Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 80 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I think I need to do a 50/50 walk away split and don't want to this early. I went into my Russian hive yesterday evening just to see if I determine there is enough honey for them till the flow starts. There is still some but they will soon need to be fed. That is not the problem at all.
The problem is that it is full from the bottom board up through to the inner cover with brood with no room for them to grow. They had even connected the bottoms of the frames to the tops of the frames in the boxes under them with comb containing brood that ripped open when I separated the boxes. Because of this condition I think they could swarm anytime. Far as I know I don't think the honey-flow has even started yet in my area.

The hive is already stacked 5 boxes high, all 8 frame mediums. That's all I use. I put a 6th box on top containing some empty drawn comb with some honey from a hive I recently lost.

In hopes of stopping them from swarming and gaining another colony, I'm planing to do a 50/50 walk away split soon as possible. I just hope whichever half is left without a queen can and will produce another and she get mated as early as it is.
When I make the split I'm not going to know which half has the queen and which half doesn't, so there won't be buying another queen and putting in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
Have you seen drones in your hives? I had to do the same thing with a hive, but had swarm cells and chose just to move the frames with cells and add some pollen and honey. Did you do a complete inspection to see if they are backfilling the brood area and making swarm cells?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I do recall seeing 2 or 3 drowns yesterday inside that hive, and I'm certain there are more than just those 2 or 3 there.
For the half of the split that's left here, there there are 2 other hives close by with drowns to possibly mate with. The other half will be going to a friends house a few miles away with no other known bees in the area. I hope that half gets the queen but.... .

The weather is not suppose to be nice this weekend ether to do this. There is a lot of rain in the forecast. I might had still better try to "get er done".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Someone at our meeting the other night reported seeing a few drones in the hive in our area already. I have not seen any flying yet, but did find some capped drone brood just a few days ago. So if you did the split now by the time the queen emerged there would certainly be some drones flying. You could try opening up the brood nest now to delay the swarming instinct then split in a few more weeks when conditions should be better.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
13,203 Posts
The problem is that it is full from the bottom board up through to the inner cover with brood with no room for them to grow...The hive is already stacked 5 boxes high, all 8 frame mediums.
This sounds like a tale.
The brood between the frames is most likely drones and that doesn't mean that the rest of the frame is full of brood unless you looked. Judging on what I did up here you could split in your area now. Let's say you are right and there is 5 boxes full of brood they are not going to swarm until the brood hatches and gets backfilled with honey. There can't be any honey if they are all filled with brood.

If and when you split look for open brood not capped brood and put at least one box each to each half. There should be at least two boxes with open brood for medium size boxes. If the hive is doing as well as you say there will be three boxes.

After you split keep watch on the hives. The one that appears as though noting happened will likely have the queen. The one that goes dormant will likely not have a queen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
If I were in your situation, I would look into obtaining a new queen for the split. If you can find a mated queen, that would be even better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
I recommend putting off splitting a couple more weeks. When there are plenty of dandelions and mature drones, then do your split. Having a queen to put w/ the queenless half is a good idea. But, the queenless half, as long as there are eggs, should be able to raise its own queen.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
13,203 Posts
There is no dandelions in TN yet? We are having a beautiful winter this spring...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
Are you a member of a local bee club? Is there a mentor you could ask to come over and take a look with you? I think someone walking you through this in person would be worth a thousand words.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
13,203 Posts
Saturday we are suppose to get 2 inches of snow accumulation and a high of 45. Last night they had a forecast of 50 for a high on Saturday. Don't you love it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Maybe the flow might be just beginning here. I have seen lots of daffodils and some budding on trees. It's just that I would rather it be in full swing before doing this.

I did the split this evening. I did the technique with the frames like dealing a deck of cards between the parent hive and the one going away. That's to assure some of everything went into both hives. I saw some of just about everything, capped brood, open brood, lots of capped drone cells and some open honey cells. I can't say I saw any queen cells.

The half that's going away now has the bees sealed in. I decided it's going out at the farm this weekend on a position already set up. There is another hive there near by.

