Guess I'll be doing a split

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Tia, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Hate doing splits. . .have a hard time seeing eggs and when I do, I don't have much luck raising queens from eggs. . .but looks like it's necessary. Despite the cooler, cloudy weather, and the fact that I added a box last week, this hive is still bearding like crazy. I would add yet another box, but there's no more room. David put a 6' ceiling on the enclosure and since the girls are on 21" stands to keep them out of flood range (and our last hurricane they still flooded out by 6"), they're maxed to the ceiling. I even took off the top vent and just went back to the regular inner & outer cover and the ventilation provided by them! I've got 1 deep and 4 shallows on there (2 shallows in the brood area and 2 above the queen excluder as honey supers), so I'm hoping one of the brood shallows will have eggs in it and I'll use that as the split and give them a brand new deep box. Or would it be better to split the contents of the deep box between the two and give them each a brood shallow? Thoughts, please (yeah, I know. . .ask 5 beeks a question, you'll get 5 answers. . .but they all help!).

    Figure at the same time I'll follow Iddee's advice and give my two weak hives a frame of eggs from each of my strong hives (the one I'm splitting being one!). Is that advisable, or should I just take two frames of eggs from the other strong hive I'm not splitting?

    Thanks for any advice you might proffer. I could stumble through, but it's just so much easier asking you all.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    My advice?

    Be thankful for two strong hives and go to the house. I love to see them beard. I have had hives 4 deep and you could not see the front of it at all. As long as you know there is empty space in there, leave them alone. If there's not, harvest a super of honey.
     

  3. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Bless you! That's just what a lazy beekeeper like me wants to hear. I gave them a super just the other day. Do you think they may have filled it already?
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I don't know your flow, but I have seen them fill and cap a deep in 10 days.
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    humm.... have you considered taking off a bit of honey instead?

    doing so certainly will make getting to the brood nest a bit easier... which is quite likely to be at the bottom of the stack.
     
  6. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    Buy a good quailty maginfying glass and eggs are easy to see. You may also want to buy a small LED pen lite to help on the dark comb.

    Bearding isn't always a sign of a pending swarm issueing.

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  7. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Nothing but good news from you guys! I love it! Iddee, I'll just be in heaven if they've filled that box already! I plan on checking all of them today in the hopes that they've finished & capped off the supers so I can take them. . .and I have lots of boxes of empty comb awaiting the chance to replace them. So, tecumseh, I guess that answers your question as well. And I will peek into the brood nest while I'm there. Alleyyooper, I wasn't really worried about swarming. It's just that I though when bees were bearding a good beekeeper was supposed to do something about it. I didn't realize, like Iddee says, it's actually good news of a strong hive! Thanks for your suggestion that I buy an LED penlite! I bet that would help me a lot! I'm gonna buy one right away. So thankful that the weather has turned cool and I'll be comfortable while I'm out there working today. I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  8. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Well, as I expected, I lost the two weak hives. . .one was full of wax moths, the other SHB. I removed the boxes and am hoping the few bees that were in each will find their way into one of the other hives.
    The strong hive that had the bearding had no beard this morning! But I went into it anyway. The top box was still empty, the next was full of honey but not capped. The top brood box was full of beautiful capped honey so I robbed it. I tilted the brood boxes and there's lots of girls in there, but I saw no swarm cells.
    So now instead of 3 brood boxes and 2 supers, it has 2 brood boxes and 3 supers. . .all the way back up to the 6' ceiling. Just checked on them and they're back to bearding. . .we'll see how they look tomorrow morning.
    Took another box of honey off another hive, and should have checked the final hive but didn't. I plan to put the West traps back on so I guess I check it at the same time. Need to go into that hive because last time I looked they had crystal clear honey in pure white wax! There's a box worth robbing!
    So tomorrow I'll harvest those two boxes. . .probably another 2 gallons. . .I hate doing it piecemeal like this, but between the low ceiling and the SHB, I have no choice!
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    nothin' wrong with piecemeal as far as I can tell??? if you have any kind of problem with shb you really don't want any more honey supers (and most especially 'wet' supers) than you can deal with in pretty short order.
     
  10. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Unfortunately, I know you're right, Tecumseh. It's just that I'm old and lazy and hate having to clean the harvesting equipment over and over again instead of just once! These SHB are going to be the death of me. I have to learn to just take my time and remain calm (the mantra of beekeeping).