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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to split a strong hive into 3.

The hive has a queen which is producing a near perfect brood picture. I plan to place one super each on bottom boards on either side and place equal numbers of brood and honey frames in each - plus a new queen in each.
The queen from the original hive plus some brood and some honey I plan to put into a nuc and move it away so that the field bees are equally distributed to each of the new hives.
Should work?
The temptation is to put brrod with eggs into each new hive WITHOUT a queen and hope that they will produce a new queen with similar attributes to the original one but I wonder if this is to risky?
I have split hives before successfully but have never tried to safe the old queen. We should have another honey flow soon and there should be plenty of food around ( in Queensland, Australia)
Anybody tried something similar?
Thanks max2
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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How many boxes of brood does the hive have? I like to have at least a full ten frame box of bees with at least five of brood for a strong split that will take off quickly. You can let them raise their own if there is a flow on it should work well. If not, it is not very reliable to let them rear their own queen when there is not a constant supply of food coming in.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Michael,

you wrote:
How many boxes of brood does the hive have? I like to have at least a full ten frame box of bees with at least five of brood for a strong split that will take off quickly. You can let them raise their own if there is a flow on it should work well. If not, it is not very reliable to let them rear their own queen when there is not a constant supply of food coming in.

A have a full size , 10 frame broodbox on all my hives. I would not split if the brood would not be strong. Remember, I'm a beek from a warm climate where we just about always have some brood and some pollen and nectar coming in all year round.

On your website ( excellent!) you mention splits as one way to prevent swarming.
I can get swarms in August ( mid-winter here) but queens are not available until early October.

I can see some experimentation coming up!
 

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Max2,
My theory on spring splits (which must be wrong because it's MY theory), is to split strong hives in half, making sure that each half has at least some eggs, and roughly equal amounts of brood, honey, and pollen supplies, and I don't worry about locating the queen. Three weeks later check in on them and see which one has brood, that's the one the queen went into, the other one will be rearing a queen, take one frame of brood from the hive with the queen and give it to the one without a queen to boost their numbers. Now you can split the hive that had the queen in about another 2 to 5 weeks (depending upon whether or not they had to draw out new comb or if you put frames with drawn comb in with the splits). Once again check back on them in 3 weeks to determine which one got the queen and give an extra frame of brood to the hive that didn't get the queen.

That's my theory on it anyway, and as such I'm sure it's wrong, but there it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Sgt Maj,

thanks for your post. Sounds good to me. Will give it a go. A good way to increase hive numbers quickly. I always wondered how the professional beek's did it.
 

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Now that I went to eight frame mediums, (half the volume of a ten frame deep) I wait until they have at least four boxes full of bees and then I do a split by the box. Set two bottoms down and "deal" the boxes like cards. "One for you and one for you" until the hive is split. I don't even pull a single frame. There are almost always brood in three of the boxes and in a month they will both have a queen again. :)

But you are right, the one that had a queen may be ready to split again depending on the flow etc. in about a month and a half or two months. But our flow often fails about the middle of July or the beginning of August, and that often results in them not successfully raising a queen, so I try to get my splits done in late May to Mid June.
 

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This worked for me, it may not work for you. I am expanding, and each year am sacrificing honey production from a couple of hives in order to build up my hive numbers. I have taken a 20 frame (2 10-frame deeps) and split FOUR ways. They have been evenly divided, except the one that keeps the original queen is the weakest in brood, honey, pollen, simply because they still have the laying queen. The other three are given laying queens in the queen mailing cage to release.

I have done this April 15 here. Package bees and queens usually become available April 1, if you get your order in, in time. They are given frames of foundation, as I don't have any extra comb. The splits are then fed heavily. Usually by Sept. the splits have built up into decently strong 2-story colonies. The "mother" split occasionally produces a super of surplus. Anyway, that is what has happened with me. Your luck may vary.
Regards,
Steven
 

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What's the point of making "Condos" when they'll quickly move out when cramped ?
??? By "making condos," are you referring to making splits? Do you think people split their hive just to ignore them until they swarm?

By doing a search here, you could learn a bit about splits and why, when and how to do them.

Wayne
 

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I hope that I can help somebody that might be in a similar situation- this thread seems to apply to me too. I live in the SF Bay Area- mild climate.

I have one double deep hive plus one medium- full of bees from a swarm caught last spring- so i guess the queen is elderly already.

I have one new deep and one new medium both with undrawn plastic foundation.

I have one empty cardboard nuc box.


The goal is to have two healthy hives.

There seem to be a million ways to manage a spring buildup- and depending on the goal, half the time they swarm anyway. If I were to simply let them swarm, what are the chances I could bait them back to the new equipment?

Or- what would be the best way to handle the scenario given the gear I have?
 
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