Splitting a beehive

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Westraad, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Westraad

    Westraad New Member

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    To anyone that can help: I am new at this, have a crowded bee-hive that needs a split. Need to know the correct procedure and what precautions to take. Do I have to find and move the queen to the new hive? We are living in Mozambique, here are no queen bees for sale! Will appreciate your input, thanks. Wimpie Xai-Xai.
     
  2. CharlieB

    CharlieB New Member

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    The easiest way without introducing a new queen to the split is to let the bees raise their own queen. Place a new hive box next to the parent hive. Divide the frames up evenly placing half the frames from the parent hive into the new box. Keep all the frames that you divided in the center of each hive box. Fill in the empty outer space in each hive with empty frames.

    Which ever box has the queen will continue with more space for her to eventually lay. The split hive will raise a queen.

    Best of luck!
     

  3. markles

    markles New Member

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    I don't know how severe your winters are in Xai-Xai (or how much forage is about at this time of the year) but it might be better to wait until spring if you can.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    these are sometimes referred to here as a walk away split. as markles I think suggest these are the easiest to do in the early spring time when the nectar flow is steady and predictable. I rear queens so there is no benefit in me 'letting them raise their own queen'. I do however make a lot of splits and for me moving the existing queen with the split some distance away seems to cause the least amount of confusion for the bees.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Along with what was said above, find the queen if you can. If found, take her and split the hive frames between the two. Leaving more brood frames with the queenless half. Be sure there are eggs in the queenless half.

    If you can't find the queen, do as Perry said, but be sure there are eggs in both halves.

    Spring is split time. Splits in fall will have to be fed all winter.
     
  6. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Wimpie says: ...." have a crowded bee-hive that needs a split."
    Efmesch asks: Does the hive need a split or do you want to split it to make increase? If you're not out for increase, just add supers and frames for building and to reduce crowding. Keep them busy. Don't let them get too hot, open the entrance all the way and move the upper super back a bit so as to create a new entrance and easy upper access. This way you'll need less equipment and most likely get a better crop of honey. Just be careful to use swarm protection methods.
     
  7. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I made some splits in July last year and they came through winter just fine- some in double deeps, and a couple on 5 frame nucs. Never say never! I think july is a great month for making splits, to knock the mites down right before Fall. But then I'm kinda weird. =8-D

    Lots depends of your location, of course.
     
  8. DaggaBoom

    DaggaBoom New Member

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    Ok a few things you have to keep in mind, Xai-Xai is at the coast in Mozambique, meaning it is a tropical location. They should be able to have sufficient forage throughout the whole year. It is also African Honey Bees, which is more prone to swarm and will swarm for the largest part of the year, so maybe check if there is swarm cells and then split then, else add the supers. Just my 2c
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    thanks for the added information daggaboom. location and species of bees does make a large difference. also the kind of hives folks use determine how or what can be done.

    purely speculating here> for folks with traditional beekeeping furniture I would suspect the the demaree method (which at one time was use primarily in the northern US for comb honey production) might be a way of making increase with africanized bees that requires little disturbance and no necessity in finding the queen.
     
  10. Westraad

    Westraad New Member

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    Thanks ChrlieB, it sounds like the easiest way to me as well! This brings me to another, (probably as a beginner a stupid!) question: The queen is trapped somewhere in the crowded hive, if I follow the procedure you mention, how is the queen going to mate, for I believe the mating takes place outside the hive in the air. If this must happen how is the queen going to leave and enter the box again, since the openings is only large enough for the worker bees so that the queen should not be able to escape? Thanks.
     
  11. Westraad

    Westraad New Member

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    markles, the bees are active in winter as in summer, it does not get very cold here. thanks.
     
  12. Westraad

    Westraad New Member

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    Thanks tecumseh, see the question about the queen that I am not sure of, that I raised to CharlieB about the queen.
     
  13. Westraad

    Westraad New Member

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    Thanks Iddee, along with the other questions I mentioned is also the following that I would like to post after reading your reply: In Mozambique the bees are active throughout the year since it does not get very cold in winter. There are days however, especially rainy days in winter time where there is no activity, but as soon as the sun shines, they are out again. My question is this: In cold area's of the world, do they stay put because there are no flowers or any other reason. We have flowers throughout the year, so my guess is that a split can be done at any time? Tks.
     
  14. Westraad

    Westraad New Member

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    Efmesh, the reason why I think the hive needs a split is because the frames are all full and it seems that the bees start to swarm at times inside the hive. I do would like to increase. Where can I learn about swarm protection methods, or can you give me the summary version? Thanks.
     
  15. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    There are times when flowers do not produce nectar. When the bees can find nectar, we call that time a honeyflow. A split can safely be made anytime there is a honeyflow. It can also be made at other times if you are willing to feed them.

    As for the queen mating, you don't close the queen in. You leave an entrance open at all times.
     
  16. Westraad

    Westraad New Member

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    Daggaboom, I see you are from SA, so are we, being in Xai Xai as missionaries, we are hoping to get a bees project off the ground to help in our ministry among the Mozambicans. About your post: If "swarm cells" are bees swarming together when I open the hive, then yes, there are swarm cells. Thank you.
     
  17. CharlieB

    CharlieB New Member

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    Westraad,

    The entrance must remain open for the virgin queen to go out on dates. There is no reason to restrict the entrance. You might be doing that now to prevent swarming, but do the split as soon as possible and keep both entrances open. Do you have extra frames to back fill your splits?
     
  18. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Quieen cells are wax cells a new queen is developing in. Like the two pics below.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Westraad

    Westraad New Member

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    Thanks CharlieB, I will be going ahead with the split and yes, I have extra frames.
     
  20. Westraad

    Westraad New Member

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    Thanks for the photo's Iddee, if I get queen cells like those, will it benefit my situation where I want to do the split? should I place one or two in the new hive? thanks