My first ever split tomorrow...

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Mosti, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. Mosti

    Mosti New Member

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    Tomorrow I will be doing my first ever split.
    I have a single hive, looks healthy and strong enough to be split, well I will confirm that tomorrow when I will open it up in 3 weeks.

    I will be using the 'walk away' method, since a queen is not available.

    I have read and read about splitting a hive, though some basics are a common factor in every read, such as colony strength etc. some others suggest other confusing theories, like moving the nuc far from the original colony or otherwise, keeping the nuc entrance screened for a day or two......and the lot.

    So here is my plan:

    Open the hive;
    locate the queen;
    take a frame of honey, a frame of capped brood and a frame of eggs/day old brood;
    move these frames into the nuc making sure the queen is on the other 7 frames;
    make sure that there are enough nurse bees to cover the brood;
    brush extra nurse bees from a frame off the mother colony;
    close the nuc and feed both nuc and hive.

    then some good praying for a week or two.....

    ​any suggestions?
     
  2. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    You don't have to find the queen provided you have eggs in each hive. Just equalize each split and the side without the queen will rear one.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would leave the eggs and 7 frames in the original position and move the queen with 3 or 4 frames. The nuc will have eggs layed daily. The original box won't have new eggs for 4 to 5 weeks. It needs the bulk of the bees. You can place them a few feet apart.
     
  4. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    I like either plan of attack. I will say this though, if you do look for the queen, look close. I have found queens in so many unexpected places so far. I transferred 5 frames from a nuc to a weak hive yesterday and was about to tap the box on the ground (hive beetles from tree trap out) when I took a close look inside the nuc. There she was! She was sitting tight between several other bees. I plucked her out and put her in the hive.
     
  5. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    You want the strong part of the hive to raise the new queen. They are more likely to have all the resources to raise a strong queen. So like Indee said, move the queen to the Nuc. Generally speaking, you would want a hive with two deep boxes bursting with bees before splitting. Not sure, but from your description it sounds like you only have 10 frames of bees. If you split now you will get no honey this year. I'm not sure what kind of honey flows you you get in Malta, but you might want to wait to split until sometime in August, just after the heavy honey flows, but early enough to have them build up to colony strength before winter.

    If you want to make a split now, a better plan might be:

    Take one frame of honey/pollen and two frames of capped brood and the queen for the Nuc.
    Leave the rest to raise a queen.
    Put the nuc in place of your hive and move the original hive a few feet away. This will give the Nuc a strong foraging force right away and leave the old hive with young bees to raise the queen.
     
  6. Mosti

    Mosti New Member

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    Hmmmm, putting the queen in the nuc looks better to me. I will follow that advice. So I will have to fill up the nuc with filled comb right? Foundation inplace of the taken frames from the hive right? Honey flow is over or almost.
     
  7. Mosti

    Mosti New Member

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    Split done, fingers crossed and hoping for the best.
     
  8. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    If flow is over I would consider feeding. especially if you have foundation in the hive
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would feed both and balance the supplies in 30 days.
     
  10. Mosti

    Mosti New Member

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    Yep, 1:1 syrup for both...done.
     
  11. ziffa

    ziffa New Member

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    Good Luck Mosti! When I did my first split I was freaked out for weeks but it all ended up great. Let us know how yours turns out!

    love,
    ziffa
     
  12. Mosti

    Mosti New Member

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    A question for Idee: What do you mean by 'balance the supplies in 30 days '?
     
  13. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Move frames of honey from one hive to the other according to how many bees are in each.
     
  14. Minz

    Minz Member

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    You may end up with 20 queen cells if you pulled the queen in a full hive. More decisions based on what resources you have to work with at that point. I would not leave them all for the emerging queen to kill.
     
  15. Mosti

    Mosti New Member

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    In how may days should I perform a first check for both?
     
  16. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    No need to check the half with the queen for a while. I might check the queenless half in 4 days to ensure they are building replacement cells. Be gentle though.
     
  17. Mosti

    Mosti New Member

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    I have checked both the nuc and the hive today. The hive has a handful of queen cells, I noticed 1 capped and 3 still uncapped, I only checked 4 out of 7 frames though. Did not want to disturb them much.
    The nuc has a couple dozen of dead bees on the bottom and the queen was on the honey frame, strange I thought! I did not notice any eggs or small brood, seems that she stopped laying on the transfer from hive to nuc. The nuc still has plenty of capped brood.

    ​Your judgements?!
     
  18. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    I don't think you need to worry about the Q in the nuc. The nuc may have realized that there is no need or no resources (nurse bees) for the Q to carry on laying. I like this trait in a strain of bees. If she had carried on laying there could have been a risk of chilled or starved brood.

    The dead bees in the box could be a sign of a shortage of 'housekeeping' bees.
     
  19. Mosti

    Mosti New Member

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    Thanks, you made my day, honestly!
    Cheers,
    Joe.
     
  20. Minz

    Minz Member

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    What I have done is to put a frame or two from the hive with all the QC to another box (mating box or Queen castle). After she comes back you have a double shot of getting a mated queen. You then can combine them back or run two weak nucs to get through winter. With me it’s always about splitting the odds. Last year of my 4 I had two mated and laying and I gave it another try with a frame of brood to go for overwintering nucs. I don’t know your resources or goals to know if this is appropriate for you.
    Be very careful with that capped QC!