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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!

I am just starting my second season with bees and one of my hives that survived winter is starting to fill up quickly with lots of brood and workers.
I have a nuc ready for a split, but I am unsure of when to actually do this. I have read various reasons, but unsure of what makes the most sense here in south-central Wisconsin. Do I wait until the temperatures consistently reach a certain point? Do I wait until I observe queen cups and/or queen cells? Dandelions are starting to pop up which marks are first flow…is this a benchmark?

A few details…my intention of splitting is to prevent a loss of bees via swarming. I only have two hives and I want to keep this number lower due to time and costs. The idea of a cut-down split (www.fur.ly/aby2) sounds appealing to maximize honey production. Any of you have success or failures with this technique? Drone brood and drones are present, so when the parent hive raises a new queen, she will have access to mates.

I appreciate any advice. Thank you!
 

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Check the weather report for the next few weeks. 23 days ago I split on a nice upper 60's day; I pulled 2 frames of capped brood with bees, 2 frames of stores with bees, and a frame with eggs and small open brood. I left the queen behind in the mother hive (thankfully).

The next day winter returned. It was a 40 degree rain with wind, followed by 3 more windy, chilly days of lows in the mid-30's and highs around 50. I am satisfied that there were not enough nurse bees to keep everything warm, and the frame with eggs and young brood didn't make it. I do not know what a cut-down split is, but whatever your reasons are for splitting, make sure the weather in the wake of the split doesn't mess things up.

Here in Maryland the swarm season either just began or will begin in the next week or 2. I did a thorough inspection of my overwintered hive (2 deep 8-frames plus one medium on top). I saw only one queen cell partially built.

Phil
 

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We are your neighbors to the S.E., hives from Horicon down to Hellenville, over to Big Cedar lake.

First answer how many frames are mostly covered with brood?

Crazy Roland
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Philip.devos- The ten-day forecast has highs from 58-80 degrees with nighttime lows from 40-62. Do you have a “magic” number you try to avoid?

Roland- The cluster moved into the shallow super so I have 3-5 frames of brood in that as well as another 3-5 frames of partial brood in the deep below that. Are your splits dependent on the amount of brood available to split into two hives?
 

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Here in Richland center drones are out and the early morning preflights are scheduled.. So everyone is about and flying .well until this next thunder storm hits.. If you need me to drive up and take any unwanted bees away let me know i have room over here.. I will just put your bees in a nucbox and give em a frame of food and some new eggs we will have a beaverdam richland center hybrid in no time( 21+ days)
 

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OH NO THE RACE is on...no but I woulnt mind compensating you for some of those over wintered genetics. ..You just might have some winners there....As beekeepers here in Wisconsin .We need to depend our own not the major suppliers ...my two cents
 

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Our local beeks here in SE WI seem to split full deeps into nucs. Splitting Nucs into smaller Nucs seems like you are taxing them pretty hard. I would think your Nuc would be ready to graduate to a full hive, then the Nuc could used for a split in a few weeks once the population in the main hive really takes off.
 

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From hives I have seen in se wi, drones are just getting started to be born/fly. If you are counting on making your own queens you will probably just have ok drone populations if u split now but would like to have a bit better weather to have some more nectar flow for good queen development/rearing/mating. Might do my first split south of you this weekend but I would rather wait a week.
 

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Yes, our split timing is determined by how many frames of (with)brood are present. You sound a little light on bees yet. Keep a close eye on them.

Crazy Roland
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Brettj777- My wording was poor in the original post. By saying, “I have a nuc ready for a split,” I meant that I have one painted waiting to take frames from a double deep.

Based on the nighttime temperatures late into next week (right at 40 degrees for 3+ nights), I will wait for warmer days to make this split. Tandemrx, let me know how your split goes. Roland, how many hives do you have in Horicon?
 
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