I did not want to hijack other threads so I'll add this one. I have read a number of comments about early spring splits and queen rearing. That you will seemingly get quality if bees do it themselves since this is "natural" or the "bees know best". So I add my comments not focused on one thread but from a general comment as follows....
Giving bees credit in suggesting they know best, saying this is what they have done for millions of years, and somehow equating that with quality, when bees are forced to do it when they would not of done it as dictated by nature, always makes me wonder.
It's not natural to just do walk away splits and force bees to undertake this procedure when they are not prepared for it. They supercede and swarm when THEY know the time is optimal. To suggest that you will get quality over a bought queen, or say that this is the best way to get good queen, by doing this when bees are not ready for it, may be missing the boat.
Why force bees to do this when bees naturally would not be doing this cell building?
Why not just wait for the bees to make swarm cells and do your splits when the bees tell you its the right time and are better prepared for it?
Early spring splits means you are forcing bees to build cells when numbers may not be enough, you take a hive that goes from not even thinking about building queen cells to forcing them to deal with the situation with no preparations, and may be dealing with lack of mature drones, inadequate nutrition for queen development, and a host of other issues.
My comments are a collection of several different posts, all on the idea that taking a hive and overnight making it queenless, splitting it, and forcing bees to make queens when they would not of done it themselves, and then calling it "natural" or in some way calling this a superior way of getting quality, at least for me, is a bit off the target.
I also read about doing splits for swarm prevention, which always has me scratching my head.
You want to split, that's one thing. But to suggest bees are best at this, when you force them to do it when nature dictates otherwise, is questionable. It just may be "Just good enough", if that’s what your looking for.
There was a recent article in bee Culture about summer splits and the benefits of them. And almost all the possibilities that play negatively in spring splits are not present in summer splits, with actual more benefits to be gained.
Thank you for reading.