First Split

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Slowmodem, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I'm going to attempt my first split this afternoon. I currently have a 10-frame with two deeps and a medium. I have an 8-frame deep to split into (with another deep and medium to add later).

    The last time I looked into the hive, there were about 6 filled frames on each of the two levels of the 10-frame hive. The bee population seemed to be exploding (it still is) so I added a medium to hopefully prevent swarming until I could split.

    I plan on moving the hives a little bit, too, while I have them apart.

    So here's my questions:

    1. I don't want to disrupt the existing hive too much (although it can't be helped, I suppose, during a split). I know I need eggs and larvae, and honey. If the frames from left to right are 1 through 10, do I take 3, 5, and 7 or do I take 3, 4 and 5? Which one do you think would be the least disruptive? Or am I looking at this wrong?

    Note: There is drawn comb with drone cells and honey in the second super. I plan on moving some of this to the new hive, too.

    2. Since I'm going to move the hives a little bit, there will be some bees that probably don't get back into the hive tonight. The low is going to be around 58 to 60F. Will they survive that outside? Will the split be able to stand that temperature if there is a smaller amount of bees?
     
  2. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    It wasn't easy, but we got it done. The top and medium came off the hive ok, but the top deep frames were really stuck to the bottom deep frames. We ended up setting them on the ground and tipping them on their side. They finally came apart. I never spotted the queen. I don't know which hive she ended up in.

    I ended up putting four frames from the bottom deep and four new frames (sprayed with sugar water) in the deep of the eight frame hive. I put the small opening of the entrance reducer in the opening, and put a telescoping top on top of an inner cover. I have the board out of the screened bottom board.

    I put four new frames (sprayed with sugar water) into the bottom deep of the 10-frame. I left all ten frames in the top deep and the medium on the ten-frame.

    So now I've got an eight frame deep with four frames of brood and pollen and honey (and maybe the queen) in an eight-frame deep, and a ten-frame (and maybe the queen) with two deeps and a medium. I'll continue to feed them as much as they'll take and hope for the best.

    We had to stop several times as it was very hot and humid. We had the truck parked in the shade about 30 yards from the hive. Once I had sweat in my eyes really badly, so I walked over to the truck to take my veil off and wipe my eyes. As soon as I had the veil off, I got stung in the eyelid. I guess they were really mad about us tearing their house apart. Later on when we were done, we were even farther away putting the stuff into the shed, and there was a bee chasing me around there.

    I'm sure a lot of this will get easier as I do it more. But is sure was an effort today to get things done. But now I've got two hives! :D
     

  3. Indiana Dave

    Indiana Dave New Member

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    Sounds like all went well, for the most part. You will be fine with that split not knowing where the queen is. She will let you know which hive she's in by the presence of eggs and/or larva in a few days. I have 2 hives to split pretty soon, but I'm waiting on a Buckfast queen I ordered from R Weaver (April 10th) and a local guy with Indiana queens (1st part of May). If push comes to shove and I need to split before the IN queens are ready, I'll do a walk-away and see what happens. At least I can prevent a swarm, even if I don't get a new queen made in the walk-away. I can always recombine them and split again when the queens are ready. Let us know when you start to see eggs and larva in one of the hives, and when you see queen cells in the queenless hive. Good luck!
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    slowmodem snips < followed by my comments..
    1. I don't want to disrupt the existing hive too much (although it can't be helped, I suppose, during a split). I know I need eggs and larvae, and honey. If the frames from left to right are 1 through 10, do I take 3, 5, and 7 or do I take 3, 4 and 5? Which one do you think would be the least disruptive? Or am I looking at this wrong?
    <any dipping into a hives brood nest will be by it's very nature be highly disturbing. the order of frames makes no difference. you do wish to evenly divide out live bees, brood and resources. most times when I am doing this kind of thing splits may be 3, 4 or 5 parts but you still are trying to evenly divide the basic resources of the hive.

    Note: There is drawn comb with drone cells and honey in the second super. I plan on moving some of this to the new hive, too.

    <most times hive I destroy via splitting I have previously defined as inadequate... so prior to splitting most times I have throughly raked any drone comb to limit the numbers of this kind of undesirable drones.

    2. Since I'm going to move the hives a little bit, there will be some bees that probably don't get back into the hive tonight. The low is going to be around 58 to 60F. Will they survive that outside? Will the split be able to stand that temperature if there is a smaller amount of bees?

    <I am not certain why you thingk this might happen. are the bees in their new boxes to be closed up. the temperatures you describe without rain should pose little problem to live bees clustered outside any boxes.