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Three of my hives were wintered over by adding a third deep super. The reason I did this is because I noticed upon my fall inspections that one of my hives and lost the Queen. As it was full of funny, I split and used the paper method to add to my two strongest colonies I’m glad I did this, because they made it through the hard winter.
Now I must split them. Wednesday is one of the first fair-weather opportunities I will have that coincides with available time to split with help of a friend. The conditions here in New York are still not optimal with regards to temperatures. Wednesday’s forecast highs are projected in the mid-sixties, partly cloudy, and 5 mile an hour winds.
My first question: is this too cold to attempt a split?
Secondly, these hives have been rotated only once, with the top deep supers now on the bottom for the last two weeks or so. As I’m only splitting one of my hives to accommodate my friends (the other splits will simply be walk away splits, and likely be done this Friday when the temperature is projected to be 75°), I intend that Wednesday afternoon making two starter nukes for him and possibly one more for another customer, what would be the best practice be for trying to split such a large 3 Deep super colony?
As the weather has been consistently less than optimal here in the Finger Lakes, I have been relatively hands-off in regards to digging into these strong hives. All looked excellent when I rotated the deep supers, and all are now treated with the last of the ApiLife Var. At last look, again over two weeks ago, I did not see any swarm cells. As I will want swarm cells for my splits my question is where will I likely find swarm cells, on the top super, bottom super, or all three? If I do not see them I would certainly make sure there is some fresh eggs on some of the frames.
 

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I think I am going to split this week also. If you are going to go through everything just divy up the frames equally between four boxes. If the split is for a friend then maybe you don't want the split to be even so you can cut it down to one box or even one nuc box. It is hard to tell what you end goal is.
 

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I am hoping to make up six nucs tomorrow in anticipation of installing queens on Thursday. I will pull three frames of bees with brood/honey /pollen, shake bees off and place these above a queen excluder. To this I will add two drawn combs and allow the bees to re-occupy the frames as they see fit. Wednesday I will remove the excluder and slip a division screen under each nuc with an entrance in the opposite direction of the parent hives. Thurday I will introduce mated queens (caged of course to be released by the bees). After the queens have been released and are laying I will remove the nucs to another location and think about supering the original colonies. It has been cool and I feel as though the season is about 7-10 days or so behind an average year.
 

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Congrats if you are only 7-10 behind, we are 2-3 weeks behind. I like to use drone presence as a good indication as to when it is time to do splits. I saw drones last week and made some with new queens, like you cooler days than I like and we are supposed to be in 30's tonight but I think I gave them enough bees that they will be ok.
 
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