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splitting a package?

2197 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Countryboy
i had a wacky idea. i am picking up a package this saturday. i am planing on puting this package in a top bar hive. my question is this.. if i take a frame of eggs , a frame of capped brood and 3 frames of honey/pollen from my existing lang hive and adding a few scoops of bees from the package into a lang nuc box and let them raise thier own queen. is this a bad idea? i would later put this nuc in a 10 frame lang. i just want to increase this year and not worry about honey production.
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· Registered
359 Posts
Your idea might work, but I feel uncomfortable removing a "few scoops" of bees from your package scheme. Packages already start out behind the eight ball. They arrive without full honey stomachs (like a swarm) or their own brood. I like the idea of giving the package some brood/pollen/honey frames though. That would give them an excellent start, but if your frames are not interchangeable with your TBH, you're TBH will remain empty. That's not a bad thing...consider putting swarms in your TBH's because those bees are comb making machines and they'll whip a package in a TBH any day.

If increase is your goal (and you have the resources), and you're expecting a good flow soon (dandelion?), consider making several nucs with a frame of brood/pollen/honey. Brush the bees off the frames you give the package, and distribute them to your queenless nucs. Make sure you have eggs in the queenless nucs and hopefully they will make their own. In the nucs with your original queen and the package queen, older brood and some empty cells for the queens to lay in immediately should work fine. Don't forget to feed, feed, feed sugar syrup and pollen patties and keep them warm.

· Banned
2,322 Posts
Do you have drawn combs in your top bar hive? If not, you need every bee you have in that package.

You will likely be further ahead to allow them to get to full strength. Once they are strong, you can always shake a few frames of nurse bees into a weak split to strengthen it later on.
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