We did a hive split!

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Eddy Honey, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    :???: I took my best queen, two frames of brood and one frame of nectar and pollen and whatever bees were covering the frames and put it in a 5 frame deep nuc. I moved this nuc about 300 yards and put it on top of the permanant hive body I hope to move them to when they become a full colony.

    In the original hive I saw plenty of frames with eggs and larvae of the right age and I notched 3 frames, 1 in the bottom deep and 2 in the medium on top of it. It was all newer comb so hopefully they'll like that and will make a queen or three. I must need glasses because I would see a very tiny "c" in the cell then I'd need to blink and I couldn't see it anymore. All in all there were probably 13-15 frames with brood in that hive. They're top honey super (medium) had one more frame they need to draw out. I'm hoping to get some honey from this hive. There no queen cells in the hive.

    I also want to have a queen on hand when I decide to pull the trigger on my weak hive and replace that queen.

    I didn't have capped honey for the nuc just a very heavy deep frame of nectar and pollen. Is the nectar sufficient food or do they need capped honey?

    Edit: Wow! Orientation flights in front of the nuc already...it's only been an hour!
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    ^
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    \---------------now you will need to change your signature, you are growing!!:lol::lol::lol:


    Sounds like you are off to a good start on the splits.

    Keep us updated on them!!

    When the split hive makes some queen cell you could pinch your other old queen, wait a couple of days and then put in a couple of the queen cells.
     

  3. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    If you can afford to give the new nuc one more frame of capped brood (with nurse bees) and one more frame of pollen/nectar, then you probably should- it will ensure the health of that new nuc. Don't forget they have now lost all their foragers and will have to replace them.
     
  4. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I was thinking that Omie but I was worried about the now queenless hive needing a large population while they go without a laying queen for 30+ days. Since I hive in all 8 frame boxes if I add another frame of brood and another of pollen/nectar should I just put them in their 8 frame deep with 3 undrawn frames?

    G-3, let's wait a few weeks for the sig change lol.
    I'm hoping to do a cut out of a barn hive tomorrow I'll change the sig after we see how that goes.:thumbsup:
     
  5. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I'd feed 'em. They're eating for two now.
     
  6. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    now comes the waiting, waiting, waiting, then peak in in 3 or 4 days to see if ya got queen cells started lol, then waiting, waiting, and yes even more waiting, and then 3 weeks later a queen!!! (ya hope) Im waiting on 2 nucs now and think Ill use up the other 10 I have in a week or so, I did it the other way though, I left the queen in the main hive and just took some frames to start new cells this way the main hive still keeps going strong for the flow, well good luck with your split, hope you have more patients then I do:lol:
     
  7. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I circled in red the size larvae I looked for when I made my notches to try and entice the workers to build queen cells although I think removing their queen is probably enticement enough lol.


    AAA Rearing queens.jpg
     
  8. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    If the parent hive is bustling with bees you needn't worry.
    I was thinking you should just put 3 frames of brood and 2 of food in a 5 frame nuc with the old queen. They won't be overcrowded for a while because they lost all the foragers. Best not to have too many empty frames in with them until they start to get crowded and have a new foraging force. But you could probably put them in with the two more full frames into a 8 frame box and they'd likely be ok since they have brood and a queen. I think they could use more than just one frame of nectar/pollen though.
     
  9. RayMarler

    RayMarler New Member

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    What a great move you did, I think, by putting the queen-right nuc on top of the box she will eventually grow into! Also, the frame of nectar is better than a frame of sealed honey. They eat nectar, honey they have to dilute to consume. Remember, they drink their food, even the pollen, thru that straw tounge/tube/mouth they have.

    The queenless main hive will be so populous that it may swarm on you, so moving a couple frames of sealed brood to the queen-right nuc and upgrading to a full 8 frame box would be a good thing for both hives. Also, the main cell builder has all the foraging force, and by now the cells are started, so moving a frame or two of nectar/honey/pollen to the queen-right hive would be good also.

    You're doing great, this is so fun ain't it!
     
