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Author Topic: Which way do I go? Wait for Queen or Split now?  (Read 1412 times)
mherndon
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« on: March 10, 2009, 07:44:04 PM »

I started with a strong hive this Fall. (Carniolins)  I fed three global patties this Winter and in February (15th) I reversed brood boxes on a mild weekend.  My deep was empty and I moved it up above the brood and queen.  This past Friday the 6th, bees were really booming.  I had the deep full of mostly capped as well as open brood.  I found the queen and marked her.  I again reversed the boxes to keep the queen moving up.  I started feeding and added another mid super to hopefully draw some more comb.(short on drawn comb)  I have queens coming in May and I'm afraid if I can't manipulate the frames enough, they will surely swarm.  I plan on splitting, but queens are coming late I think to beat a possible swarm.  Should I go ahead and find the old queen and make the split?  Should I wait for swarm cells to appear?  The hive is really strong.  (deep, medium and shallow and now medium foundation for them to draw comb.)  All the boxes are full of bees.  Temps have been in 70's this week but falling to the 50's by this weekend.  Have I rushed them too much?  Swarm season may start in April here.  I'm on the Cumerland Plateau near Jamestown, TN.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2009, 07:59:33 PM »

I started with a strong hive this Fall. (Carniolins)  I fed three global patties this Winter and in February (15th) I reversed brood boxes on a mild weekend.  My deep was empty and I moved it up above the brood and queen.  This past Friday the 6th, bees were really booming.  I had the deep full of mostly capped as well as open brood.  I found the queen and marked her.  I again reversed the boxes to keep the queen moving up.  I started feeding and added another mid super to hopefully draw some more comb.(short on drawn comb)  I have queens coming in May and I'm afraid if I can't manipulate the frames enough, they will surely swarm.  I plan on splitting, but queens are coming late I think to beat a possible swarm.  Should I go ahead and find the old queen and make the split?  Should I wait for swarm cells to appear?  The hive is really strong.  (deep, medium and shallow and now medium foundation for them to draw comb.)  All the boxes are full of bees.  Temps have been in 70's this week but falling to the 50's by this weekend.  Have I rushed them too much?  Swarm season may start in April here.  I'm on the Cumerland Plateau near Jamestown, TN.

If they have filled most of the 2 boxes you have on them do the following:
1. Add a third super, make it a deep so you can utilize for the upcoming split.
2. In each of the 2 cureent boxes pull the 2 outer (storage) frames from each box (4 total). 
3. Move the remaining frames so that there is a free space between the last 2 brood frames on each side of the brood box. 
4. Insert the empty frames from the new super into the empty spaces.
5. Move the 4 storage frames up into the top super so it has 2 empty frames, 2 storage frames, 2 empty frames, 2 storage frames, and 2 empty frames.

The reasoning is this: bees building in the brood chamber usually don't swarm unless they're crowded and you've just removed that problem by supering. 
The super is baited with full or partial frames from below to help draw the bees up into the super.
This will delay a swarming tendency for about 30 days, which is what you want, and you'll have the plus of 3 boxes of bees from which to do one Strong or more normal sized splits.   
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BjornBee
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2009, 07:00:13 AM »

Why is it that everytime someone has a strong hive, they want to split the hive, for the fact they think they might swarm?

Are not strong hives what we work for, spend the money on feed and stick patties on for?

Let them go. A strong hive does more work than a split hive. At least for the short term. When and if you see swarm cells, then take action. Not before.
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mherndon
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2009, 12:14:16 PM »

Just wanting to increase hive numbers and also hope to prevent a swarm.  I didn't want to have to buy more bees if I could split from what I have.  Also would learn from the experience.

Mark
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BjornBee
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2009, 12:53:11 PM »

Just wanting to increase hive numbers and also hope to prevent a swarm.  I didn't want to have to buy more bees if I could split from what I have.  Also would learn from the experience.

Mark

Nothing wrong with that Mark. My comments may of been more directed at the multitude of people perhaps reading the thread, that seemingly always borders on "Oh, my Gosh! My hive is so strong...should I split....I do not want them to swarm!"

Splitting and having a plan is one thing. Splitting due to nothing more than some fear of a hive swarming, and thinking it the proper thing to do every time you actually achieve a strong hive, is not a good thing.

