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Wondering if it is possible to split a hive after 3 months. Here in Texas it is a long time till it starts getting cold and they should have a plenty of time to build up their colony. Installed a 3# package of bees in early April. I have two 8 frame boxes full of comb, pollen + workers and 1 outside frame on each box is empty. Is it possible to split the hive this early? I thought about swapping every other frame with an empty frame and putting them in a new box making sure that there are eggs and larva in each. I would give them as much sugar syrup as they need and let them make their own queen. If I do this how far should the boxes be away from each other so they are not stealing each other's food? Can the boxes be side by side just at 180 degrees? With a bunch of bees at the entrance day and night it seems like there are lots of bees to accomplish this. One hive is not enough....
 

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Possible, sure but is it recommended; not really 1st year though that might be more about 1st year keepers than anything to do with the bees.

The main thing to be sure to do is to have the split include many, many nurse bees as foraging bees would return to the original hive location. You also need to give them frames with pollen and honey. You can force the bees in the new hive to re-orient by placing a branch or other obstacles at the hive entrance; something to make them wonder if their location changed. Be sure to have eggs in the queenless hive so the girls can make a new queen.
 

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I doubt that is makes much of a difference but agree in general that is you where wanting to simulate a swarm at the same time as a split you would certainly want to do that. I think the more common method used when making splits would be to leave the original hive and queen alone, split frames of bees and eggs into a NUC and locate the NUC away from the main hive. I (personally) leave the queen alone in the original hive, split into a NUC and move or re-orient the NUC so it becomes a new hive however like most things in beekeeping I doubt that is the only way and either would likely work. In order to move the queen you must find her and maybe the reason for splitting into NUCs is that it's easier to ensure the queen isn't on a frame you are moving then to open all boxes and frames in order to find the queen (just guessing).
 

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Splitting a hive that weak and letting them make a queen is a streach. If you split them you would be better off giving them a laying queen. It takes about seven weeks to get new brood from a split like that.
 

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Agree with Sterling. The OP doesn't say if its 8-frame is medium or deep. If medium and 7 are covered == 14 medium, this is less square inches of comb than a single deep.
If he split this is equivalent to a 4 frame deep nuc.

It is flat out difficult to get a 4 frame deep to raise its own queen, and even if he did it would be August before the hive could begin to build again (it would lose population all through July).

One can purchase a queen and add it to a 4 frame deep. This is better deal economically and as husbandry than having two weak hives going into the fall.
 

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I started several hives of bees this spring as packages 3#. I've made 1 - 5 frame split after 6 weeks from each of them after they were in double 8 deeps. Since that time i've made several 2 and 3 frame splits from each without weakening their population much at all. In fact in 2 days, i've got to do the split again on 8 of the hives to keep the population low enough to keep them from swarming this year. Planning to pull another 3 frames from each and start NUC's for overwintering and give them queen cells.

So to the OP's question can he split a new hive, Sure can, Just make sure your new hive has lots of resources as it will be required for them to make their own queens as you suggest in your post.
 

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I installed my first package on Apr 26. I split the hive on Jun 14. My thinking was this:
1) I want more hives and I do not want to be on the buying bee packages merry-go-round, therefore I have a lot to learn: Splitting a hive and observing a split try to raise a queen is a great learning experience;
2) Just based on "normal" statistics, odds are fairly high I could lose my only hive during the winter anyway and have to buy more bees in the spring, so there is not much to lose.
3) The odds seem to be reasonable of getting nucs through winters and, if nothing else, that also will be a learning experience;
4) Best case scenario, I have two small hives ready to take off next spring;
5) Worst case scenario is - no bees by springtime - but realistically that was already a good possibility. With the split attempt, I learn more in the process.

I am even considering further splits (with an introduced queen) in July if this one proves out with a laying queen (actually, in hindsight, I wish I had split further as soon as I had multiple queen cells but that wasn't in my thinking at the time, and I did not have the wooden-ware at that point either).
 
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