MovSplit hive

Discussion in 'Swarms, Cut outs, and Trap outs' started by Dakine, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Dakine

    Dakine New Member

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    When you split a hive what do you do to keep the split off bees from abandoning the new hive and returning to the old one?
     
  2. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    First, I'm assuming that you cannot move the split several miles away.

    People normally put the old queen into the new location split, because you know you are going to lose some foragers and the queen will quickly lay replacements. Meanwhile, most of the day's foragers will come back to the original hive's usual location at the end of the day.

    When you make up the new hive, lay some twigs or branch across the entrance so that when each bee comes out to take off it will see something very different about its surroundings. It will stop before just taking off, and hopefully will take the time to re-orient to the new location. Expect lots of orientation flights at the new hive location for a day or two. I've tried the branch across the entrance trick, and it helps a lot.

    If after a week or two you see that one half of the split is struggling, you can actually switch the location of the two hives during the day and the foragers from the stronger hive will wind up in the weaker hive and help it.
    Or, you can switch a frame of capped brood and nurse bees (first making sure you know the queen is elsewhere) and an empty frame from the weak hive, to boost the weaker hive. A hive will accept a frame of brood with nurse bees with no problem.

    hope some of this helps.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    As Omie said, move the half with the queen. Shakein a couple extra frames of nurse bees. All the nurse bees will stay with the queen. Only the foragers will return to the original location. Then in a week, do the switch if needed, but likely the original location will be the weaker one.
     
  4. Dakine

    Dakine New Member

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    How can I tell which are the nurse bees.
     
  5. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    They are the ones clinging to the brood and keeping it warm. :)
    All worker bees are nurse bees at one stage of their life. Their first stage is as a housecleaning bee, their last stage I believe is to be a forager.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Just shake all bees from a couple of the frames you are leaving on the original site. Most will be nurse bees. Only "maybe" 20% of a colony are foragers.