This wasn't the first time I have done a split but was the first 50/50 I have done.
Hilreal some guidance might have been helpful, but I do think I did fine on my own. I really don't believe I needed anyone walking me through it.
There are soo many things that if I wouldn't do it without any help, they wouldn't get done. This was certainly one of them.
This is my 4th year of bee keeping.

Acebird I can always certainly expect such snide comments from you such as accusing me of being on here telling a tale and about the dandelions up your way too., And the brood between the frames, some might have been drone brood but defiantly not all of it was. What does that have anything to do with anything? Most the capping s in that between the frames burr comb didn't look like it but a few of them did. Every single frame in the hive was occupied and that is what had me concerned.

Now I will say that I didn't know anything about that the bees won't swarm until there is back fill in the brood chamber.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,183 Posts
Tons of drones oriented yesterday in my yard. All hives have plenty of fresh nectar and pollen, and there is a week of good foraging weather in the forecast, and dandelions just blooming. If I had a hive that I was worried about swarming I would go ahead and split it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
David...what *exactly* are they getting nectar from over your way?
I am between Scottsville KY and Lafayette TN....I moved 2 years ago (I have asked the admin twice how to change my location....they have yet to reply with an answer/ instructions on how to do that..) and I see nothing here...no redbuds...nothing..just the daffodils/ jonquils...and I think I have seen 2 dandelions since the first of March...
I do see my bees bringing in pollen, but they have emptied my top feeder twice since the first of March (I only fill it halfway), so I will continue to feed for another couple of weeks...I just don't feel confident/ think that the honey flow has started *here* yet..
I remember hearing at a couple of bee meetings that there is a thing called "candling" that pine trees do..and the old timers at the bee meeting say that when you see that, the flow *has* started (not that pine trees have nectar..it just happens at about the same time, they say).
So, that's what I have been going by..
My latitude may be *slightly* more north than you...so....~shrug~
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
13,203 Posts
It's just that I would rather it be in full swing before doing this.
I thought about this for quite sometime before I did an early split. The hive that ends up with the queen has no issues. I felt it would be better for build up if the queenless hive had the full flow to build up rather then wait until max flow and lose one or two weeks of the flow was my thinking.
Acebird I can always certainly expect such snide comments from you such as accusing me of being on here telling a tale
So sorry. I did not mean it in a snide way.

Every single frame in the hive was occupied and that is what had me concerned.
Again, I am not sure what you mean by occupied. Solid brood from top to bottom means to me that there is no honey, pollen or empty cells. I can't imagine a hive of 4 or 5 medium boxes existing like that. A hive that has drones in the burr comb between frames is an indication that your frames are all drawn from worker foundation. A mistake I did early on myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Aww gee Acebird if so I guess my bad. It's unfortunate that sometimes I just take people wrong.

Well, I figure if all goes well with the queen-less hive, by the time they produce another queen and she goes on her mating flight the flow should be in full swing.
By the difference in the hum of the two hives I think the queen did end up in the half going away as I understand it's best. The split hives hum is quiet and content and the parent hive's hum is more of a loud distressing howell, which kind of distresses me, but I did what I thought was best anyway.
I would like to put another queen in that hive but not "just a queen", but another Russian.
Walter Kelley said they all sold out of packages and queens very early for the year this year. Packages I can understand, but queens are mass produced so I don't quite understand why they would so quickly sell out of queens for the year without anymore till next year.

When I used the term "occupied" I did use it very loosely. To be more specific, I saw lots of capped brood, and what I thought was an abnormally high amount of capped drone brood (in the frames), some larva, sections of open cells which I honestly assumed to be recently laid eggs. I have still not yet been able to see any eggs even with a magnifying glass since I have been beekeeping. There was a few frames of open honey in the top box that I think was what I left them to overwinter on that they were in-process of eating. Could it have been honey they were making? I just didn't think so this early.
So all the frames were occupied with those things and not empty comb or foundation for them to grow and the hive was 5 high.
 
1 - 20 of 80 Posts
Top