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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Day! Feels like Spring has maybe arrived near St Louis. *fasthandclap*

I wanted to take full inventory of my single hive. They've been busy during the warm days.

Looking down into the top deep, they still had some capped honey and the population was big!!! I didn't pull individual frames because I just wanted to look down in the bottom deep to see if it was empty and maybe reverse the deeps today.

Well the bottom deep had a super huge population and it appeared to be capped honey on the outermost frame.
I was going to look at these frames individually but they were so propolized, that the frames were coming apart. *sadfaceguy*

Since it was pretty windy, I chose to not make the girls suffer any longer while I try to make a decision and closed everything back up.

I have enough equipment to run 2 hives and was thinking about doing a "walk away" split. (though I've not tried it before)

Can someone give me advice or even just share their story on doing so please?

I don't plan to order a queen... just let them make their own!
Is it too early? I don't know if there'd even be drones with which to mate in 3 weeks?
Since I can't check the frames until it warms more and the "glue" softens... I'm not certain which hive will have the queen?
In general I'm just a bit nervous about trying this, but am quite certain they'll swarm due to population size.
Also, the girls today were bringing in some nice bright yellow pollen.

Thank you in advance for your kindness, advice and encouragement *biggoofysmiliefaceguy*
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I think it is a bit early to do a walk away split in your area. First, you must see drones or capped drone larvae. Second, you must be able to get the frames out to see where and how much brood you actually have. Could be the bottom box is empty comb with some bee crawling on it. Assuming you have 7 plus frames with brood on it, you could take two frames, one with eggs the other capped brood, a frame of honey, and a frame of pollen and put it in a nuc along with a shake or two of additional nurse bees. Unless you know exactly where the queen is, make sure the is a frame of eggs in the donor hive too. I would wait until the nights are consistantly above 40 before attempting your first split as it will greatly increase your chances of sucess.
 

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Bottom line - too early in our area. I was in the hives yesterday and they're just starting to cap a few drone cells. If you want a phenology key, think not before the red buds bloom or a bit longer, i.e the purple blooming trees.
 

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I did 40 walk aways last year. Doubles i set over and did not move 2 miles away. Mostly the tops had the queen and the bottoms had to tear queens. I had 16 hive fail to requeen and 16 hive or so that were weak 2-6 frames. I combined the queen less with the weak to arrive at 60 functional hives. I made the splits one week before the flow started and combined after honey. They made a mediocre honey crop.
 

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I also think it's too early for St. Louis to be doing splits. You need a really strong hive (I like two ten frame deeps equivalent four eight frame mediums of bees) and drones flying before I would do a walk away split. I doubt you are at the point where you are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I decided against a walk away split and thought I'd give a shot at OSBN for swarm control. (I'll leave my other equipment for housing a swarm if I happen upon such luck)

So I checked all 20 frames today. I have brood in 8 or 9 frames (half in the bottom deep half in the top deep.) They still had 5 full frames of honey from last year!

So I pulled 4 of those and replaced the sides of both brood nests with partial foundation frames. We'll see if this keeps them from swarming. I did see 2 queen cells at the bottom of a single frame in the top deep. Lots and lots of bees, capped brood, eggs, larva in many stages and even a good amount of capped drone.

I thought about doing this again in 2 weeks as suggested, but was wondering if that would be too early to also add a honey super?
 

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Did you put a feeder on after pulling the honey? Spring build up is when a lot of the honey is eaten.
 

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I prefer to let them have the honey. Feed when you must, but why not let them have the most natural food as they build up. You can put a feeder on as well if want. Depends on your goals. Has the flow started in your area? If not, keep an eye out that they don't starve.
 
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