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to split or not to split? That .....

602 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Gray Goose
I told a local old-timer (here in eastern NC) I planned to do a split of the stronger of my 2 hives once their #s are up. He said he no longer did splits -- "I want to get a honey harvest".. I didn't have the chance to dig into that. So ... will splitting make the chances of honey harvest drop? Would it be like a swarm (re: honey production)? Would it be better to simply keep adding mediums as the pop keeps going up, and up, and up?
Thx for any feedback .....

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A split in which the queen is removed to a nuc is known to actually increase the honey harvest if done at the correct time, as does culling drone comb and brood before it is capped. A swarm will definitely have a negative impact on a honey crop.
The term "split" is a terribly broad brush. It could be a minor cut down split to help in swarm control or it could be an even split. As JWP points out if a swarm is otherwise almost inevitable, a minor split would improve your honey crop odds. Depending upon the flow potential of the area an even split may indeed give you no honey yield from either half of a split; If it was a super area it could give you a yield from both.
it is about what "you" want
if you want a max harvest most "lore" is to not split and just super them.
if you want more hives then splitting can give you that, IE 1 is now 2

depending on the local blooms,, the flow can be short and a badly timed split can impact the harvest.

I look at it different, I tend to manage my bees to get to the hive count I am comfortable at, in the fall I have some honey.
Also 2 hives this year will double the honey next year assuming you can over winter, so mathematically splitting in time should produce more honey.

for me we here have a nice flow all year, IMO 2 or 3 queens can lay more eggs, produce more bees and have a bigger yield combined than 1 queen can, with honey capture tilted to the late summer/ fall time frame and splits done as early as possible.

there are likely as many management methods as there are bee keepers.
copy success until you have some ability, then start to do what you feel best fits your own Apairy.
I do splits and get honey no reason to not have both.

IMO a booming hive in spring is exact ally one I would like to see 2 or 3 daughters from.
What if it swarms? then you do not have the split or the honey in theory.

follow your intuition.


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