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Author Topic: Splitting for Comb Honey and Requeening  (Read 2720 times)
Kris^
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« on: April 05, 2005, 04:27:54 PM »

I've been told that for comb honey production, I should split the hive, with the queen going into the part that is moved away and the remaining part be given a frame of eggs to raise its own queen.  I like the idea of using queens that are bred and marked and would rather requeen with a known fertilized laying queen, who would start laying immediately.  Since it takes 16 days for a queen to emerge could I instead:  1)  not use the queen excluder for the first 12 or 14 days after intoducing the farme with eggs, since there won't be any chance of brood being laid in the comb honey super, and 2) cut out the developing queen cell and introduce a bred queen at the same time I introduce the queen excluder?

I have so much trouble getting my bees to work foundation through an excluder.  And I may want to try putting a Russian Queen in there, as I'll be installing two Italian colonies from packages this Spring, and maybe requeening the other half of the split with a Russian queen this fall.
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2005, 06:00:06 PM »

What if you just put the queen in a push in cage, then squeeze the heck out of em and forgo the split
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Kris^
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2005, 09:58:14 PM »

Quote from: thegolfpsycho
What if you just put the queen in a push in cage, then squeeze the heck out of em and forgo the split


Thanks for the suggestion.  I looked up what a "push in cage" is in a book I have, but I got my setup for the other way right now, though.

But my desire to keep marked and bred queens in the hive might be moot.  I couldn't find my marked queen when I inspected my hive  this afternoon.  I found her easily a couple weeks ago when I looked, but the bees are much thicker on the frames now.  Certainly doesn't look like they swarmed, that's for sure.  But I had my "queen crisis" last summer, too, so I won't panic yet.  Didn't see any eggs, but I didn't see any when I last looked in, either.  And there are now 5 full frames of brood, from capped ready-to-emerge to small uncapped larvae probably only hatched 2 or 3 days ago.

So that's how that's going.  The colony is very active on our more-frequent warm days, they've taken a gallon of syrup in less than a week and are on their second pollen patty of the spring, plus bringing it in from outside somewhere.  So it seems good.  I'll just wait a few weeks before I decide to do anyhings else.

-- Kris
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2005, 10:04:46 PM »

I remember the queen crisis last year kris.  You don't have to find her if there are larvae and eggs.  The push in cage really wasn't a good idea, but it was an out for you if you needed it.  When you see new wax at the top of the frames.. pretty white new wax, they are bringing in nectar.  Make your move then if you don't really know when the flows are happening.  You can requeen anytime.  Just a pinch is all it takes.  No matter how you do it, the keys are crowding the heck out of them and having them on a flow when you do it.  Don't count on 100% complete sections.   Waiting for the corners and edges just travel stains the good stuff.  It's also a good idea to bait them up sometimes.  You'll need to judge that as it is happening.  Get them rolling and let them do that bee magic.  Sections are the cats meow.
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Kris^
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2005, 10:33:38 PM »

Quote from: thegolfpsycho
I remember the queen crisis last year kris.


 cheesy   In my own defense, it was my first year.  I'm so MUCH more experienced now!   cheesy  

Thanks for the tips, though.  I think our first blooms are going to be a little later this year than last, so I still have a few weeks to prepare myself for it.

-- Kris
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Finsky
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2005, 04:00:24 AM »

Quote from: Kris^
I've been told that for comb honey production, I should split the hive, with the queen going into the part that is moved away and the remaining part be given a frame of eggs to raise its own queen. .


WHY Huh If you split your hive, it is not able to get honey.

Quote
and the remaining part be given a frame of eggs to raise its own queen. .


Queens are very cheap. There is no idea to raise own queen from one hive.  It takes  3-4 weeks untill new queen starts to lay eggs. And it takes 2 months that your eggs of the new queen starts to gather honey as a masses of field worker.

It makes sense, if hive begins to show mark about swarming. It means tjat tehre are egg or larva in queen combs. In that case it is usefull to make a split or something else.  So far there are no queen cells let hive to expand and harvest the honey.


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Quote
I have so much trouble getting my bees to work foundation through an excluder. .


Take it away. It is not needed.


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Quote
And I may want to try putting a Russian Queen in there, as I'll be installing two Italian colonies from packages this Spring, and maybe requeening the other half of the split with a Russian queen this fall.


It is good that you get more hives. learn to play with tehem and do not take extra difficult duties for you.

My goal in beekeeping is  1) big hives  2) good queens 3) much honey

If you split your hive, it will take 1-2 months untill it is ready to gather honey again.

If you have a couple of hives, it is veru difficult to get good queens from own hives.  A professional has 1000 hives and he choose the mother queens from the best ones.

If hive has only 4 deeps or boxes, it is not able to get honey.  6 boxes full of bees take much more honey.

To give space for expandind hive is very important.  

If your hive is doing to swarm, there is no sense to take daughter from that kind of hive. Daughters will swarm very easily.  And swarming will ruin the honey yield.
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TVaughan
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Location: San Luis Obispo County, California


« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2005, 09:27:03 AM »

I agree with Finski. You don't usually need an excluder for comb production, and I'd just leave the queen in there. I do a little trick to get rid of the honey that is still on the wax after I strain what I can. This trick will get me 40 Hogg's sections in just 2 or three weeks. Here are the steps

http://www.pbase.com/beekeeper/comb_honey

Click on the pics for a description.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2005, 09:55:00 AM »

The effectiveness of a split for comb honey is all in the timing and details.  If you split a hive correctly at the correct time you will get a SIGNIFICANTLY greater yeild than if you don't split.  If you split at the wrong time you will get a significantly less yeild.  Even if you don't want comb honey, a cut down will maximize your harvest and give you a split.  You will get much MORE honey than if you did NOT do the split.

The object of a cut down split is basically this:
1) maximize the number of workers in the hive you hope to get the comb honey from.
2) crowd the workes in that hive up into the supers by removing all but one brood box
3) free up many of the workers in the hive by removing all open brood from the hive (which will not help with the harvest and will tie up workers)

I don't know anyone doing cut down splits AND using an excluder.  I don't use an excluder.  Most people doing comb honey don't use an excluder.

Timing:

A cut down split works best if it's done two weeks before the main flow.  If you don't know when this is and the flow sneaks up on you, then do it as soon as you realize there is a flow.  Any sooner than two week beofore will cost you.  If you do a split really early it will cost you a lot of honey.

Details:

You need to put all  the open brood in the new hive (the split) and all the emerging brood in the old hive.  You need to put most or all of the honey/pollen in the new hive.  You need to put the queen in the new hive.  You have the option to put a new young queen in the cut down, or let them requeen themselves.

Let me reiterate the importance of TIMING.

If you simply make a hive queenless one or two weeks before the flow and do nothing else, you will greatly increase the harvest because of less open brood to be cared for and therefor more bees to make the harvest.  If you simply make a hive queenless early in the spring you will probably lose your entire crop because you may cut the foraging population in half.  If you make a hive queenless just after the flow it will probably leave more winter stores and have less varroa mites.  If you make a hive queenless late in the fall you will greatly decrease the number of young bees to get through the winter with.

Timing is the same for a split.  If you did a cut down split in April (here in Nebraska anyway) it will hurt your harvest.  But if you do the same thing just before the main flow it will probably double your harvest.  If you do it after the flow it will have virtually no affect on your harvest.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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