I sometimes talk out loud to the many who read the thread, even though it was spurned on by one poster.
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Keith13
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2009, 02:30:45 PM »

Just wanting to increase hive numbers and also hope to prevent a swarm.  I didn't want to have to buy more bees if I could split from what I have.  Also would learn from the experience.

Mark

Nothing wrong with that Mark. My comments may of been more directed at the multitude of people perhaps reading the thread, that seemingly always borders on "Oh, my Gosh! My hive is so strong...should I split....I do not want them to swarm!"

Splitting and having a plan is one thing. Splitting due to nothing more than some fear of a hive swarming, and thinking it the proper thing to do every time you actually achieve a strong hive, is not a good thing.

I sometimes talk out loud to the many who read the thread, even though it was spurned on by one poster.

No not you Bjorn Wink

Keith
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mherndon
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2009, 03:29:40 PM »

Bjorn,  not a problem.  I hope to have total of three hives by next year and I hope I can obtain the strength I have right now.  I read a lot of posts hear and some Pink Pages also.  What a mountain of knowledge you can achieve just by reading all the posts.  I respect your opinions as well as many others that post here.  A lot has been learned.  I would like to be able to build a strong hive and just see how much the bees can produce.  I'm just short a year or two from reaching that goal.  I don't have all the bees for the hives yet and then getting the drawn comb in supply where I can manage them more than what I can now.  I think Brian hit the nail on the head for what I need to do now.  When I do reach that max number of hives I can manage, I would then sell nucs to locals only if I needed to try to prevent a swarm.  For now the split is for increase.  If I knew I could obtain a swarm or two, I would not bother the hive I have now.  I'm thinking big now. cheesy
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challenger
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2009, 08:39:12 AM »

Why is it that everytime someone has a strong hive, they want to split the hive, for the fact they think they might swarm?

Are not strong hives what we work for, spend the money on feed and stick patties on for?

Let them go. a strong hive does more work than a split hive. At least for the short term. When and if you see swarm cells, then take action. Not before.
Bjorn-here are a few of many reasons I believe it is necessary to split a hive that is 3 deep well before the main flow.
3 Deeps make it impossible to put honey supers on and still be able to remove them w/o calling the Chiropractor to stand by.
If there is not a fair amount of attention paid to the 3 deep hive and there is a small flow like here in S.E. NC the queen can get honey bound and there goes your swarm and your honey harvest.
It isn't necessary to have 3 deep hives for a good harvest so use the extra bees to create extra hives or make $ by selling nuks. A 4 frame nuke goes for about $100.00 here-w-no queen. A third deep from a 3 deep hive that is split is like 2 nuks or more.
Just my inexperienced opinion. Feel free to shoot me down.
BTW- I imagine most people are running 9 frames in their 10 frame brood chambers once the comb is built on all ten yes?
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mherndon
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2009, 11:41:57 AM »

Not me.  I'm going 10 frames on everything from now on.  Makes manipulating frames easier in the broodnest.  Some people use only 9 frames in the supers, but then the comb is too deep later to use in the broodbox if you wanted to.  Going to use an observation hive in school's and this deeper comb will not work with it. (Ulster OB)

Mark
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challenger
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2009, 07:34:35 AM »

Not me.  I'm going 10 frames on everything from now on.  Makes manipulating frames easier in the broodnest.  Some people use only 9 frames in the supers, but then the comb is too deep later to use in the broodbox if you wanted to.  Going to use an observation hive in school's and this deeper comb will not work with it. (Ulster OB)

Mark
If there are ten frames to start and the bees draw out the comb-w-ten frames then I don't see how the comb is too big? I've got a lot more room-w-9 frames than I did-w-10. This is one of the benefits of 9 in a ten hive body. The extra space gives all the bees (especially the queen) more room and they have not made the comb ant thicker than it was after being drawn out in the 10 frame configuration.
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mherndon
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2009, 11:42:46 AM »

I started some out with nine in the supers and it was drawn out more.  That makes sense to start with ten and then go to nine.  I will straighten the deep drawn frames out when I uncap them for extraction.  Your limited with the deeper drawn frames in the brood chamber if you want to manipulate frames.

Mark
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challenger
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2009, 10:11:18 PM »

I use deeps for the hives and wediums for the honey supers. I plan on using only 8 in the 10 frame mediums. The bees know the comb is being used for honey and will draw out big fat comb for honey storage. I'm hoping this makes extracting easier and makes more honey too!
Obviously this would never work if you are using the same size boxes for all.
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