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Author Topic: split? combine? let them be?  (Read 3546 times)
Beth Kirkley
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« on: July 08, 2004, 10:16:26 AM »

My two hives have really grown now, and I need some advice. Do they ever swarm late in the summer or early fall? How big do they get before feeling crowded? Or does feeling crowded have more to do with space (extra honey supers)?

What would be best to do......
let them alone and just add honey supers?
split them both and buy queens?
split them each a little, buy one queen, and combine the few frames from each?
I'd like more hives, so I'd love to start another before winter, but I don't know if it would make them all too weak. The two hives now seem so big, that it seems to me doing a split/combine would even make the 3 hives bigger than my 1 was last fall.

Hive #1 hasn't started on it's first honey super yet, and hive #2 is nearly done with it's first honey super. Both honey supers have top bars.

Or should I consider splitting or combining a few frames from each hive later this year, in the early fall? Last year they pretty much quit building comb in September. So I know that even if I did do a split/combine at that time, they wouldn't do much to the new frames till January or so. But that WOULD give them "space" for growing come early spring/end of winter. If I did a split/combine, I'd try to give each hive 7-8 frames of brood if I had that much to spread around for 3 hives.

I figure I could possibly make the 3 hives equal with 7 frames brood, 8  frames honey (not all capped right now), and 7 new frames. I have enough brood and honey RIGHT NOW to do that - a three way split. I know that sounds like very little honey, but being in central Georgia they don't need much. Last year my one hive went through only about 10 lbs. I'd like to leave them atleast 30 though just incase.

Tell me what you think,
Beth
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Finman
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2004, 12:19:00 PM »

Quote from: Beth Kirkley
My two hives have really grown now, and I need some advice. Do they ever swarm late in the summer or early fall? How big do they get before feeling crowded? Or does feeling crowded have more to do with space (extra honey supers)?



Swarming is bee's natural habit to reproduce. It is nothing to do with size of hive.

Just put honey supers as much as it needs. Put always empty super between broods and honey.

I just installe " ready to get honey"-condtion my hives and I put together hives so that they have  5-6 supers. The biggest have 5 lanstroth + 2 farrar.

It is just now a good honey day. They will catch honey 5-10 kg/hive today from turnip ripe. Distance is 100 m to the field.



Quote
let them alone and just add honey supers?


That is right! If you see queen cells, then you change your methods.

Quote
split them both and buy queens?


NO, good heavens!


Quote
I'd like more hives, so I'd love to start another before winter, but I don't know if it would make them all too weak.


Buy a queen, take a brood frame where it is coming out new bees. Put there one frame of pollen and one empty. So you have start to new hive.

When frame is full of eggs, put larvas to big hive and let them raise them. Give one brood frame again and that little nuc will manage with it's own.

When your honey season is at the end, you can take more brood frames from big nest and you get one box full of bees.

Hive #1 hasn't started on it's first honey super yet, and hive #2 is nearly done with it's first honey super. Both honey supers have top bars.

HOW BIG are your hives now?

In my opinion and experience 3- 4 super hive is not good to gather honey. It need to bee 5-7. 8 and 9 is difficult to handle.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2004, 05:28:57 PM »

I'm a new beekeeper. Smiley Only in my first good summer since I started with my first hive in late June of last year. So for me, these hives look like they're busting at the seams with bees. The last couple weeks especially.

So basicly, you think I'm only STARTING to get them good and strong? I'll let them be then, and just give them more space and honey supers.

Beth
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Lesli
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2004, 07:10:24 PM »

Quote from: Beth Kirkley
I'm a new beekeeper. Smiley Only in my first good summer since I started with my first hive in late June of last year.
Beth


Beth, I started mine on June 23rd from nucs. What was your experience last year?
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Lesli
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2004, 08:22:19 PM »

I got my 2 pound with queen the last weekend of June, and by the end of August they had filled 2 supers. I tried putting on a honey super at that point (end of August, begining of September), but they didn't start on it.

They really took off some time in Febuary though, and swarmed March 17th.

