing great this year, plus our black locust just came into bloom the past 2 days and I see we're going to have great weather this week looking forward to a good flow.

My question(s) is/are:

Question 1: I have a hive of NWC I started last year as a package. It came through winter very strong and I decided to split it early April. The new colony is doing great and the colony I split from has built up again to about 19 medium frames of brood. There are no queen cells, but could I dare split it again?

Related Questions: What's the minimum number of frames everyone looks for in making a split and the latest time in the year you like to make them? Also do you think it's best to split during a flow or dearth.
 

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The best time to split is in a flow, not in a dearth. For a walk-away split, the larger the better, a 6 or 8 frame split would be nice, but I've done it with 4 many times. With 4, I use frame nectar, frame eggs, frame sealed brood, frame nectar, shake in some bees to cover all. I'm in northern CA and splits after august are a bit late. If I split in first of August, it gives them a month to get a queen laying and 2 months to build brood. As queen is laying, I can add frame sealed brood and with constant feed I can get them built into 8 frame deeps by years end.
 

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I would say the minimum I would be comfortable with is 1 frame of brood and a queen cell. No later than the beginning of August around here. Feed heavily and you may be able to bring them through winter as a nuc.

If you have a mated queen to use, I wouldn't hesitate to split your hive.

Around here, if you want to make a honey crop, you are cutting your luck by splitting after the beginning of June.
 

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Perhaps the basic question you need to ask yourself is: What are my short-term goals, and long-term goals with my bees?

For example, if you're building to 10 hives as quickly as possible, yes, split.
If you are content with the number of hives you have now, no, don't split.
If you're building to 10 hives within 3 years, don't split now, go for a honey crop, and plan to split both your hives next year.

I hope that makes sense. I've pulled two nucs out of my boomer, and could easily pull another nuc or two, but I'm not going to. Now I'm going for a honey harvest. What your goals are will determine your course of action. Personally, I like to get honey to help pay for the equipment I'm going to need for next year's splits. Yes, I'm already thinking about next year. :D
Regards,
Steven
 
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