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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
I am a newbie here in SW MI. I am thinking of splitting my only hive next spring.

When would you think would be a good time to do this here? Just after the main honey flow?

Also what is the best way to do this? I've read the books and there seems to be a lot of ways to do this, and was wondering if there is any consesis on what is the best way to minimize productivity loss in the parent hive but also to maximize anti-swarming effect. Just throw a few of the frames in a box with frames to fill and move that into the old spot? Demaree? With a new queen on some brood? It seems like bees are versitile enough that they can recover pert'neer anything (with enough food)

Also, is it ok to keep the two near eachother?(during, after?)

Thanks,
Rick
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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You only have one hive? There are a lot of ways to do it.

If you only have one you get to choose between starting a nuc (just a couple of frames of brood and some honey and pollen) or an actual even split where you put half in one hive and half in the other. You also get to choose to let them raise a queen or buy one. If you go for the nuc, I'd let them raise one so you can watch. If you go for the even split you'll get a better production if you buy a queen because it will take them about three to four weeks to raise a queen, mate and have her start to lay.

If you go for an even split you can set each half facing the old location so the bees will be more evenly distributed between the two halves. If you do the nuc, you can shake a few frames of nurse bees off of the brood comb from the main hive (catch the queen first or at least set the comb with her aside so you don't shake her into the nuc). The nurse bees will stay with the nuc and not wander back to the main hive, as the field bees will. You can put the nuc wherever you like, just keep an eye on it and if the population gets too small shake some more nurse bees in. It is also helpful to feed both hives.

I kind of like the nuc version because you don't weaken the main hive that much, you can let them raise a queen and not have to buy one and if you put them in a five frame nuc box until the new queen lays it pretty full then the smaller amount of bees can keep the brood warm easily.
 

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It depends on where you live and how the bees are building up. In the middle of spring build up will do. The best is probably when the bees would naturally swarm, which around here is from May to July but I've done splits at the first of August that did well.
 

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I do mine in late May or early June.
I do even splits with 1 new queen.
Clint

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Clinton Bemrose
just South of Lansing Michigan
 
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Discussion Starter #6
I would go for the even split. It has worked for me and if you build them up you can even get a surpluss off of them in the same season.

The time of year that is best for you I don't know. Here as early as we can we start feeding. A week or so before the maple trees start blooming. Feed like crazy and let the hive build up strong. They will want to swarm very early so you need to watch them for that.

I'd buy a queen and when you feel they a strong and any flow has started we split. Keep feeding to help them build. 3 to 4 weeks should do, or untill your main flow starts.

BB
 
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