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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am 2nd year beekeeper. I have already split my 3 hives on April 10th. All of the splits were with a mated queen, 3 frames of brood, two frames of foundation and feeding sugar syrup. All these splits were successful and are building up fast I may need to transfer them into 10 frame later this week. I would like to do another split on the 3 strong hives and without placing a mated queen. All three came through winter strong and I would like to keep the genetics if possible. Can someone tell me the best way to do this with 5 frame nucs and how often this can this be done. How many frames of brood, pollen ,honey, frame of eggs and young larva. Also what is the best practice when the nuc ends up with more than needed queen cells? Should I cut some out; or, just let them work things out on their own? My goal is to build up as many hives as possible without stressing the existing hives. Thanks for all you help in advance!
 

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There are a number of ways to do this. I place 1 frame of brood and I frame with brood and eggs both with attached bees. be sure you do not have the queen, One frame of honey and pollen with attached bees. and two drawn frames. I like to move this nuc to an out yard to prevent the foragers from returning to the parent hive. but some leave it in the current yard.

Check the hive in 3 days you Should have queen cells, if not add a frame with eggs on it. and check in another 3 days, once you have queen cells they should be capped in 5 days or so and hatch in 8 days after capping. Good Luck!
 

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Here is my list of questions if you can help me. How much time if everything goes right from the start of the split to the time new queen is laying? Also how often should I do an inspection once I have queen cells? If I end up with multiple queen cell what would you recommend? Also how often can this be done with out weakening the strong hives? Thanks for all the help!
 

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Check out Michael Bush's website on splits and on bee math. The more bees, brood and stores you take from the strong hives, the more you will weaken them. It's a tradeoff and a judgement call. A small split of 2 frames will probably be okay before the flow ends. After that it would need a lot more resources and to be well protected from robbing.
For a split to raise more than a couple of good queen cells, it needs a lot of nurse bees. Like overflowing with them.
If it were me, I'd do one split with as many nurse bees as possible, let them raise the queen cells, and then cut out the resulting good queen cells into more mating nucs. In the original 5 frame nuc, I'd put 3 frames of sealed brood that you think is about to emerge without the adhering bees. Add one of pollen/nectar. Then brush 6 or so frames of nurse bees from frames of open brood into it. That's your cell builder split. In a couple of days, the brood should be emerging and you can add a frame of eggs and very young larva. That's what they will use to make the queen cells. Cut out queen cells in 10 days and put into mating nucs leaving one behind. You can use bees from the cell builder for a couple of the mating nucs.
Hope that didn't sound too complicated. Good luck.
 
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