Beth
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Lesli
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2004, 09:37:40 PM »

Im in upstate NY, so I'm more worried about them overwintering. The clover is in bloom, and goldenrod yet to come. I don't even have a second hive body on yet. Does anyone know how my girls are doing?
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Lesli
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Finman
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2004, 10:14:00 PM »

Quote from: Beth Kirkley
I'm a new beekeeper. Smiley Only in my first good summer since I started with my first hive in late June of last year. So for me, these hives look like they're busting at the seams with bees. The last couple weeks especially.


Everybody starts from begining and one must lear. Basicly learn to handle bees means that you know how bees act and you try to affect on their natural development. It means that you must learn the cycle of bee year.

It took to me 7 years that I did not met surprises in my hobby any more.

How I succeed  with my hobby? - I deciced that honey yield tells it to me. Much honey per hive is the goal. How to do it - that is star at sky.  

For most of bee keepers it is enough that they have bees at their yard. That is not interesting to me. I started at the age of 15, and against my fathers will . My father is now 84 and he asked last year, when I am going to stop my stupid hobby .  I said: "Very soon I think, it is so stupid, yeah!"

OK, to get honey I teach

1) Big hives
2) Good queens
3) Good pastures

I just wrote in Finnish bee-net: the orderof my nest

Good hive has 5-6 supers

The lowest is cool entrance and bees store there pollen and surplus nectar flow

2. and 3. are for brood

The topmost has capped honey
Always keep free space between honey and brood

Capped honey is better to take away, because it takes vain space and bees keep it warm.  So you have allways space for honey 2-3 supers. Keep only one honey super capped and take it away when it is finished.

When you start beekeeping, you must open the hive every week and look what are theis doing. So you learn to see, how colony developes and how honey yield and free space developes. If they have not free space, they swarm. If they have too much space, they feel cold in their nest.

8 frames brood  is good, but perhaps about 12 is my goal for normal.  It means 1,5 langstroth supers. Mostly 2 year old queen is able to lay eggs only in one super. I change my queens evry year.

"Keep on beekeping" Cheesy
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Finman
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2004, 10:24:02 PM »

Quote from: Lesli
Im in upstate NY, so I'm more worried about them overwintering. The clover is in bloom, and goldenrod yet to come. I don't even have a second hive body on yet. Does anyone know how my girls are doing?


You must look inside the hive, what is there. One super in the middle on summer is not good.

LOOK:

1) Do you have signs of deseases. Spotted brood like shot gun shotted

2) Do they have free space for eggs and new honey

3) You must change the queen, I think. Because if queen is Ok, it lay eggs and colony will swarm in that little space

I think that queen has broplems.

In NY you should not be worried about winter. You have best summer now.

If you have deseases, it is better to drop all bees into new super and you burn old frames and brood.  Honey you can take for consumption.
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Finman
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2004, 10:28:08 PM »

Quote from: Beth Kirkley
I got my 2 pound with queen the last weekend of June, and by the end of August they had filled 2 supers. I tried putting on a honey super at that point (end of August, begining of September), but they didn't start on it.

They really took off some time in Febuary though, and swarmed March 17th.

Beth


If the race is earger to swarm, it is difficut to manage with them. You must change the queen if they swarm with 2 supers.
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Lesli
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2004, 04:59:27 AM »

Quote from: Finman


You must look inside the hive, what is there. One super in the middle on summer is not good.



Well, remember, I got these as 5-frame nucs two weeks ago. There's no disease, and the queens are definitely laying. I'm hoping to put a second super/hive body on this weekend. Last weekend, they had 6-7 drawn frames, and there was plenty of eggs and brood.

One nuc was fairly bursting with bees, the other had a lot of dead, so it some work to make up for. That's why I'm not worried about getting honey this year; starting in late June, I figured there won't be time for anything but to build up their stores for winter.
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Lesli
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Finman
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2004, 05:16:08 AM »

Quote from: Lesli
Quote from: Finman



I got these as 5-frame nucs two weeks ago. There's no disease, and the queens are definitely laying. I'm hoping to put a second super/hive body on this weekend. Last weekend, they had 6-7 drawn frames, and there was plenty of eggs and brood.
.


It is OK then. But why second super so soon. If you put it, put it lowest. If you put topmost, they must heat suddenly 100 % more space.  If you put lowest, they take it in use as they are able for that. Warm air does not go downward.

There is no worry about wintering. Your colony can survive already now over winter. Winterball is so big as the brood area is at autumn.
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