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Discussion Starter #1
One of my colonies is booming. Its bursting with bees. Last time I pulled some frames, about ten days ago I didn't see swarm cells, but from what I have read and from videos I have seen this colony needs to be split. I was hoping to leave it as a big, strong hive, but I want to prevent them from swarming. I have been feeding heavily, protein patties since March 1, and sugar water for the past 2 weeks. I am in central NJ, daytime temps 55 to 70, nighttime 45 to 50.

When should I split? Is it too soon to do it on the next warm, sunny day?

Alan
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Alan, if you have drones, split away. Give them lots of bees but do not overdo it on the brood frames. Chilled brood does not make for more bees. Just one or two frames with eggs and brood and several drawn combs. If the hive is bursting, I would give them at least three extra shakes of bees off other brood comb. Just don't shake in the queen.
 

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Thanks JW. If the weather cooperates today I will pull a few frames and make the decision.

Yes, my biggest concern is shaking in the queen. I am never much good at finding her. But when I watch videos on splits and things the keeper always seems to find the queen instantly.
 

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my biggest concern is shaking in the queen
shake the bees off all the combs you want to use, place in a new box, put box above an excluder over the main hive.
a few hours later the bees are back on the combs and you know the queen isn't on them
 

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shake the bees off all the combs you want to use, place in a new box, put box above an excluder over the main hive.
a few hours later the bees are back on the combs and you know the queen isn't on them
If you see drone cells but no swarm cells;
Then lift up your top and set on a new bottom. Move your queen body to a new spot. Put the top at the old location. Basically you get your swarm, a brood break and a cutdown split if the timing is right. Big if.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What about relocating the new hive? I don't have tons of options. I can move the new hive 100 feet away. Is that reasonable?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I pulled a walkaway split off of what has got to be my strongest hive last weekend, shook off the frames and added a queen excluder and another super. Checked on them yesterday and added a third super. Only hive in my yard stacked five high. Might go to six before the flow is over. Yikes!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well the split has been done based on advice above. I think it went well, nothing of real note. The hive was absolutely stuffed with bees. IMG_2468.jpg

I did not find any swamp cells, but I did not pull every frame. Out of 20 deep frames 19 of them were covered with bees. There was tons of resources, brood, drone brood, drones, etc. So I split them up and now they are set. The hive with the queen is absolutely humming. I cannot believe the number of foragers coming in and out of the hive. They are bringing in loads of pollen, multiple colors. And they are sucking down sugar water.

The queenless hive is different. There are definitely foragers, but not nearly as much activity on the landing board. They are not taking down the sugar water as fast. Could they be more focused on creating a queen now?

How long would you wait to go back in for an inspection on both hives?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Alan, I agree with coal reaper, there is no need to be feeding the parent hive. The split should get a feeder and some patty for the first two weeks and then monitor need from there. You can keep the feed on them longer if you gave them a frame or two of foundation, but stop once it is drawn.
 

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I split on March 26. I made sure to leave behind lots of frames with eggs and/or real young larvae.

Make sure the queenless hive has frames with eggs or REAL YOUNG open larvae. If not you can probably pull a suitable frame from the queen-right hive and put it in the queenless. I would also feed the queenless hive with pollen patties and sugar water.

You probably already did all this, but I thought I would be a nag.
 
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