Quick splits?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by afterburn001, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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    During our last patch of nice weather, My wife and I inspected our hives. Two of them were packed with honey and bees. I mean a whole lot of bees!! We did not harvest honey last year (our first year) so the bees wintered over very well. I ordered two hygienic queens from California that will be shipped out April 2nd and be here on April 4th. The idea was to do a split from each hive. The long range forecast says. "few showers and 50 degrees" Typically we are a few degrees warmer here than what the forecast says but...

    Questions:
    #1 Can we open the hives for a few minutes to do the splits at say, 55 and dry?

    #2 If the split is not doable, how long can we keep the queens in their cages if we keep the indoors?

    Mark
     
  2. CharlieB

    CharlieB New Member

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    #1. Yes
    #2. If the queens have attendants, food and water, a couple of days at the most. They must be kept warm and out of sunlight.

    When was your last inspection? Did you see swarm cells during your inspection? If not, I would bet you probably have swarm cells now.
     

  3. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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    Charlie,
    Thanks! No swarm cells yet but that was my worry. I put a super on the hives to give them some extra room so I would guess, with that and the fact that it's been consistency cold the past month (other than one weekend) they have not started swarm cells yet. But it's my first year, what do I know? :lol:
     
  4. CharlieB

    CharlieB New Member

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    Sounds like your on top of it with doing splits. That's a great way to prevent swarming and increase your hives. Sometimes with bad weather you have to pick your best worst day.
     
  5. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    You're almost at April 4th. There's still time for the bees to start queen cells. Before you put your new queens in the hives, be 100% certain that there are no queen cells in the part of the split that is going to get them.
     
  6. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    Once or twice a day, get a drop of sugar water on your finger and wet the screen on the queen cage.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    my answers to your questions are 1) yes and 2) add a couple of drops of good water twice a day or place the queens above an excluder in a queen bank and you can hold them in either fashion much longer than a lot of folks seem to think.

    it is not beyond my experience to have banked queens for a week to 10 days with no adverse effects <this is not to suggest there are not a risk to loosing a queen by holding it too long or placing a queen in a queen bank and the workers refusing to feed her.