I have 2 booming hives. They started as 3-lb packages in May. After a solid start for one and a hesistant start for the other, they now have 16-bar brood nests (4-foot topbar hives) and are starting to store some honey with a bit of drone brood towards the back. One is 2/3 full, the other heading for 3/4 full.
I'm in zone 4, central WI. It's my first year, but another WI beek here says that with woods, fields, garden, prairie and wetlands I could expect something to be available until frost.
1. Should I consider a walk-away split? I am thinking of 2-3 bars of brood from each hive and 1 bar of honey from each, plus a few empty bars for them to work on. Plus, I would feed them. Does this sound about right?
2. Will this be enough time for them to build up before winter?
3. My 4 hives (only 2 occupied right now) are all permanently screwed onto 2 x 4s mounted on cedar posts. They are only 1 foot apart from each other. Would this be a problem with the new hive being so close to the old?
Thanks for your advice!