  10. Michbeeman63

    Michbeeman63 New Member

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    Can you explain your reasons for splitting this particular hive? were you trying to prevent a swarm? why did you opt for the queen removal to the nuc, rather than leaving the queen with the original hive? Finally, you said you started a nuc, is this a small five frame hive or a full ten frame box? sorry for so many questions, but I am considering a split myself. Oh, what timeframe do I have to try this? I am in southern michigan.

    appreciate it
     
  11. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    1 for the honey
    2 for the mites. Haven't really seen any but I'm sure they're there.
    3 to prevent a swarm

    I did it because it made sense to me. I'm new at this and have gone into internet reading overload so I figured it was time to actually try something lol. I learned it from this gentleman www.mdasplitter.com .

    Try and do it before there are swarm cells in the host hive. So a week before swarm season in your geographical location.

    When a hive swarms, the old queen leaves with some of the bees anf the big main hive rears a queen, so I am trying to mimmick that swarm. There is also good information about breaking the mite cycle in that big hive as there will be a 30 day +- break in the brood cycle.

    I did this into a 5 frame deep nuc box. Within an hour I had orientation flights at the nuc and this morning there are foragers. Amazing creatures!
     
  12. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Eddy, you are doing great.
     
  13. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    Well done Eddy, good luck:thumbsup:
     
  14. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    Good job Eddy, and I think your motivation is on-target! I have done splits in a similar way (especially when I see swarm preparations). I call it an "artificial swarm", and remove the old queen w/ support bees just as you did to mimic what happens in a swarm.

    I would repeat the suggestion to feed the queenless hive plenty (as well as the queen-right little nuc)- they need lots of food to raise a good queen (and the nuc might not have the foraging resources to well support itself yet). It might be a good idea, as suggested before, to feed that nuc another frame of brood at some point to keep the population up.

    -Dan
     
  15. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    The queenless hive has 14-16 medium frames of nectar. Is this not enough feed along with the massive nectar flow going on in these parts that they will need to be fed? It's 4 boxes high, 1 deep and 3 mediums.

    The nuc with the mega-laying queen has a steady stream of foragers this evening. I'm not seeing pollen on their legs though so that has me a bit concerned. I'll look at them tomorrow morning and see if that changes.
    I gave her 2 frames of brood of all ages. Won't she have new bees hatching daily and for nurse bees and aging nurse bees becoming foragers?

    Did my first cutout today. I even found the queen. What a sticky mess! I brought in alot of comb full of nectar/honey so maybe I can strap that into some frames and feed the nucs?

    The wife is researching bee suit cleaning procedures lol.
     
  16. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    DO NOT try to strap in honey. Strain it and feed it back to the cutout hive. Don't feed it to your hives from a cutout. You don't know what diseases are in the cutout hive.
     
  17. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Can humans eat it? My kids are begging me to try a piece but I won't let them yet.
     
  18. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Send it to me. I need to test taste it first. :D

    Yes, let them have all they will eat.
     
  19. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    like slowmodem I would suggest you feed (just a trickle works best... you need not flood the brood nest with syrup).

    looking at your picture the larvae at the farthest right and left look just about right to me. the one's in the middle perhaps just a bit too big <guessing here for certain.
     
  20. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I fed both nucs. Since I don't have nuc feeders I hived them into 8 frame deeps and put on top feeders.
    I fed the cutout their own crushed comb honey/pollen/wax...hopefully they'll sift through the stuff they want.
    I fed my split some 1:1 sugar syrup but just filled up less than half the top feeder. This hive is building lots of wax already and I saw lots of eggs and very young larvae. I'm going to hate to lose this ole lady queen someday.
    Sunday is day 5 of the split and I wanted to check for capped queen cells but it's supposed to be rainy and cool (50's) so I'll wait.

    Edit: The only thing I didn't consider till now...how long after I took the queen out of the big hive will it take them to realize they are queenless? If I notched 2 day old larvae and it takes them 2-3 days to realize they need to make a queen then by that time it's too late. Anyone know how long it takes them to start making a queen? The old queen is laying up a storm in her new box so I could always swap a frame of eggs for a frame of older brood I suppose.