What's the best way to do splits wihout losing honey production

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by CharlieB, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. CharlieB

    CharlieB New Member

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    So I want to split some of my strongest hives with minimal honey production loss. I was thinking of splitting 8 mega hives on my rooftop apiary by taking out the queen with brood and honey frames into nucs and introducing mated queens into the original hive. (I have a good source of local queens).

    I would let the hives make their own queen but we have an unusual problem in San Francisco. It's so foggy and windy that virgin queens often don't make it back to the hive after mating or fail to mate properly.

    By making up nucs, they would have plenty of time to build before winter. Another reason for doing it this way would be to head off any swarming.

    Any better ideas would be appreciated.
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    buy queens and add some genetic diversity to your own apiary. so don't buy all from just one source or of one line.

    San Francisco is unusual enough that you may find one 'race' of bees out performs all the others.... I would guess od frank might have some idea of what 'kind of queen' would work in your own area.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Sounds like your plan is good to me. Buy some queens thereby adding diversity as tecumseh suggests and you should still have a decent harvest. :thumbsup:
     
  4. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Honey? What's that?
    Seriously, I am a total newbie at
    That. So far my bees have been
    Expensive toys. I'll listen now.
     
  5. CharlieB

    CharlieB New Member

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    That grumpy old fart is getting queens from me. He's been very busy lately bragging about all the swarms he's catching.
     
  6. CharlieB

    CharlieB New Member

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    Patience Gypsi, you'll be up to your neck in honey one day!
     
  7. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    It may be worth trying one of your hives with your system reversed. Set up your nucs with brood and nurse bees from your original hive plus your imported Q's. Your original hive will still have its strong force of foragers and its Q can carry on laying un-interrupted.

    " There is more than one way to skin a cat ..."
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    That grumpy old fart is getting queens from me. He's been very busy lately bragging about all the swarms he's catching.

    tecumseh:
    ignore my prior post... keep doing what you are doing since evidently you are doing lot of things exactly right.
     
  9. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    I'll be doing my splits the same way you suggested in the first post. In strong hives with last year's queens I'll do it in reverse, as Limey :razz: suggested.
     
  10. CharlieB

    CharlieB New Member

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    Just an update: I finished doing 10 splits winding up placing the new queens in nucs with 5 frames from each colony. Since they were split and set up in the same beeyard, I shook in extra nurses and then had to re-shake nurses in the next day due to the foragers going back to the parent hive. I removed all the queen cages after 4 days. All 10 queens released and alive running around in the nuc. YES!

    Now I'll see if they lay properly. The biggest problem I had was finding all the queens in the parent hives before doing the splits. What a pain when the hives are 6 and 7 boxes tall. I followed the egg trail but it still took a while.

    Thanks for all the advice everyone!
     
  11. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Okay, this brings up a question: Why can't you just wait to split until after the nectar flow? Here in Down East NC that means I could split in August with plenty of time to build up before the cold weather (I don't harvest after August because it's mainly goldenrod honey which I abhor! Let the bees have it for winter!).
     
  12. CharlieB

    CharlieB New Member

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    Tia,

    Two reasons. One is I want the nucs from the splits to be able to have all season to build up before winter. Two is to prevent swarming with the parent hives that were busting at the seams. I did the splits a week ago and the parent hives are going crazy as usual. I don't think they'll miss a beat. Of course all of this is dependent upon your location. I'm fortunate in that my hives are across from Golden Gate Park which has an usual amount of flowers and Eucalyptus trees.

    Other area's maybe better suited for your suggestion Tia in that it's better to wait until your flow is over. Beekeeping is like real estate, location, location, location.
     
  13. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    I hear ya, CharlieB. As a matter of fact, I have two "boomers" that I think have 2 boxes each of eucalyptus that I have to take off this weekend (if I can find the time). I try to prevent swarming by checkerboarding and this year it worked in 2 out of 3 of my hives. But the 3rd hive has swarmed 2 times; consequently I have 5 hives now. 7's my limit--after that it becomes work instead of fun.