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I will be making splits from 6 frame nucs. I have lots of drawn comb to add.

Will 3 frames of bees per split, in a 10 frame langstroth, be too much for them to regulate/defend? Should I keep them in the 6 frame nuc boxes with 3 frames of drawn comb to jump on?

Thoughts / experiences?
 

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In MA or NH I think you are jumping the gun. I'm in PA and most hives don't even have drones yet. The date I use for splits is 5/1 which usually corresponds to the apple bloom. Need drones for splits unless you are supplying a queen.

If I were splitting nucs without a new queen or cell, and I may since I'm experimenting with them this year, I would put the queen and the brood frame she is on plus the drawn comb or foundation frames in an empty box. Then, I would would take the box she was in an move it at least 15' away from the old location and put the queen in the new box in the old location.

That is a quick and dirty version of a flyback split. The queen and foragers stay in the old location and the younger bees that need to make a queen all move to a new location.
 

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Really need to make sure you have purple-eyed drone larva before any splits are attempted if you are not buying a queen. If you are buying a queen, sure, you can make a split. 3 frames of bees is not a lot though. I would be more comfortable splitting a 10 frame box rather than an 6 frame nuc, especially in those northern temperatures of yours.

If you are planning on the bees raising a new queen, I would be very careful. The fewer bees you have, the lower the chances of success with raising a good queen are. Queens need to be raised by colonies with TONS of bees, particularly young, just-emerged, bees. More bees=healthy queens because the colony's production of royal jelly is higher.
 

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Hi Faewood, I'm in massachusetts also. I made a split from a 10 frame hive on May 2nd. We have drones in my area and the hive I was splitting from was exceptionally strong. I would put the splits into nucs instead of 10 frame equipment. While it's trying to be spring, it's cold at night and this will be easier for your bees to keep warm. I would also recommend feeding despite our strong flow at the moment so that the bees don't need to leave the hive. Best of luck!
 
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