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Author Topic: Split from a new hive  (Read 555 times)
charles
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« on: April 27, 2009, 12:49:45 PM »

I installed a 4-frame nuc into a deep hive on 28 Mar. On 10 Apr, we saw that the hive was growing slowly and had made 6 supercedure cells, which I removed. The queen is young, but an excellent layer. I transferred a frame of capped brood into this hive from another to boost numbers a bit. On Saturday (25 Apr) I found the queen looking a bit fatter and the hive acting much more confident in her. However, I also saw a couple or three supercedure cells that had been capped in the past week or so, but the workers were allowing the queen on the same frame as the cells (!?) I saw the deep about 85-90% drawn with all the signs of a healthy growing colony, so I put on a honey super, expecting the best.

I'm thinking of making a split. My plan is to take one brood and one honey frame from this and another hive, and a bunch of workers and the queen from this hive, and installing them into another deep hive body, allowing the remaining bees to make do with the queen(s) that will emerge from the supercedure cells that they made. My thought is that this would best approximate a swarm.

It's warm down here (highs in the 80s), and there seems to be a good nectar flow. Is this a good idea/bad idea? Should I just leave them be? Should I assume that the queen has already killed the supercedure queens? Would transferring the frame with the supercedure cells into the new box be a better idea?

Wisdom, please.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2009, 10:19:23 PM »

Anytime you see a few queen cells a split is always an option.  In fact I recommend it.  If the hive is bent on supercedure you get 2 queens instead of one by doing a split, which means if one fails a combine cures the problem.  You end up with at least one queen right hive.  2 if both queens make it through mating.
Pull one of the frames with queen cells and place it into a nuc along with a frame of honey and another frame of bees.  Then shake in some more or move the parent hive to a new location so the returning foragers bolster the population of the new nuc.
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charles
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Location: Green Cove Springs, Florida


« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 07:29:08 AM »

Moving the parent hive is a great idea.

Or would have been. I went yesterday afternoon to do the operation, but found the s. cells being broken down and cleaned by the members of the failed coup. Bummer on the new hive, but I'm actually very proud at how well this hive is coming along.

So now I'll wait to see how they do on their honey super before making another move. Lesson learned: if you get an idea while the hive is open, it's best to act on it that day if possible. These girls move fast. I don't have the link, but the page on "Bee Math" from Bush farms was dead on with the timing. I read that and quickly realized that I needed to move fast, and may have missed my chance. When I saw what I saw, I was disappointed and amazed, but not surprised.
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