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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to be receiving some Buckfast queens in the next week. I would rather install these in splits from hives that are strong, rather than making up nucs.
My question is what type of split would be best?
Do I split the main hive 50/50, open and capped brood evenly, or do I put most of the capped brood in with the split to be moved, or the other way around?
I want these to have every chance to build up and make it through fall into winter. I am not overly concerned with them building up sufficient stores as I still have boxes of deeps with honey that can be put on any that are light. What I want is an increase in bees.
I don't usually overly concern myself with this part when doing splits but where these are Buckfast from Ferguson's in Ontario I want to pay closer attention.
 

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This may be way off track since I don't have much experience in splitting but---from what little experience i have, queens are more easily accepted when the hive doesn't have brood. With that in mind, I would split the hive taking the brood nest away and turning around the entrance in its new spot. After several hours of queenlessness for the broodless hive on the original stand, I would introduce the new caged queen. That hive, without brood will get strengthened by returning foragers while the other hive will be strengthened by its brood. The populations should balance out when the new queens' brood starts emerging. If needed. you could transfer brood later on to strengthen whichever hives need a "push".

This is all "theory". :rules: Now let's hear what the experienced beeks recommend. :grin:
 

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The more I think about it the tougher your question becomes due to so many variable's.

There are many ways to accomplish your goal. Some will say open brood hold's younger nurse bee's better than capped. Capped brood takes no resources and newly emerged bee's automatically accept whatever queen is in their colony. It's really a personal choice for you Perry, dependent upon the resources you have on hand at the time of the split's and how much work you want to make yourself. Myself I go for the capped, preferably actively hatching. Open brood can be lost if their's too much drift back. But their is less drift back on open brood as it usually has more younger nurse bee's on it. Really No right answer only personal preference based on personal experience. I prefer to get rid of the older bee's (the most likely to reject your new queens) using drift to my advantage hence the capped emerging brood frame preference. The older the bee the less likely they are to accept a new queen. I've also had almost all bee's abandon small open brood split's and return to the original colony(that dog don't hunt). Hatching bee's never leave.

I'll tell you what I would do but you have to decide for yourself.

If I had a lot of queen's coming I would put excluders on between double deep's and four or more day's later take the box without egg's making sure it had brood with at least some capped, move it to the new location and intro the queen normally.

If you have the resources(colony number's) and don't mind hand picking frames go for as many activelly emerging capped brood frames as possible.

To boost a colonies strength at any time just take frames of capped brood from stronger colonies to give them.
 

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I just added new queens to the split I had to make on a cut out....neither had any brood but they had honey....both halves have accepted the new queens ...so far....the sound went from a roar to a hummm in just a few seconds....for what it is worth. Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If I'm going to split a hive and let them create their own queen, is a queen excluder necessary?
No, just make sure the queenless half has frames with eggs in them so they can raise one.

I guess I should have added to my first post that all the splits receiving new queens will be going to a new yard, save one, maybe two. I don't want to move stuff late at night and will make these up in the am, move them when I'm done, and then install the queens either that night or the next am.
 

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a snip...
I'll tell you what I would do but you have to decide for yourself.

If I had a lot of queen's coming I would put excluders on between double deep's and four or more day's later take the box without egg's making sure it had brood with at least some capped, move it to the new location and intro the queen normally.

tecumseh:
I often time do this but one to two day ahead of the queens arriving I shake or brush bees from deep comb (shaking all adult bees into the bottom box) toss on an excluder and make up the top box in exactly the kind of split(s) I want to take off. a day or so later I return not really spending any excess time searching for the queen. pretty quickly upon removing the split I toss in the new queen and often times not even removing the cork <really the hazard you face in waiting too long here is the inevitable queen cells will be started prior to the queens possible release. a day later if when I open the split if the bees are attending the queen thru the wire mesh (riverbee had a wonderful picture of exactly what you are looking for here) in good number then I release the queen directly (a candy release would give you a bit longer break in the brood cycle). if upon opening the split the worker bees are ignoring the queen I then look for signs of either a virgin or much more likely cells in that particular split.

good luck...
 

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No, just make sure the queenless half has frames with eggs in them so they can raise one.

I guess I should have added to my first post that all the splits receiving new queens will be going to a new yard, save one, maybe two. I don't want to move stuff late at night and will make these up in the am, move them when I'm done, and then install the queens either that night or the next am.
So if I make sure there is brood in both boxes, then I shouldn't have to worry about where the queen is right?
 

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Either remove the old queen (put her in a nuc), or leave her in one of the boxes, or kill her,or she may kill or injure your new queen. Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Jack:
Beeboy was talking about doing a split and letting the queenless half raise their own, not a problem as long as the queenless half has the eggs to create one. :wink:
 

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If it were me, I would make 5 frame nucs then add the rest of the frames later.Also make some of brooks cage holder frames they worked great.Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If it were me, I would make 5 frame nucs then add the rest of the frames later.Also make some of brooks cage holder frames they worked great.Good luck.
Jack should quickly get a patent on those introduction frames, one of those great ideas :thumbsup: that someone thinks of and everyone else says "why didn't I think of something like that". :???:

Extra slice of pie for Jack! :mrgreen:
 
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